Twelve dedicated runners, all living with Parkinson’s Disease (PD), will take on one of the most grueling relay road races in the US – the 208-mile Blue Ridge Relay (BRR) on September 9-10.
The Team Synapse runners, despite the many physical limitations from PD, have only 35 hours to finish the race. They will confront 17,000 feet of ascent and must average a 10-minute mile pace to meet the race time limits. The race is from Virginia to North Carolina in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains.
Each runner takes on three of 36 race segments. Segments average six miles, so each runner will run approximately 18 miles. The race is non-stop, so in addition to PD, the team will have to carefully manage meals, hydration, physical recovery, and sleeping minutes to beat the time limit.
Team Synapse’s purpose is to raise awareness and funds to help find a cure for PD. It also wants to inspire those with Parkinson’s to exercise, the only way to slow the progression of the disease. Team Synapse is organized by not-for-profit Uncorked Adventures whose mission is to help people live better with PD while working together to find a cure.
Putting together a team of 12 runners, all living with PD, to take on this grueling endeavor is truly unprecedented.” says Bill Bucklew who leads Uncorked Adventures. “We combed our network of dedicated and relentless athletes, tapping into their inspirational missions. We feel like we have assembled a “dream team.”
Team Synapse features runners with backgrounds that include an American Ninja Warrior and her fiancé, a pilot and even a chef. The team includes Rhonda Foulds, Bill Bucklew, Joe Drake, Peter Leech, Christopher Lion, Renee Trent, Jacqui Sukie, Scott Fernandez, Jared Koch, Janet Vickers, Greg O’Keefe, Jason Kopacz, Steven Eury and alternate Allison Toepperwein. The team comes from across the US.
The team’s name highlights how PD inhibits synaptic communications between the brain and body. This leads to motor control problems like tremors, so by strengthening the synapses, the communication gap can be closed. The name also means raising money to help close the gap between fundraising and finding a cure for Parkinson’s.
“We are honored to have Team Synapse focus on inspiration, awareness and fundraising to support research to find a cure,” says Liz Diemer, Vice President, Community Fundraising at Team Fox of The Michael J. Fox Foundation. “The Team is giving so much of themselves physically and emotionally to support the Foundation’s efforts to find a cure for Parkinson’s.”
“This relay team is such a great metaphor for life, showing how we all can accomplish so much more working together. It’s also so important for people living with neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s to exercise regularly,” says Bucklew. “We hope to raise significant research funds towards finding a cure, while inspiring people to stay active.”
“The demand for better treatments and a cure is increasingly critical. While there’s no cure for Parkinson’s, research suggests that exercise is one of the best things for your mind and body,” says Bucklew. “The stage is set for an epic endeavor, and we can’t wait to conquer the Blue Ridge Relay.”
To support Team Synapse: Donate Here.
[Source(s): Team Synapse, Business Wire]