Update: "MS Run the US" Relay Runners Press Ahead
Our cameras catch up with runner Lauren Wentz along the route, and her friend John Platt has wise words for us all.
Earlier this week we told you about the MS Run the US ultra-relay, the annual run across the country to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis research. We profiled runner Lauren Wentz from Cranberry, Pa. and her running partner and inspiration, John Platt who is providing race "chase" support for her during her 167 mile leg of the relay:
Sparkt fan Rosanne Castronovo Robinson, who first turned us onto John and Lauren's story, was there Wednesday when Lauren took a break at mile 77 on her segment, along route 68 in New Brighton, Pa., west of Pittsburgh:
We got a chance to talk with John by phone, and he was humble about the attention he's getting for being Lauren's running muse (and, BTW, also running marathons despite his MS). "I'm very passionate about this organization,' said John of the National Multple Sclerosis Society . He says he gets his inspiration from MS Run the US founder, Ashley Kumelin, who is one of the few women who have run the US solo, and her late mother Jill, who suffered from MS.
"Ashley and Jill are the heart of this organization. Jill still inspires me today to do what I do," said John, who says he ran the Boston Marathon with Jill's name on his gear just to remind him of why he's running. "The root of everything we do starts with them."
The going has been hot and dusty through PA.
As for Lauren, John said Thursday she's running well, despite heavy truck traffic along even back roads, and the heat, which was 89 on Wednesday. "It's great for sitting by the pool but it's not great for running 30 miles a day," said John, who described the challenges to Rosanne:
Lauren is on track to make it to Brookville, Pa. on Saturday at noon where she'll hand off the baton to the next runner, Bridge McElroy. John says Lauren's been buoyed by people like Rosanne who come by to cheer her on, and friends and family who've shown up to run part of her Segment 17. "She's fighting through it by just taking one more step," said John. "Just like people with MS."
"Individuals living with MS should know they're not alone in this fight. There's an entire community that wanst to help them live their best lives" John Platt
Family and friends gave Lauren a boost at a stop in her hometown of Cranberry, PA.
How can you get involved?
- Follow the progress of all the runners including Lauren by clicking here.
- Donate to Lauren's fundraiser by clicking here. (you can donate to any runner by finding their segment of the race and clicking on it)
- Donate to the MS Society, find out how to volunteer, find an MS walk or start your own by clicking here.