Team CHM Athletes racing Ironman featured on ABC15 Phoenix

With Jodi McLaughlin & Danny Boren’s first ever Ironman Triathlon getting ready to start this Sunday – November 16.  ABC15 Phoenix spent a few minutes talking CHM and Ironman racing with the Team CHM athletes.

 

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If video does not appear above click here to link to ABC15 story and video

 

Markie Devoe featured on WFMZ News New Jersey!

For the 2nd year in a row the Devoe Family will be hosting a benefit concert for the Choroideremia Research Foundation by the Wizards of Winter – including 3 original Trans Siberian Orcistra band members.  WFMZ News covers the upcoming event and talks with Markie along with Markie’s parents, Mark & Sue Devoe, about CHM and life with this condition.  Well done Markie!  Click Here to go straight to the WFMZ news story and watch this great coverage!

Jeff proves he has the “Heart of a Lion” in Marathon #3

How can one person run marathon after marathon, week after week?  How is the human body capable of such a sustained and continuous beating?  The answer is Heart.  Jeff Benelli has not only incredible physical abilities, but more importantly a heart that is filled with courage and purpose – and that heart was on display Sunday, November 9, when Jeff stepped to the line of the Gobbler Grind Marathon in Overland Park, Kansas.

Just 7 days after his last marathon, which Jeff described as the hardest thing he has ever done physically, he prepared to tackle another 26.2 miles on foot.  Over the first 12 miles of the marathon Jeff held pace to do a 3:40 marathon – but then his calves started to hurt and doubt began creeping in his mind as to whether he could finish with the growing pain in his calves.  Then Jeff recalled what a Sports Doctor had told him last week – “In endurance events . . . the body will only do what the body can do”.  Jeff said to himself “let’s test that theory!” and he pushed for the next 7 miles powering on despite the growing pain in his calves.

At mile 17 Jeff saw his family, and as he ran past his two boys he pounded his chest and shouted to them “I’m gonna get under 4:00 boys . . . heart of a lion, HEART OF A LION!”  But by mile 19 Jeff was feeling that his ‘lion’s roar’ was closer to a ‘cat’s meow’, as he battled through pain and searched for more leg strength after his multiple back-to-back marathons.

He pushed through the last 7 miles of the race, finishing in 4:15 and claiming 7th in his age group.  When the race was over Jeff turned to his boys and said “I gave it all I had boys.  I just had nothing left.”

Help support Jeff’s amazing 4 marathons in 5 weeks as he races to end blindness cause by CHM . . . the final race in the series, the Philadelphia Marathon, will happen on Sunday November 23 – show your support today!

 

Driscoll family & friends raise over $20,000 – blindfolded!

imageOn Sunday, November 9, Tara Cassidy-Driscoll – along with her kids as well as other family and friends set off on the Boston River Run – a 5k race along the Charles River.  In order to raise funds for the Choroideremia Research Foundation Tara raced the entire event BLINDFOLDED!  The team printed Team CHM signs, sported shirts, and raised great awareness about CHM as well as bringing in over $20,000 in donations!

The Driscoll family is building on a successful track record of great fundraising events, and the entire group braved the chilly New England weather to take strides in bringing a cure for Choroideremia across the finishline.

image Click here to donate to the Driscoll Family’s 5k fundraising event, and help to end blindness caused by CHM now!

Jeff Grits his teeth and powers through Marathon 2

No one has ever said that success comes easy.  And when you talk about marathon running, the depths of pain and mental fatigue that can assail you on race day are of a kind and intensity that can force you to question how far you can go before everything gives out.

On Sunday, November 2, 2014 Jeff Benelli stepped to the line in Springfield, MO to take on his second marathon in 2 weeks – and looked ahead to yet another marathon just seven days away.  Jeff had done his training, and he knew what a marathon would take.  But as the race started and the temperature dropped from 45 degrees down to 39 Jeff fought strong winds and immense visual challenges.  With crowds of people, Jeff fought to stay with his pace group in the early part of the race as he strained to use his limited vision to navigate through other runners.

As the early part of the race faded into the distance the run course did not let up from a visually challenging perspective.  With a poorly marked 1/2 marathon turn-off that confused many fully sighted racers, uneven pavement and metal poles set on trails that the marathon followed, Jeff had to dodge these obstacles – narrowly missing one of the metal poles at one point as he raced ahead.  Even with his intense focus Jeff still tripped and fell on uneven pavement, and a second time tripped over an orange cone during the race.  Those sorts of mental blows, and the eye strain from paying such close attention throughout a race as long as a marathon add an entirely new dimension to the level of effort required.

Then the cramps hit.

At mile 12 Jeff’s hamstrings started to seize up.  For the next 14 miles it was a race of pure mental toughness as Jeff “dead-legged” it all the way to the finish.  Gritting his teeth, and fighting through what he describes as the “most physically painful hours of my life” – this seasoned marathoner knew that he had set a mission for himself, and that despite the visual challenges, the falls, the cramping, and the severely cold weather he needed to get across the finish line.

As the race wore on, Jeff dropped back from his 3:40 pace group – knowing that he had yet another marathon coming up in 7 days, and if he pushed too hard any long term damage could take him out of that event.  In the end Jeff crossed the line in 4:20 – and placed in the top 20 of his age division, even with all of the obsticals the day threw at him.

Jeff is racing to cure blindness caused by Choroideremia, and he continues to push himself to a point that most of us can hardly imagine.  Click here to support Jeff’s incredible efforts at last Sunday’s race, and to support him as he lines up for his next 2 marathons in the weeks ahead.