The Jennipede

If you look hard enough, you can find a great story behind every marathon. Last year, I filled you in on my friend Janelle and her Chicago Marathon run w/ legally blind cousin E.J. Scott. This year I want to fill you in on Team Jennipede.

Jenny Crain--one of the best

If you don’t know the story, Jenny Crain was once one of the dominant marathon runners in the U.S. That all changed in 2008 when she was struck by a car during a training run. She suffered traumatic brain injury and today spends the majority of her time in rehab trying to regain all that she has lost.

Runner’s World covered this story a while back and at the time, the article drew attention to the fact that Jenny’s family was facing hard decisions regarding her care thanks to the spiraling medical costs involved. Fortunately for Jenny, Team Jennipede stepped up at this year’s Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon.

Team Jennipede was made up of 62 runners all tethered together for the duration of the marathon. Their effort was on track to earn $100,000 for Jenny’s care. They crossed the line together, with Runner’s World’s Bart Yasso pushing Jenny across the finish line in a custom jogging stroller alongside them.

What I love about this story is that no one forgot Jenny. How often do we all stop and pause in the face of tragedy and pledge our support, only to forget about the athlete, the cause, the event, a few years down the road. I can think of a few NFL players who were paralyzed over the years, but can I remember their names? Nope. Runners have big hearts and it’s great to see that on display for Jenny’s cause.

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  1. says

    It was a true honor to be a part of Team Jennipede. We had our small problems along the course, but nothign was going to stop us from supporting Jenny they way she supported the Milwaukee runnign community for years. Jenny did corss the finish line with us holding all our hands at some point in time during the last quarter mile. The support and media coverage in Milwaukee was outstanding and will only help to raise more money for the Jenny Crain Make It Happen Fund. Her rehabilitation costs nearly $85,000 per year so the $110,000 we raised will help tremendously.

    Thank you, Miss Zippy, for bringing her story to more runners all over the country. Jenny inspires us all here, I hope she can inspire you all as well.

    I have a few posts of Jenny on my blog aver the past couple years as well as some Jennipede posts too. My latest has a few YouTube links to video of us running and of Jenny. Please read more. Thank you all!!!
    Bill recently posted..Race Report – Jennipede World RecordMy Profile

  2. says

    I do remember reading this story in Runner’s World. It was heartbreaking and reminds us to cherish every moment because things can change in an instant.

    It’s awesome that so many runners came out in support of Jenny and her family and the medical bills. Runners truly do have HUGE hearts!
    Tara recently posted..Random Friday MusingsMy Profile

  3. says

    Such a tragic yet inspiring story! Actually reading about Jenny has made me more aware when I am out on the run and helps me to appreciate every step I get to take.


  4. says

    I hadn’t heard about the team to raise money for her. That is so awesome. I remember learning about the accident and read the Runner’s World article with interest. Thanks for sharing about this team and reminding me to be thankful.
    Christina recently posted..Quit Using GUMy Profile

  5. says

    that gave me chills. but you’re right, we need to slow down and remember. these injuries can affect someone for a life time so they shouldn’t be forgotten.
    Denise recently posted..Catching UpMy Profile

  6. Jen says

    I was also one of the runners in the Jennipede! Thank you for sharing this! It was a remarkable day and accomplishment!