Runner Spotlight | Saving Grace

Ever wonder who’s standing next to you in your corral at the start line, or cheering you on when you’re about to give up during a race? As runners we all have a story, a motivation to run whether it’s a personal challenge, to stay fit, bond with friends, raise money for charity, or work through a difficult time. Today’s post comes from Nikki Walters, a mother and runner who found support through the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas charity partner Team Challenge.

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I originally joined Team Challenge to help raise awareness and the necessary funds to find cures for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) for my 7 year old daughter Grace.  Little did I know that Team Challenge would be my saving grace for watching my daughter live through this roller coaster of a disease.  I was encouraged by others stories who have suffered much worse and for much longer than my baby girl. I was able to connect with other moms who had so many inspiring words of wisdom tgraceo share.  And I was introduced to the world of running where I could escape the chaos of the day and just breathe. 

Our local team training not only offered support for me mentally, but the Team Challenge coaching crew was absolutely amazing too.  By following their training plan I went from not being able to run a complete mile to running the entire Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon in 2 hours and 22 minutes!

The entire race weekend was the icing on the cake!  The team pasta party was amazing;  the number of people in one room united for the same cause is an indescribable feeling.  For the event, Team Challenge supporters were cheering throughout the entire course and our amazing coaches were there to bring us across the finish line – you couldn’t help but want to keep running.  The entire experience was just what the doctor ordered – for me.  I still hate IBD and I hate that Grace has it but now at least I have hope and I have Team Challenge to thank for that. 

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