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Next lap


February 14, 2011

Leave it to Ashley Kumlein to think long range.

Following her six-month, 3,230-mile run across America last summer, Kumleinís MS Run, the US Foundation plans to organize a cross-country relay in 2012. "Years and years down the road, it could be one of those million-dollar fundraisers," says Kumlein, 26, who lives in Brookfield.

Runners will collect pledges of at least $1,000 for research into multiple sclerosis, adding to the $37,000 Kumlein raised last year. Sheís looking for corporate support and matching donations, but expects no problems finding 20 to 25 runners who would want to run about 140 miles apiece over a four- to six-day span.

Kumleinís fiancť, Andrew Date, accompanied her in a 30-foot motor home during her solo run from San Francisco to New York, so the couple knows the logistical challenges the relay will present.

"Iím already thinking a couple years ahead we might have to have two separate lines across the country with two separate crews, because I donít want to miss out on anybody," she adds.

Kumleinís mother, Jill, who was diagnosed with MS nearly 30 years ago, is her inspiration. She sometimes accompanies Ashley to fundraisers and speaking engagements. "People really take it to heart and realize they have abilities that are a blessing that they take for granted," says Kumlein.



This story ran in the January 2011 issue of: