NAPA, Calif. -- On July 21, Brattleboro resident Dede Cummings ran the Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon with Team Challenge New England to raise funds for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (www.CCFA.org). This was her second Half Marathon with Team New England, and there were over 3,500 runners competing, with 672 from the CCFA.
Cummings ran to raise research funds for the CCFA, whose mission is to find a cure for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and improve the quality of life of the 1.5 million American adults and children who suffer every day, with a time of 2.5 hours and she placed in the middle of the racers on race day.
Since she is from Vermont, she ran with Team Challenge from New England, and the group wore "Boston Strong" T-shirts. Team New England raised the most money of all the teams, over $400,000. The total money raised for the event was over $2.4 million of which 80 percent goes to research. There were teams from across the United States, running to raise money for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America.
Cummings also ran for Ryan McMahon, a former team challenge runner who was injured in the Boston bombing. She is now part of a group called Run for Boston, which is motivated to raise awareness for running as well as for the increase in inflammatory bowel disease worldwide.
According to Cummings, "at mile 12, we turned right and entered the small city of Sonoma. At this point, people were lining the street, and urging us on, which was great. Both of my calves cramped up pretty badly, and I was kind of nervous. I could see the finish line ahead of me, and I thought I might have to sit down and not finish. I have to admit, I did get a little choked up when I crossed the finish line, and I felt really proud of myself for living with Crohn’s disease, yet still living my life to the fullest even after surgery to remove a portion of my small and large intestine."
Cummings is still trying to make her fundraising goal -- with an extension until Aug. 21. The website address for online donations is: http://www.active.com/donate/napaNE13/TCNE_Napa13DCummin1. Donations can still be made using this website, or a check made out to CCFA can be mailed to Cummings at 34 Miller Road, Brattleboro, Vt., 05301.