Midwest 5 Marathon Challenge

$1,808 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 17 people in 46 months
I am one of the five co-founders of myTEAM TRIUMPH, Inc.; a non-profit organization that provides racing opportunities for people with disabilities. When we originally started this organization in Grand Rapids, MI in 2008, we drew inspiration from many of our life experiences. My personal inspiration was drawn from my experience as a Physical Therapist and my desire to compete as an athlete after my first Ironman in Wisconsin in 2007. The success attained in our first year of operation inspired us to develop a chapter model in 2009. I am the current President and Executive Director of the West Michigan Chapter. We have more than 30 chapters across the USA with 1 in Canada and 1 in the Netherlands.

One of the first Captains to race with us in 2008 was a then young 11-year old boy named Matt Smith. Matt is one of triplets and was born with cerebral palsy. However this did not detract form his lust for life and adventure, and soon he became a regular Captain on our race schedule. He has since competed in over 20 races with us as his Angels. Matt serves tirelessly in his community as a Captain and spokesperson for our organization. His inspiration to the local endurance community was recognized in 2012 when he was presented with the AIM High Moving People Forward award. Since then, he has also received his Eagle Scout honors and most recently the Congressional Medal of Merit as he continues to inspire his community.

Two years ago, while I was pushing Matt through a local 25K race, he expressed a desire to participate in the Boston Marathon – more as an expression of a dream rather than thinking he would actually be allowed to compete in it. A few conversations later, Matt and I were starting to think that this could become a reality. However we soon found out that the Boston Marathon was harder to get into than we expected as they allow very few chairs to be pushed through the course.

Not to let a "NO" stop us, over the past couple of weeks, Matt & I have come up with our own quest! We are calling it the Midwest 5 Marathon Challenge. It’s where we set out on an adventure to participate in 5 keys marathons in the midwest in 2015. We have identified the 5 states that we would like to participate in this year as: Ohio (Glass City Marathon), Wisconsin (Green Bay Marathon), Indiana (Sunburst Marathon), Illinois (Fox Valley Marathon) & Michigan (Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon).  We will use this opportunity to raise awareness for people with disabilities, promote an active lifestyle, inspire others to run with us, and change our communities one kind act at a time. I know this would also mean the world to Matt as he graduates from high school this year and starts his own new quest at at local university. Thank you for supporting us on this adventure.

You can also find more details about us on our website at www.mTTWestMichigan.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MTTWestMichigan.
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All right, folks! It's time to knock out #3! We made it to South Bend, IN, and just picked up our packets! We had a warm welcome by the Race Day Coordinator and the Race Director. We are looking forward to another great race together!
Matt's planning to catch up on his tan tomorrow...
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Marathon #2 is in the books! Vinnie kept the rain away but I should have been more specific as we ran in 98% humidity speckled with bouts of bright sunshine and stronger winds! Nonetheless we got it done with a finish time of 5:20. Factor in some bathroom breaks for all, a much needed stop at the Parrot Bay Margarita aid station at mile 24.5, and lots of great pics by the incomparable Matt Hop, we had a GREAT time! Thank you for all your support! Now for a hot shower and a 7 hour ride home! Yay!
Photo op IN Lambeau Field! Priceless!
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And we're on the final stretch for marathon #2. Glad we arrived here yesterday as what should have been a 6-hour trip turned into 10 hours thanks to Chi-town traffic! We made it to packet pickup at Lambeau Stadium and got our "good luck charm" covered by taking our pic in front of Vince Lombardi's statue!

Thanks for your financial support & your prayers. We are just over 25% toward our fundraising goal. We would like to get to 40% or $2,000 by tomorrow. If you have not had a chance to do so yet, please support us by clicking on the link. We can INSPIRE our world together!
Vince Lombardi will keep a watchful eye over us
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And the adventure continues! I can't believe it's already been 2 1/2 weeks since marathon #1. In the meantime, we had a great training run at the 2015 Riverbank Run 25K this past Saturday. We had the pleasure of being joined by Angels Matt Hop, Vikki Boersma & Jessie Popma! We were a little worried about the weather but strong morning rains turned into showers of blessing as we ran the 25K in otherwise humid conditions. Our goal to INSPIRE OUR COMMUNITY was a great success judging from all the positive comments we got along the way.

This Friday, we will head to Green Bay, WI to run marathon #2: The Cellcom Green Bay Marathon will be held on Sunday May 17th, 2015. We are looking forward to a strong finish; this time with the assistance of Angel Matt Hop.

Our challenge to YOU: Spread the inspiration by performing ONE UNCONDITIONAL ACT OF KINDNESS in the next 24 hours. A simple act of kindness can CHANGE someone's life forever! Imagine that!

Thank you ALL for supporting this adventure! Stay tuned for more updates :-)
A wet 25K finish at Riverbank Run May-15
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$1,808 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 17 people in 46 months
Created April 24, 2015
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Melissa Larson
45 months ago

Go Matt!!

Scott Zuke
45 months ago

Way to go Matt!

robert vandongen
45 months ago

both are great examples to follow

Pat Simpson
46 months ago

Go get 'em Matt and Matt!!

46 months ago
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