Team Challenge runs Napa to Sonoma in 2010This July 17, I will run my fifth half marathon as part of the Team Challenge fundraising program. And it also will be my second time running the Napa to Sonoma race through wine country.1

What is Team Challenge and why are we raising money? Team Challenge raises funds for research into Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, plus helps to raise awareness about those digestive diseases. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic, painful, and often debilitating digestive diseases affecting 1.4 million American children and adults. Last year as part of the Las Vegas half marathon, Team Challenge raised almost $4 million, with $165,000 of that coming from Wisconsin participants. And that money is making a difference — there already have been major advances which have translated into improved quality of life for those with Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis. Just as important, researchers are making real progress toward finding a cure. Please help with your donation.

Why did I choose to become involved with Team Challenge? At the age of 12, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Since then, I’ve known dozens (and met hundreds) of people directly impacted by these diseases. I realized early on that I needed to do whatever I could to make a difference. So for the last three years, “doing whatever I could” has included training for and running half marathons.2

Napa to Sonoma Half MarathonWhy choose to run the Napa to Sonoma half marathon again? The Napa to Sonoma race is one of the annual Wine Country Half Marathons and takes place amidst the vineyards of Napa and Sonoma Counties in California. But I’m not running it again for the spectacular scenery — I’m running it because of the amazing, selfless participants. Team Challenge has been the official charity of the race for four years, with over 20% of race participants belonging to Team Challenge (and part of the effort to beat Crohn’s and colitis). And every one of those participants has a story. Some have personally struggled with Crohn’s or colitis, while others are running on behalf of a good friend or family member who can’t run. The sea of orange Team Challenge running singlets on race day is one of the most inspirational sights I’ve ever seen seen.

What is different this time? For this race, I’m doing some new things (special events, unique games and contests, and even a date auction) to raise the energy and the impact we can make on Crohn’s and colitis. Watch the Team Challenge page on this website for the very latest announcements and information on how you can join the fun.

Thanks in advance for your support as I undertake this challenge. Together we can defeat Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis!

  1. I previously ran the Napa to Sonoma half marathon in 2009. The other half marathons I’ve run are San Antonio in 2008, and Las Vegas in both 2009 and 2010. []
  2. Other ways that I’ve been involved in this cause have included walking in Take Steps, bowling, volunteering for various educational events and serving on the board of the nonprofit Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). []

By Kevin A. Barnes

I am a writer, marketing practitioner and astronomer-in-training. My interests include science, technology and the future of just about everything. You can learn more from my Bio page.

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