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.

537 full The 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. What an amazing, moving story!
    Katie recently posted..A day of revelationsMy Profile

  2. That is seriously awesome!
    kari @ Running Ricig recently posted..completely rational and clear headedMy Profile

  3. I’m sure football players and coaches remember the names of those players. We are runners so of course we are focused on our sport, our passion. This is an incredibly moving act and story, was watching the Tweets come in the other day.
    Raquelita recently posted..On the Table: Autumnal Butternut Squash, Chickpea, and Quinoa SaladMy Profile

  4. Thanks for sharing!!
    BDD recently posted..Letter To MyselfMy Profile

  5. Fantastic story. Thanks for posting about it!

  6. I remember that story so well! It just broke my heart when I opened the magazine to read the details. What a wonderful thing Team Jennipede did!
    julie recently posted..Monday Morning Dance PartyMy Profile

  7. wow, I hadn’t heard this story! Thanks for sharing it….
    Molly recently posted..That run should have put me to sleepMy Profile

  8. 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

  9. What a touching story – that actually gave me goosebumps!
    marlene recently posted..September 2011My Profile

  10. I remember reading about Jenny and how heartbreaking her story was. So awesome that people stepped up to help out – I love us runners!!
    Jill recently posted..The Golden Rockies / Week 5My Profile

  11. That is so great that Jenny could be part of it!
    Kovas recently posted..Lake Michigan Wine Shore Trail – Day 1My Profile

  12. What a great story! I’ll have to look this up and read more!
    Suzanne recently posted..Playing in the YardMy Profile

  13. Such a cool story!

  14. 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

  15. Great to get a follow-up (and a positive one like this) to the RW story, which I also remember vividly.
    Terzah recently posted..Recap of Mario Lopez Eating: Week 1My Profile

  16. Awesome story. Thanks MissZippy for posting it.

  17. I love this story and I love the running community. Jenny’s story is such a sad one but at the same time there is much inspiration. Thanks for sharing!
    Erin Henderson (@SeeMomRunFar) recently posted..The Family that Plays togetherMy Profile

  18. 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.


  19. One of my good friends was one of the runners in the Jennipede. They did an awesome job and it was a beautiful day in so many ways. If anyone want to donate to Jenny Crain’s rehab fund here is the link.

  20. wonderful story, thank you for sharing!
    Jeff recently posted..Things that Bother Me: The Triathlete EditionMy Profile

  21. Such an inspiring story. And so sad that yet another athlete was cut down in their prime by a car. I hear it all too often.
    Char recently posted..Making AdjustmentsMy Profile

  22. Wow! That’s truly inspirational!
    Christel recently posted..The Half that was – Koln Half Marathon recapMy Profile

  23. If I remember correctly they did a story on her on Inside Sports on HBO. It was uplifting and very motivating.
    Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race recently posted..Toyota US Open Championships 2011 Race ReportMy Profile

  24. Milwaukee Lakefront was one of the races I debated for my marathon. I heard so much about the Jennipede over the weekend. Proud to see it happen in Milwaukee – great city!
    Run with Jess recently posted..Race Recap: Quad Cities MarathonMy Profile

  25. Yep Jenny Crain is still a very big deal, especially around here and in the Milwaukee area. Tons of cool fundraisers to help her and her family. Runners are awesome!
    Teamarcia recently posted..Weekend Rewind: Pumpkin EnvyMy Profile

  26. What a story. Is there an ongoing way to contribute?
    Gracie (complicated day) recently posted..Visiting KeeneMy Profile

  27. How inspiring. Thanks for sharing and for the reminder.

    And, I LOVE your new digs! Well, it may not be new … I’ve been a bad blog reader lately, but I’m happy to be back. Very nice.

    Winks & Smiles,
    Wifey recently posted..Can it be Sunday Again, Please?My Profile

  28. 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

  29. what an incredible story. Amazing how people are there for us when we need them most. Thank you for sharing…

  30. 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

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

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