It’s been a great couple of weeks for Team Challenge and GI Monitor’s family of running enthusiasts. Team Challenge, you may recall, is a group of runners who raise funds for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) by competing in Half Marathons and other athletic events.
In late June, Team Challenge’s national running chapter – competing for the first time with new singlets featuring the GI Monitor sponsorship emblem – took on the 13.1 miles of the Kona Half Marathon on the Big Island of Hawaii. Here’s a recap of the race:
The top fundraiser in Kona was Amy Payonk, who represented the Philadelphia- area Team Challenge chapter. She raised $12,116 for CCFA and completed her first-ever half marathon just five months after spending time in a hospital isolation ward with a dangerously low neutrophil count.
Wow, that’s something to cheer about for Amy.
Also deserving a high five is Kimberly Fairhurst of Reston, Va., who was the fastest woman from Team Challenge with a time of 1 hour, 53 minutes, 46 seconds in Kona. Congrats to you, Kimberly.
In aggregate, the National Team group of Team Challenge will have raised approximately $100,000 from two races this summer, in Kona and Napa Valley in California in mid-July. In Napa, Team Challenge expected to send about 650 of its runners to the starting line (out of a field of 3,000). We will have results from the Napa race to post here soon.
“It’s going to be huge,” Team Challenge member Dewey Thom said of the Napa event. He planned to work with TC alumni handing out water at mile 10.2 during the race. “TC has participated in this race since 2008 and this is the largest field presented yet. Exciting!” he added. (Thom, affectionately known to the GI Monitor family as “the father of buttbook,” was instrumental in setting up the “GI Monitor by Medivo” sponsorship for Team Challenge and helped secure the photos accompanying this post.)
Team Challenge is CCFA’s endurance training and fundraising program, and helps interested athletes train to run in distance running events, triathlons and even cycling events. The goal is to raise funds to support the effort to find a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, two chronic and often debilitating digestive diseases that impact 1.4 million Americans.