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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:


Our run/walk team will start training for our hometown race, the San Diego Rock n' Roll Half Marathon, on Saturday, March 2 so sign up today to join the Team Challenge Family-- there's no commitment to sign up! Contact team manager Rena Rorro for more information on current or upcoming events (or attending training to see what our team is like) at rena@crohnscolitisfoundation.org or call/text 646-899-0602.

Whether it's your first race or you're a seasoned endurance athlete, you'll get full time staff support and work with professional coaches twice a week who are KNOWLEDGEABLE in all aspects endurance training.  They are EXPERIENCED and have trained all levels, from beginners to advanced participants to cross the finish line!  Whether you have questions on what kind of shoes to wear or need a run buddy during the week, they will help you every step of the way. Every team member is fully SUPPORTED by their coach, mentors, teammates and staff!

 

 Upcoming Events

Newport Dunes Tri

Newport Dunes Triathlon

Team Challenge Tri is keeping the tradition alive in its 9th year with a sunny Southern California race at the Newport Dunes Triathlon (in Orange County). Choose from a sprint or Olympic distance triathlon, and celebrate at the beautiful finish line, with Newport Lagoon as the backdrop!

Event Date: November 3, 2019


Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas

Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Run or walk the Las Vegas Strip at night with Team Challenge! The Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas events offer a 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon, with each course offering the opportunity to take in some of Las Vegas’ famous lights and sights.

Event Date: November 17, 2019


Key West Half Marathon & 5K

Key West Half Marathon & 5K

Head south for the winter and run or walk with Team Challenge in the Florida Keys! The Key West Half Marathon & 5K is known for its flat course and unique race expo. Don’t miss your chance to race in this historic, beautiful city!

Event Date: January 19, 2020


Bass Lake Triathlon

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!


 

Meet the Run/Walk Coach!

Philip Dunn

Hello! I'm Coach Philip, the head coach for Team Challenge as we prepare for the awesome 2019 San Diego Rock N Roll Half-Marathon. I’m returning to Team Challenge after a two-year break to work as Head Cross Country running coach for San Diego Mesa Community College. I first started coaching with Team Challenge ten years ago for numerous Vegas, Napa and Kona seasons. I feel like I’m back home where I belong.

I've been coaching athletes of various skill levels for almost 30 years at training camps, retreats and fitness clinics around the country. My coaching focus is on running and walking for fun and fitness with a special interest in competitive racewalking (more on that later). Over the past ten years, I have coached hundreds of athletes across the half-marathon finish line. My proudest moment as a coach is sharing in the incredible joy that my athletes feel as they accomplish their goal of completing a half or full marathon. What a rush!

As an athlete, I raced all over the world representing Team USA (my other team!) at international racewalking competitions. My career highlights include racing in the red, white and blue at the Olympic Games in 2000, 2004 and 2008 and the Pan American Games in 1999, 2003 and 2007 in the 50km racewalk, an event in Track & Field. My personal best time for 50 kilometers is 3:56:13, about 7:35/mile pace... walking! I also love running, especially on the trails, so don't be surprised to see me helping out with both the runners and walkers this season. Gotta keep the team united behind one goal: finish that race!

For a more complete athlete bio, you can check me out at: http://www.usatf.org/Athlete-Bios/Archive-Bios/Philip-Dunn.aspx/  And if you want more, you can read my Olympic blogs (see archive) at my very out-dated blog: http://olympicwalk.blogspot.com/ 

 

Meet our Honored Hero!

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My name is McKenna, I am 26 years old and I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease 10 years ago, shortly after my 16th birthday. I was heading into my sophomore year of high school as a promising varsity cross country and 800-meter track runner, a national-level Irish dancer and a straight-A student when my symptoms began. I went from having boundless energy, to dragging myself out of bed over the course of just a few weeks due to severe iron deficiency. My favorite foods caused me to be doubled over with abdominal pain. When my diagnosis came about six months later, I remember feeling like a huge weight was lifted, but my parents were devastated as my dad had recently undergone surgery for ulcerative colitis and they couldn’t imagine me going through the same.

 The remainder of my high school journey was a roller coaster of countless doctor’s visits and ineffective medications. I struggled with self-confidence issues that came along with weight loss and prednisone side effects. Through it I learned that I had friends who would stick by my side through the moon face and accidents. I learned that I could still finish a cross-country race - even if I didn’t finish first – and that I could still get into any college I wanted. Two years later, I found myself at University of California, Berkeley and despite a few bumps in the road, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy in 2014, had the opportunity to work as an Endurance Manager for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, and I am now working my way towards figuring out what I want to do long-term.

 Almost two years ago, I underwent a surgery to completely remove the lowest part of my large intestine, and am now adapting to a new lifestyle with a permanent colostomy bag, which has given me freedom and confidence back. Over the last 11 years, I’ve encountered it all – from adapting to new schedules, new medications, new diets, weight changes, other physical changes, changes in my outlook on life and my personality, mental health changes and struggles – it’s been quite a journey. But through it all, I’m grateful. It makes me who I am and I get to be part of this incredible community. I can’t express my gratitude in being your honoree this season. I can’t wait to share more of my story, and be beside you as you raise much needed funds and awareness of these diseases.

Best,

McKenna