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I have met the most amazing people through the Team Challenge program who have become my closest friends! We are all working toward the same goal... finding a cure for Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. — Leigh

When you join the Team, not only will you receive a comprehensive program to help you achieve your fitness goals, but you will become part of the Team Challenge family. As a Team, we challenge ourselves, change lives and fundraise for cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis - two painful, debilitating, and seldom-discussed digestive diseases. With Team Challenge, you become part of the solution!

Why join Team Challenge?

Here’s what Team Challenge offers you:

Information Sessions

We have many races both nationally and internationally, please contact us for more information!

Angel Whitworth, awhitworth@crohnscolitisfoundation.org or 646-942-6520: Triathlon, International, Marathon, Cycle, Race In Orange 
Becky Burris, rburris@crohnscolitisfoundation.org or 646-352-1016: Marathon, Half marathon, 10k, 5k 
Joe Cobucci, jcobucci@crohnscolitisfoundation.org or 404-429-3057: Corporate teams

Events

Maui Oceanfront Marathon, Half Marathon, 15K, 10K & 5K

Start off 2019 on the right foot and head to the Aloha state with Team Challenge! Whether you’re interested in a marathon, half marathon, 15k, 10k, or 5k, this race truly has it all. Run or walk along the oceanfront with views of some of the prettiest beaches in the world, and finish at Kamehameha Iki Park. Take in the sights, including whales, volcanos, mountains, and rainbows, and enjoy traditional Hawaiian entertainment at the finish. This is one race you don’t want to miss!

Event Date: January 20, 2019



Austin Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K

Team Challenge is heading to the capital of Texas in 2019, yee-haw! The Austin Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5k has something to offer for everyone! If music gets you going, you’ll love the 20+ bands playing live country, blues, and rock music along the course. Into history? Make sure to take in the incredible landmarks such as the UT Tower, “I love you” mural, and South Congress Ave as you race across the city. Finally, the numerous incredible food trucks positioned strategically at the finish line after party will be a hit with anyone looking for a delicious post-race meal!

Event Date: February 17, 2019



Boston' Run to Remember Half Marathon & 5 Miler

Run or walk in historic Boston! Boston’s Run to Remember includes a 5 mile and a half marathon option, and both courses allow participants to see sights such as Boston Common, the State House, and Faneuil Hall. This one is sure to be a wicked good time!

Event Date: May 26, 2019



Rock n’ Roll San Diego Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K & Relay

Join the Team Challenge family at the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon, Half Marathon, Relay, and 5k! Race in this beautiful Southern California city and get ready to be entertained by the many bands featured along the course!

Event Date: June 2, 2019



Race In Orange

Team Challenge is excited to announce a new option in the fight against Crohn’s & Colitis. Whether you love to run/walk a 5k, get dirty in a mud run, cruise in a cycle event, or tri a triathlon…you can now help support the Foundation's mission with no fundraising commitment! Set your own goal. The more you raise, the more rewards you receive!


Honored Heroes

Chloe

Chloe and KimIn 2011, the day before Thanksgiving, Chloe had her first scopes done at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She had just turned 7. Chloe had belly pain as early as her preschool years. At four years old after her older brother’s celiac diagnosis, Chloe also was diagnosed with the antibodies for celiac disease, but even with a gluten free diet, she had pain. 

In January 2011, Chloe began to wake up at night with diarrhea. With only nondescript belly pain, her pediatrician expected the episodes of diarrhea to pass. Her lab work looked good except being borderline anemic. In the fall 2011, a family member noticed how pale Chloe was. Sometimes it is hard to see the gradual changes when you’re with someone all the time. But with new eyes, we agreed that she looked unhealthy. With her regular scheduled yearly checkup right around the corner on the calendar, we waited and discussed her symptoms with her pediatrician again. We asked for a referral for a pediatric GI appointment. Chloe was seen at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and her lab results revealed severe anemia. She was quickly scheduled for an upper endoscopy and colonoscopy. During those tests, the doctor immediately diagnosed IBD from the visual inspection of her colon, which was fully involved with disease.

Since her original diagnosis, Chloe spent a year, 2013-2014, struggling with C Diff.  She had two unsuccessful Fecal Microbiota Transplants. Chloe also had an additional diagnosis of Primary Scleroscing Cholangitis, an extraintenstinal manifestation of IBD, in 2014. Chloe has had to work harder to feel normal. She has had to try multiple medications with their own sets of side effects. She continues to be dependent on medications to be healthy. She has to eat differently than her friends and family with the hope of relief and remission. She has been afraid to leave the house if no bathroom would be available. She has rushed off a soccer field because she just couldn’t wait. The challenge of IBD makes Chloe work even harder to succeed because her stamina is not as good as her teammates. And as a 13 year old, she just wants to play soccer, draw, read, and be outside in nature like a “normal” kid. 

For Chloe, Team Challenge is a way to overcome the loneliness and isolation of IBD. She loves meeting and being with people who get what she’s going through. Team Challenge encourages Chloe that people care about what is happening to her body and that there is hope for a better future with new treatments and ultimately a cure. A cure would mean not being dependent on pills. It would mean no more surveillance colonoscopies and no more clean outs with Gatorade & Miralax...blah. It would mean energy and strength. It would mean no worries about how long remission will last, and not just for Chloe, but for everyone living with IBD.

 

Coaching

Coach Dave McGovern, Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k, 5k
Coach Dave McGovern
Coach Dave is a globe-trotting running and walking coach with a master's degree in sport science from the United States Sports Academy. During his competitive career Dave represented the United States on nearly 20 USA Track & Field international teams, won 15 U.S. National Championships and competed in 8 Olympic trials--the most of any track & field athlete in any event in US history. 

As a private coach, Dave has had more than a dozen athletes qualify for the United States Olympic Track & Field Trials. Dave has also coached the national team of Ghana, West Africa, and has been named to the coaching staffs of several USA Track and Field teams, most recently as the Head Coach for the US Team at the 2012 Race Walking World Cup in Saransk, Russia.

Although recognized world-wide as a top athlete and coach, Dave points to his work with Team Challenge as one of his proudest achievements. Dave has been a National Coach with Team Challenge since the program's inception, and has served as Run Coach for Team Long Island since 2008. His interest in Team Challenge was sparked by his personal connection to The Foundation's mission - his wife, Loretta, has colitis.

 

Coach Ken Lucchesi, Triathlon
coach ken.jpg
Coach Ken combines extensive personal experience in endurance events with a fun and balanced attitude towards training and fitness. He has been a part of Team Challenge since 2011 and has coached both our half marathon and triathlon seasons.

In addition to coaching our National Triathlon Team, Ken also serves as the Head Coach for our Northern California team. He is a valued member of the Team Challenge family! He began his impressive athletic career as a tennis player turned runner and triathlete. He began running in 1998 and has completed six marathons, ten half marathons, six Ironman triathlons, and numerous other athletic events since then.

He is a certified personal trainer (American College of Sports Medicine) with experience coaching athletes of all skill levels and has a positive, energetic attitude towards fitness. He also recently received his Road Runners Club of America "Run Coach" Certification and is a USA Triathlon-certified Level 1 triathlon coach. Ken has a passion for helping athletes reach their fitness goals and is excited to help you cross the finish line for a cure! 

 

Coach Marc Blandin, Cycle
Coach Marc BlandinTeam Challenge National Cycling Coach Marc Blandin is an avid runner and cyclist with a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education with a concentration in coaching.  

Marc has competed in many bike rides and races including a number of century rides over the last fifteen years.  He has also run more than thirty-five marathons including Boston, New York, and London.  Additionally, he has raced in a number of duathlons and ultra-relays. For many years, Marc was a personal trainer working with celebrities, athletes, and clients whose skills ranged from beginner to professional.  

During the past ten years, he has combined his passion for volunteer work with his passion for exercise, serving as race director for a local road race as well as a triathlon. Marc first became involved with Team Challenge as a running coach with the New England Chapter in 2010, and has served as the Cycle coach since 2012.  Marc loves training cyclists of all ages and abilities, and is always excited to be coaching with the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation.

Additional Details

For more information about how the National Team works, please click here.

To get more information about joining the team, please contact the National Team Manager for your event of interest.

Angel Whitworth, awhitworth@crohnscolitisfoundation.org or 646-942-6520: Triathlon, International, Marathon, Cycle, Race In Orange
Becky Burris, rburris@crohnscolitisfoundation.org or 646-352-1016: Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k, 5k 
Joe Cobucci, jcobucci@crohnscolitisfoundation.org or 404-429-3057: Corporate teams