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Make way for Jennipede

BY REBECCA KONYA

October 2011

Marathon runners are a dedicated bunch normally ó letís face it, running 26.2 miles requires some serious devotion. But on Oct. 2, members of Team Jenny will show what dedication truly means when they run linked together during the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon.

The group is seeking to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the most runners tethered together while running a marathon. The current record is 47 runners, set at the 2011 London Marathon in April.

The world record attempt is a fund-raiser benefitting Jenny Crain, a world-class runner who was hit by a car near downtown Milwaukee in August 2007 while training for the Olympic Trials for a chance to run in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The near-fatal accident left her with multiple broken bones and severe brain trauma.

In the four years since the accident, Crain has regained the ability to walk and talk. But the intense therapy that has helped Crain reach this point costs nearly $80,000 per year. To help support her ongoing care and rehabilitation, family members created the Make It Happen Fund.

Crainís supporters are hoping to raise $75,000 for attempting the record-breaking feat at the 2011 Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon. Aptly dubbed the "Jennipede," 75 runners, representing a wide range of athletic abilities, experience and ages, will be linked together during the race. Each runner will be connected by a rope passing through carabiners attached to race belts.

"There are runners of all levels participating so it wonít be a fast team, but weíre all there to support Jenny," says Robin Gohsman, who is leading the effort. He anticipates the group will run a 13-minute mile, with a projected finish time of five hours and 41 minutes.

Each of the runners on Team Jenny has committed to raise a minimum of $500 for the Make It Happen Fund. Gohsman says the team members who raise the most money will be awarded the lead positions in the running queue. "We want to break the record by a significant margin to ward off other attempts," Gohsman says.Among the members of Team Jenny is Jenny Crainís older brother, Peter Crain. The 2011 event is his first marathon. "The support has been overwhelming," Crain says of fund-raising efforts to aid his sisterís ongoing care. "This is an unbelievable group of passionate, caring people."

But perhaps better than the chance to make the Guinness Book of World Records is the plan for Jenny Crain to accompany the team across the marathon finish line. "Thatís the moment that will be remembered forever," Gohsman says.

Jenny Crainís family established the Make It Happen Fund so family, friends, teammates, colleagues, the running community and others can help with her care, rehabilitation and ongoing support. To make a donation to support Team Jennyís Guinness World Record attempt, visit active.com/donate/jennycrain. To contribute directly to the Make It Happen Fund, visit jennycrain.net

Get your run on
Inspired by the Jennipede to run for charity? Here are other runs/walks around the metro area this month ó all for good causes.

Oct. 2

Bryonís Run for Paralysis
5K run, 5K walk
Carroll University, Waukesha

Who Benefits: The Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation and Carroll University partner to raise money and awareness for individuals with paralysis. The Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundationís goal is to find a cure for paralysis through funding the latest in medical research and to provide assistance to those that suffer from neurological disorders.

Website: www.brpf.org

Oct. 8

Free to Breathe
Lung Cancer 5K Run/Walk
Veteranís Park, Milwaukee

Proceeds will benefit the National Lung Cancer Partnershipís research, education and awareness programs. To participate, go to participate.freetobreathe.org

Oct. 15

Get Your Rear in Gear
5k Run/Walk and Fun Run
Hart Park, Wauwatosa

Benefits the Colon Cancer Coalition and the Medical College of Wisconsin

www.getyourrearingear.com

Oct. 22

Annual 24-Hour Runathon to Raise Awareness and Money for Health and Giving
Worldwide event centered in Milwaukee

Purpose: to raise awareness and money for health and giving. Proceeds will benefit theGIVEshirt.com, Karno Kids or a charity of your choice.

For more information, go to the race Facebook page, 24-Hour-Runathon-to-Raise-Awareness-and-Money-for-Health-and-Giving


This story ran in the October 2011 issue of: