Forty runners to raise awareness for Crohn’s Disease.
Ten years ago, after watching the memorable ING New York City Marathon, New Jersey runner Todd Katz got inspired. A father of four, Katz bought a treadmill, running shoes, and a training book. His goal: run his first marathon in a year.
He did just that–and more.
Katz has now completed six marathons. Were he a completely healthy runner, Katz’s feats would be impressive in their own right. However, there’s a wrinkle to this story: Katz suffers from ulcerative colitis, known as Crohn’s Disease, a condition that affects the small intestine and results in stomach aches, weight loss, diarrhea, bloody stool, joint pain, and fever.
There are many support groups for those with Crohn’s, but perhaps the one best tailored for runners like Katz is Team Challenge, a division of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). This weekend, 40 members of Team Challenge will be taking to the streets of Las Vegas in the Zappos.com Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon.
“Not everyone in the group is affected by the disease, and our runners and walkers range from total beginners to advanced marathoners, but all are motivated by a desire to do something for a cause and to make a difference in their own or other people’s lives,” says Ashley Chandler, the Manalapan (New Jersey)-based Team Challenge endurance manager.
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