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Runner for 2017 MS Run the US - Relay
What: The MS Run the US – Relay is an annual 3,100-mile relay run across America for the MS cause.
The Relay begins each year mid-April near Los Angeles, CA and finishes mid-August in New York, NY. To participate, each runner commits to running 160-miles over 6 consecutive days during his or her assigned Relay segment. There are 18 segments total spanning from LA to New York, thus 18 runners on the Relay team. Once selected, each runner spends months training and fundraising as they prepare to devote one week on the road with the nonprofit while completing their segment’s miles. Donations are given to fund research for a cure through the National MS Society and the Center Without Walls, and to assist those living with disability from MS.
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Hometown: Green Bay, WI
Family: Mary (Mother), Marc (Father), Nick (Brother)
Find me on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/anna.perna.5
My route: Joliet IL, to Fort Wayne Indiana
My Runner Story:
I started running in college as a way to stay in shape, but over the past 7 years it has evolved into something much more than that for me. I began running half marathons in 2011 and a dozen since. All have had two things in common. As I would start the race, I would have tears come to my eyes and become overwhelmed with emotion and greatfulness for the just the ability to be able to run in the first place. And secondly, my mother was along the route and at every finish line rain or shine. In a way, running brought my mother and I closer than ever. My mother is someone very near and dear to my heart. She was diagnosed with MS almost 20 years ago and I have seen first hand what this disease is capable of doing. The more I ran, the more I learned not to take my ability to do so, for granted. In turn, I dedicated every stride I took, to my wonderful, sweet mother. My mother unfortunately isn't the only person that I know with MS. My brother's best friend, someone who has been like another brother to me, was also diagnosed with MS. It really made me step back and consider how short life can be and gave me yet another reminder to not take anything for granted.
About two years ago, as I was training for my first marathon, I saw signs around my gym for the MS Run the US Relay and I began looking it up to learn more about it and was very intrigued. I was unsure of my abilities, since I hadn't run a marathon yet and wasn't sure I would be able to fundraise the money either. After I completed my first Marathon, I couldn't stop thinking about the MS Run the US Relay and I knew I had to do it.
A woman who inspires me, Sheryl Sandburg, once said, "It is the ultimate luxury to combine passion and contribution. It is also a clear path to happiness." To me, it is an honor to have the opportunity to help give back to ALL of those who have MS. But near and dear to me, it is an honor to be able to do something for my mother, the most giving, inspiring and determined woman I know, And for the person who has been like another brother to me, Kyle Lemerond, this is for you.
Here is to raising awareness and running towards a world free of MS.