It is HERE! Thank you Hooligan’s!

Week 22: 180 Miles from Denver, CO to Wray, CO in 6 days.

May 31-June 5th, 2016.  Segment #8 for MS Run the US;  Donation Amount:  $150

Total Raised: $12,600

Fundraising Site:

stop ms


Well, it is here!! I leave tomorrow for my segment of the relay across America to raise money and awareness for those living with MS, and I start running my miles on Tuesday bright and early.  The last runner, Kaitlyn Morgan, will be finishing her 180 mile segment today, there is a day off for the crew on Memorial day and for me to get settled and then we are off!   It was a lot of fun to watch Kaitlyn’s segment on Facebook and the MS Site because it was such a beautiful run!  Segment #6 and #7 are always my favorite to follow because of the amazing scenery of the mountains of Utah and Colorado.  Not to mention Kaitlyn is so tough and has such a great motivation to run for MS because her dad has it.  What a great way to honor her Dad!   Awesome work Kaitlyn!!

runner 7

As far as me and how my last week has been… let’s just say I am trying not to freak out.  This last week kicked my butt work wise and my days started by 5 a.m. and went solid until about 8:30 p.m. and that did not leave much energy left for a run.  But a majority of the day was on my feet and walking, so it is not like I am not moving every day.  According to my Fitbit I usually cover about 10-14 miles each day walking, so that’s something!   I guess that is better than flaring up my piriformis (my injured muscle that is the reason I had to be careful and cut way back on running this year) right before I go, because I usually feel it a little after any run longer than about 6 miles.  Which is not good for me this next week, but if it stays mild then I can handle it.  So we will see.  I have no idea what is going to happen and that is the scariest part.   But I am just planning on going with the flow and enjoying my “running vacation” and knowing that what I am doing is making a difference.

My good friend Aarika gave me a bracelet for my birthday that says “Though she be but little, she is fierce”  and I am keeping this on my entire run to remind me that even though I am just one person, I can make a difference (with the help of all those who donated, of course!!)  So on that note, I am ready to go, do the best I can, and raise awareness for MS and all those affected by it!

This week the big sponsor is Hooligan’s Supper Bar and the owner and one of my clients Mark Buesing!  Thank you so much Mark for once again sponsoring the big week and my segment of MS Run the US and helping me make a difference!!

BIG Sponsor of the Week for Segment #8:  Hooligan’s Supper Bar


Location:  2017 East North Ave, Milwaukee, WI

I am lucky to train the owner of Hooligan’s once a week.  His name is Mark and he is a great guy, and a fellow runner.  I have been training him since fall of 2014.  I enjoy swapping running updates with him on a weekly basis and giving him any advice I have to help him as a newer runner.  He started running several years ago and has done a couple half marathons and has plans to do more in the future.  This is his second year of being one of the big sponsors of my run.  Last year he gave $165 to MS and my segment of the run on behalf of Hooligan’s.  This year he is once again sponsoring my segment by giving $150 to the cause.  Awesome!!

Hooligan’s is Bryan and I’s favorite local place to hang out and get a drink, or a good meal on the East side.  They have awesome outdoor seating in the summer and we enjoy dinner, brunch or just a drink with friends often.  We are and will continue to be loyal customers thanks to Mark’s generosity!  I had my last birthday get together there, and for Bryan’s birthday the year before we got friends together for dinner as well.  They are always very accommodating and it is an easy place to gather with a group of friends.  The service is quick, and the servers are very friendly.

If you have not yet been to Hooligan’s, I must first say WHAT?!?!?! and then after I get over the shock of it, I will tell you to GO!!  It is a great place, with a HUGE variety of good food, daily food specials that change often, a great brunch, lots of beer on tap as well as wine and a large list of specialty drinks.  There is a happy hour with $2 off drinks, $1 off beer, and half price appetizers from 4- 7 pm Monday through Friday.  We eat there 2-4 times per month and we never get sick of it because there is always something new!

Thank you again Mark for the $150 donation, which brings me right to $12,600 for MS!

Well, my journey is coming to an end. A year and 9 months of hard work as a relay runner for MS Run the US.  It has been a wonderful adventure and I treasure the experience and the memories.  It has taught me so much about fundraising and giving back to others.  Thank you for following my journey!  Ready or not, it is HERE!!!

I hope you follow along next week by checking out this page:\follow

Please feel free to send some words of encouragement my way next week…I could use it!

Text my Cell:  (262) 424-4481

Remember to say who it is from if I don’t already have your number!!

Run Happy,

Nikki 🙂


My Bobble Head for the MS Run the US website! 🙂



The final Week! Week 21!

Week 21: May 23-29

Total Sponsorship Amount: $30

Total amount donated by the sponsors:   $90

Current Fundraising Total:  $12,300

Great news! This week I beat my fundraising amount from last year! which means I met my goal!! So exciting!  Now it will be fun to see how much farther I get ahead of the $12,251 I finished with for 2015. So thank you to everyone who once again made this possible! Without all those who donated none of this would be possible.

Running wise I had another set back this week when I woke up with some type of flu (food poisoning??) on Wednesday morning.  It wiped me out for two days and I was able to run again starting Friday.  I ran my  first longer run again Saturday of 9.5 miles.  Which I know is not enough and where I should be but life throws you curves…. And you just do what you can.  That is just how it is ending up this year.

In relay updates this week has been  trip down memory lane with my friend Krista running segment 6 which is Vernal Utah to Steamboat Springs Colorado which is the segment I had last year.  She has not had the greatest time due to injury and major blister issues, but she is so damn inspirational that she makes me feel like I can do anything just by watching her stay tough and walk her miles when she is not able to run.  I am so proud of her and I feel so much more excited for my segment because I should be able to suck it up and make it through as well.  So thank you Krista for being amazing and helping me remember the big picture! This is not about me and what I can accomplish running wise, but that I get out there, try my best and raise awareness for those with MS!!! 🙂

Now on to the 4 sponsors of the week:  Dona, Nancy, Betsey and Susanne!

Sponsor # 1: Betsey Hjertstedt

This is Betsey’s second year being a sponsor.  I have known Bestey for over a year and a half now because I started training her in October of 2014 when Jen my coworker left to be a stay at home mom.  I currently trainer her twice a week in the morning.  She has a son pictured below, who is a really cool kid.  I have gotten the opportunity to meet him a handful of times now, as well as her husband.  Betsey works in the pharmaceutical sales industry and does traveling around Wisconsin for work.   She also likes to run and has already done several races so far this year, such as one quarter marathon and several 5k’s.  This past Christmas she was nice enough to invite my boyfriend Bryan and I to her annual Christmas party which we had a lot of fun attending.

Betsey has been a HUGE support this last year and a half since I started this journey.  She has come to several events and given several big donations!  She came (and brought her son!) to a couple of the Charity yoga classes I taught at Anytime Fitness in the fall for donations.  One of the biggest things I owe her for and am SO thankful for is that she was my volunteer bartender at my biggest fundraiser this past winter, which was the AJ Bombers event.  Without her I would not have raised even CLOSE to as much money as I did for MS because I myself am not a good bartender and it would have been very hard for me to balance everything and do a good job.  I can never say THANK YOU enough for her doing this the entire duration of my event that night.  I am still in awe at how successful that night was!!!  Thank you so much Betsey for everything you have done to help me and all that you have donated to this cause since I started!!

Sponsor #2: Susanne Oliphant

Susanne is another client of mine and a return sponsor!!  She has been an off and on client of mine (depending on her schedule and life events) for over two years now!!  How time flies!  She is someone I look forward to training when because she is great to talk to and she is a hard workers and always determined to get the most out of her workouts.  She never fails to ask how I am doing, how my injury is feeling, and in general showing her support and interest in my life.  Susanne has two kids, a daughter in high school (pictured below) and a son who older and out of school.   She also recently got a cute little dog, also pictured below!

One of the events she took part of was my first fundraiser in 2014, my 60 mile run-a-thon. For some of the miles that day she rode her bike alongside me, showing her support when I was starting to hurt quite a bit.  She took pictures for me, which I am so thankful for because I was not in the mindset to remember to do so myself.  She donated to my 60 miles, and has now given twice as a sponsor.  People like Susanne make this thing I’m doing possible.  I can only meet my fundraising goals because of all the people in my life who are willing to donate to the charity I am running for because they are wonderful, giving and caring individuals.  These are the people I am thankful every day to have in my life.  So THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart Susanne for all the support you have shown me!


Sponsor #3: Don and Nancy Cahen

Mom and Dad!!!  My parents are once again sponsors of the last week before the big event. I cannot believe I leave in 8 days!!  My parents have been very supportive in this whole thing, even though I know they worry about my injuries and how much I tend to push myself with all my running.   They have made all my big events over the past year and a half, this year coming  AJ Bomber, and last year my run-a-thon and Karma.  They have made a handful of donations and are always excited to see my fundraising progress.

I feel like I am the person I am today because of my parents.  I was raised with good values and they stuck as an adult.   I have been running and competing since the year 2000 and   my parents have seen me race as much as they have been able. The ones they haven’t been able to see, they are always anxious to hear about.  My Dad constantly brags about my running successes with everyone he knows.  So if I meet anyone that has ever talked to my Dad in their lives they instantly say to me “Oh! You are the good runner!  Your Dad tells us all about all the races you have won!” or something along those lines.

aj bombers1

Thank you Mom and Dad, for the support in all the variety of running missions I have set out to conquer over the years, such as racing 15+ times a year, training for marathons, running 50 and 60 miles in a day, running 165 miles in 6 days last year, and now doing my best in segment #8 out in Colorado.  Thanks for being there for as many events as you can, and thanks for your donations!  Love you!!!

Thank you again to Betsey, Susanne, Don and Nancy for donating again this year and helping me crush my goal for the second year in arrow!

Want to make a donation?  It is not too late!!!  Please use my fundraising website or email me at:!  Thanks! 🙂

Donate here by copying and pasting the following link! (or clicking)

Also, feel free to visit the MS Run the US homepage!

Have a great week everyone! ONE MORE WEEK TIL MY SEGMENT!  Eeekk!!!

Run happy,

Nikki 🙂

2 Weeks and Counting!

Two weeks… less than 14 days as I write this… and I will be running segment 8 of MS Run the US, year two for me.  What makes it more real is that my friend Krista who has Segment 6- My segment from last year- just started today.  So a year ago I was running, and in two weeks I will be running again.  This year my segment is 180 miles from Denver to Wray, CO.  Do I think I am going to make it that entire way on my own like I did last year?  I would be lying if I said yes.  By some MIRACLE I would LOVE for it to happen.  Just to go out on a good note, since I know I will take a year off from the relay next year.  But I don’t really think it is realistic to say I will make the entire distance by myself without help from other runners.

Pretty much I haven’t really trained.  Have I wanted to train?  Well, yes, I would love to have been able to run and train as hard as I did last year.  I loved last year, it was the best year of my life with all the races, success and miles.  But I have learned that about one hard core running year in a row is all this body can handle.  LAME.  2016 has been a struggle in a lot of ways, but the biggest would be running wise.  I have had set back after set back, from injury to exhaustion, a death in the family and 14 hours work days.  *Sigh* Not much has gone right for me in order for me to even put in a fraction of the miles I needed to in order to be ready for this big event coming up in 13.5 days.

So here is the true test and what I have been wondering about for a couple months now.  Can one run 100-some miles, in 6 days, off of sheer determination, and very little training??  And not suffer an enormous amount?  Ha… I guess I am 13.5 days away from finding out!  *Scary Thought*  How do I feel about this..?  Well.. some days I am absolutely terrified and think it is a horrible idea and I wonder why I did this to myself.  I could have ended on an amazing year, but instead I choose to do it again.  Other days I tell myself that pure determination will carry me farther than I can imagine.  And then I remind myself of the TRUE PURPOSE of what I  am doing. And that is raising at least $10,000 to help Cure MS.  I am currently sitting over $12,000.  So right there I HAVE made a difference.  And that does not count the other $12,000 I raised last year.  So WHO CARES how I feel.  This is not about me.  This is about every single person out there who has MS, as well as those who love someone with MS.

Someone once said to me “There is no such thing as a cure for MS, it will never happen.” (LAME)  As much as it upset me, it did not bring me down.  Because even if the money I help raise does not CURE MS, it will make a difference in the life of someone who is affected by it.  SO HA!

So to wrap this up, I am jut going to say, no I do not feel confident in my ability to cover 180 miles in 6 days… Not at all.  But I do feel confident that I am moving forward (running, walking… crawling…) with a purpose that is bigger than myself and just having raised the money, and being out there will get people’s attention.  And there is no negative to what I have done so far, and I will not necessarily FAIL… I just may not meet my running goal.  But I HAVE crushed my fundraising goal.  And that is what matters most.   See you soon Colorado.  I am not ready, but I’ll be there.  T minus 13.5 days….


Want to help me make a difference?  Donate!  That is all it takes.  You don’t even have to attempt to run 180 miles!  Lucky you! 😉


Run Happy,

Nikki 🙂

stop ms

Thank You Monica for Sponsoring Week 20!

Week 20: May 16-22nd

Total Sponsorship Amount: $55

Total amount donated by the sponsors:   $55

Current Fundraising Total:  $12,100+

This was not a very good week for me at all.  My Grandpa died Friday May 5th and for three days this week (Thurs-Saturday) we spent traveling 10 hours each way to go to his funeral in Sabin Minnesota, which is near Moorehead on the North Dakota border.  There was no real opportunity to run, and the weather was colder than what I packed for, so even though one morning I got up to get a run in, I only made it a mile due to very cold wind and rain and not having the right clothes for that.  The days before we left for the funeral I was feeling pretty low energy and my days were so long and busy that by the time I got home I pretty much could do nothing but crawl into bed.  I know, excuses, right?  It is more than that, I just feel awful most of the time and I just can’t get the energy to run.  So my segment is going to be interesting… 😦

The current runner is runner #5,  Courtney Rotolo, who is running for her brother who has MS.  She is also battling an injury, so she has other runners helping her complete her 180 miles out in Utah.  Next runner up is my good friend Krista, who has my segment from last year.  🙂  I am so excited to follow her run on FB and the MS Run the US webpage to see all the sights I loved so much last year.  It is getting close to being my turn, a little over two weeks.  I am not ready at all. 😦  But ready or not, here it comes.  I will do the best I can despite the constant setbacks I have had this year so far.

So there is the pathetic update on me and my non-ability to run these days, now lets move on to happier things, such as our sponsor Monica!

Sponsor of the week: Monica Wnuk

I met Monica when I started training her three times a week about a year and a half ago.   She is not a current client so I do not see her as often, but I check in with her every so often by text to see how she is doing and say “Hi”. 🙂   Monica does not know anyone personally with MS, but feels that it is a very good cause to donate to due to the high prevalence of people who live with it in this country.   This is the second year that Monica has donated to my segment of MS Run the US and helped me to try to make a difference and find a cure!



Monica works at the VA as a Medical Laboratory Scientist.  She went to Marquette University and graduated with a bachelor’s in Clinical Laboratory Science.  Monica lives with her boyfriend Josh (pictured above) and their two year old cute pup named Jax (below)! 🙂 She likes to lift weights as well as run.  When I was training her she was training for a Tough Mudder race.   Together they like to go to sporting events such as Buck’s and Brewer’s games.   Josh is also active and works out at Anytime a handful of days each week.  Like me, Monica also enjoys a glass of wine after a long work day, and one of these days our schedules will align so that we can get together and catch up over a glass!

monica 2

Thank you again to Monica for donating again this year and helping me crush my goal for the second year in a row!!  🙂

We are almost to the start of my segment!  Only a couple weeks left!  But you can donate all the way through the summer!!  The relay does not end until mid-August and fundraising pages stay open through September for all relay runners!  Spread the word!  Especially if you know someone with MS!

Donate here by copying and pasting the following link!

Also, feel free to visit the MS Run the US homepage!

Have a great week everyone!

Run happy,

Nikki 🙂

Thank You to Week 19’s Sponsors!

Week 19:  May 9-15h

Total Sponsorship Amount: $60

Total amount donated by the sponsors:   $120

Current Fundraising Total:  $12,000+

This past week has been super busy, even more than normal I feel like.  It has been kind of stressful and running has not been able to be the highest priority, but I did get 9.5 miles in last Sunday but this weekend has not gone according to plan and I did not get another long run in like I wanted to.  I am only about 3 weeks out til my segment, which is totally crazy.  Last year it was my #1 focus and I felt 100% ready.  This year life and injury has gotten in the way and I do not feel prepared physically at all.  I think it will have to be my determination that carries me through this year.  Which I think is totally possible because there is so much more behind all this than just being able to run.  Such as raising awareness and fundraising! The most important parts!

The current relay runner is #4:  Kristina Fireball.  She is running from  Milford to Nephi, Utah which is  136 miles. She is a few days in already and she is also having some injury issues this year, so we are all keeping her in our thoughts and sending healing vibes her way.  My segment will be here before I know it, I fly out on Memorial Day and start the day after.

runner 4

Hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day and enjoyed some of the nice weather this week.  Not on to your sponsors!  All 4 of these people are returning sponsors from last year and have been around for my entire journey showing their support!  Thank you David, Scott, Sam and Greg!!! 🙂

Sponsor#1:  David Treptow and Scott Lenski

I have trained David once per week for 3 years and 3 months now!  Wow!  He was one of my first clients and I am so glad he has stuck around and continued because I look forward to our session every week.   Scott is his partner, who I have never trained myself, but he has been around doing PT for as long as David.  They both are very active in the gym and check in probably 5 or 6 times every week!  They are the best types of clients- the ones who do their homework! 🙂    David and Scott gave multiple times last year- one for my Run-a-Thon and another as sponsors.  This is their 3rd donation to my run since I started late 2014!

David is a project manager at the Federal Reserve and Scott is a Community and Adult Services librarian at Whitefish Bay library.  They have two dogs and two cats, and currently are working on a complete remodel of their kitchen, so I have heard all about it and get the updates each week.  Another fun fact about David is that this past fall he was on Jeopardy!  I got to DVR and watch the episode this winter and it was awesome!  He ended up getting second (but I KNOW he would  have won if he would have had a better time with that dang buzzer!  That buzzer is tricky!)  He is super smart, and great at trivia.  Thank you once again for the support David and Scott!


Sponsor#1: Samantha Kuhagen and Greg Mathews

Samantha is one of my best friend and another person I met through the gym and she was one of my first clients.  I still train her and have been for going on 3 and a half years soon!  Greg is her boyfriend and they have been dating for going on 3 years this summer.  Sam and Greg are Bryan and I’s favorite couple to hang out with and we consider them two of our closest friends here in Milwaukee.  And we all live in the same apartment building now that Bryan has moved in, which will be fun for grilling out in the back yard this summer. 🙂  Besides being one of my closest friends, Sam is also my main training buddy.  We used to train together 3-4 times per week, but this year it has been more like 1 or 2 because of my injury and our busy schedules.  But our run time is our chance to catch up on life if we haven’t seen each other much over the week.

Sam and Greg have made it so pretty much all of the events and fundraisers I have held over the past year and a half, including the Run-a-Thon, Karma twice, AJ Bombers, and of course being sponsors of the week.  Sam even came out with me for a few days of my segment last year, which is one of the reasons it was such a great experience, because I had my best friend out there sharing the experience with and running some miles with me.


Sam is a hair stylist at Neroli Spa and Greg also works for Aveda, in the financial aide office.  They met through mutual friends through their work connections.  They are one of the greatest couples together I have ever known.  They are so perfect for each other and compliment each other well.  I treasure Sam’s friendship so much, and I am so lucky to have her in my life.  She is beautiful, kind, a great listener and an all around amazing friend who I have been lucky enough to build so many great memories with.  I have watched her become a great runner and complete several half marathons and marathons all over the past two and a half years!  Thanks for all the support you both have given me with my MS Run the US mission! 🙂  You two are the best!

sam me

Thank you again to David, Scott, Sam and Greg for donating again this year and helping me crush my goal for the second year in a row!!  🙂

Want to be featured as a sponsor of the week!? I am still looking for more!  Let me know if you would like to help!  Or just want to make a donation?   Please use my fundraising website or email me at:!  Thanks! 🙂

Donate here by copying and pasting the following link!

Also, feel free to visit the MS Run the US homepage!

Have a great week everyone! HAPPY May!!

Run happy,

Nikki 🙂

Week 18- Thank You Scott!

Week 18: May 2-8th

Total Sponsorship Amount: $55

Current Fundraising Total:  $11,943

It is May!!!  Yay!  One of my favorite months because they weather is (usually) better and the flowers are all in bloom and it is not TOO hot, but usually not super cold either.  Perfect running month!  Training has been about the same.  I had to take a couple days off after the race last Sunday because I was a little sore and my injury was a little angry with me from all of a sudden picking up the pace after so long of going slower.  But by mid week I was feeling good enough to start trying to run again, and I ended up running 4 days this week…  Not as good as I would like, but I am trying to still be super careful, especially since I am only one month away from my segment.  I would rather go in under trained than totally injured.  I figured that’s the only way I am going to make this happen.

When it comes the the relay, runner #3 is only a couple days away from being done.  Carlee Schmitz,, also from Wisconsin, is running about 250 miles in 9 days for MS! She has the longest segment of them all.  There is not much out where she is, so the segment has to be longer because there is no good place to switch runners.  Evening having run 165 miles in 6 days last year, it is hard for me to imagine (especially right now being injured) running almost another 100 miles on top of that!  Amazing!!   She has even met some people along the way who are effected  by MS and have jumped in and kept her company for some miles!  (Pictured below)  There are SO many people who are directly effected my MS, either because they have it, a family member, or a friend does.  It feels so good to have someone come up to you and thank you for what you are doing.  It has happened to me a handful of times since I started as a relay runner of MS Run the US and it just reminds me of why what I am doing is so important.  Even being injured I still must continue on and spread the word about stopping MS!

segmetn 3

Now that you have the updates, time to introduce our sponsor, Scott!! 🙂

Sponsor of the Week: Scott Kuykendall

Scott is a new sponsor of the week this year, but this is not his first time donating to this cause.  Last year he donated a dollar a mile for my 60 mile Run-a-Thon for MS Run the US, which was my first big fundraiser (that brought in almost half the amount I needed for the 2015 relay!)  I have known Scott for over three years now.  He has been a client of mine since February 2013 when I first started working at Anytime Fitness.  I train him once a week during his busy season when basketball is in full swing and twice a week throughout summer and fall.  Scott is finishing his 9th year as Associate AD/Communications at Marquette University.  He works with men’s basketball as well as men’s tennis and oversees the department.  If you have ever been to a game, you have probably seen Scott down in front.  Thanks to Scott I have been able to get really good seats to two Marquette games since I have known him.

Besides donating twice to Ms Run the US, he also helped set me up with a 4 pack of tickets to raffle off in the silent auction of the AJ Bombers fundraiser.  Those tickets brought in another $60 or so (I can’t remember exactly).  The reason AJ Bombers was so successful was because of people like Scott who made the silent auction possible by donating items.  In general Scott is a huge sports fan. He loves the Packers and the Brewers.  He does several fantasy football leagues each year and that is always a topic of conversation for us during football season.  He goes to a lot of Brewers games during the season.  In fact, he has already been to a few this year already even though (to me) it doesn’t even seem like baseball season due to this crappy weather.   During the nice months Scott enjoys getting his exercise on his bike.  There was one month last summer he put over 300 miles on his bike (and won the challenge at the gym for it, which got him $50!)

Thank you Scott for your help over the last year and a half in meeting my fundraising goals and working to make a difference in the lives of those living with MS.  Without people supporting me by making donations, I could have NEVER raised over $24,000 so far for MS Run the US!  I am lucky to have such great clients, friends and family who have helped me raise OVER $10,000 each year!!



I can’t believe that in ONE month I will be out in Colorado running my segment!! Scary but exciting!!!

Thank you again to Scott for donating again this year and helping me crush my goal for the second year in a row!!  🙂

Want to be featured as a sponsor of the week!? I am still looking for more!  Let me know if you would like to help!  Or just want to make a donation?   Please use my fundraising website or email me at:!  Thanks! 🙂

Donate here by copying and pasting the following link!

Also, feel free to visit the MS Run the US homepage!

Have a great week everyone! Happy May!

Run happy,

Nikki 🙂

Week 17’s Generous Sponsors!

Week 17:  April 25th-May 1st

Total Sponsorship Amount: $100

Total amount donated by the sponsors:   $300

Current Fundraising Total:  $11,900

Hope everyone had a good week!  I got four runs in this week, the last one being a quarter marathon race in West Bend.  My best friend and training partner Sam was signed up for the half and I do not feel like I am quite ready for that yet, so I decided to do the quarter then cheer her in when she finished the half.  I felt fresh since I don’t have a lot of miles on my legs these days, and my endurance was surprisingly good, and I was able to have a little fun and be competitive for the first time in quite awhile.  It was a lot of fun and gave me a little confidence boost that I needed right now. 🙂 I was able to put in almost 9 miles between warm up, race and cool down, which is my new longest distance this year since my injury issues have kept my from doing longer runs before this.

When it comes to MS Run the US, runner #3 is just starting.  Runner #2, Pat McKinney ran 200 miles in a little over a week from CA to Los Vegas.  Amazing!  That sounds like one of the toughest segments because it is desert, hills and heat.  And a LOT of miles!  Pat has a lot of motivation though, because he is running for his sister who has MS.  Next up is Carlee Schmitz!  She is running from Las Vegas NV to Milford UT.  She has raised $11,500 so far for MS.  She also has a super tough segment, 250 miles in 9 days!  WOW!!!

Remember you can follow the fun here!

Now that you  have the update, now on to our sponsors!  Both gave last year, and one is a returning sponsor- Zach.  Maggie is a good friend of mine from high school and she has made big donations both years.  This year she gave $200!  🙂

Sponsor#1: Maggie Clark

Maggie is a high school friend of mine, and one of the people in my life that I have been friends with the longest.  I mentioned last week when I introduced Paulette, that I only have a couple of high school friends that I am still in touch with and consider friends and they are two of them.  Maggie is a year under me and since she graduated high school I have not seen her more than a couple times a year (or less) because she has lived and gone to school in places pretty far away.  I met her from being on the track and cross country teams with her in high school.  She was a really good 800 runner in high school (and into college) and I did not quite have the speed to keep up with her.  But we did a lot of our training runs together and became fast friends.

When she graduated from Waukesha North, she went to school at West Point Academy.   Since then she has been going to school to be a Children’s surgeon through the Army and she has been several places for this.  Currently, and for the last several years, she has been doing residency in Hawaii!  So cool!  And several times I thought it would work out for me to go visit her, but so far life and work has kept me from being able to do so.  I hope I can before she is done, but I think I am running out of time. 😦

maggie 3

I have been lucky enough to get to see Maggie fairly recently, which was the first time in quite awhile.  The picture below on the right is when she was here for a month working at Children’s Hospital in the area.  She came with Paulette and we did brunch after I ran the Lakefront marathon and I got to have dinner with her one more time after that before she headed back to Hawaii.  Not sure when I will get to see her again, sometimes it is a year or more between visits, but when we see each other it is so great to catch up and it is almost like we have never been apart.  I know we will always be friends.  I only have a handful of people in my life that I know I will be friends with forever, through life changes and distance, and she is one of them.  Thank you so much Maggie for your generosity and giving to my cause both of these years.  I couldn’t have reached my goal without so many great people who give! 🙂  Miss you and hope to see you again sooner rather than later! ❤ 🙂


Sponsor #2: Zach Kopplin

This is Zach’s second year as a sponsor of the week and giving a very generous donation.  This year he donated $100!  I have known Zach for about 3 years now, and we met at the gym when I trained him for awhile.  After I got done training him, he became a regular in my yoga classes at the gym.  Around that time he also started to get into running and two years ago this June (oh my gosh, or has it been 3??  I am losing track of time and I have no idea…I think two…) we did our first race together which was the Ragnar Relay Chicago with a group of running friends from the gym. Since then we have done several 5ks together (pictured below), a duathalon, a Ultra Ragnar and we took a trip to the Quad Cities with a group of us and I did the full and Zach did the half.

Zach currently lives in Chicago and so we do not see each other as much, but I follow all his running accomplishments on Facebook.  He has done several of the Ragnars around the country as well as many half marathons in fun places such as New Orleans.  I am so glad that I got to be a part of Zach starting to get into running and finding a love in it like I have over the past 15+ years.  I hope I some day get to do some of the fun races he has done in fun cities.  I am so thankful that even though I do not see Zach very often anymore because he does not live in the area, he still offered to make this awesome $100 donation to my segment of MS Run the US!  Thank you so much Zach and keep up the great work with your racing and training!  If I had to guess I would say you will be the first person I know to do every one of the Ragnar races. 🙂  Lucky!



Thank you again to Maggie and Zach for donating again this year and helping me crush my goal for the second year in a row!!  🙂

Want to be featured as a sponsor of the week!?  Let me know if you would like to help!  Or just want to make a donation?   Please use my fundraising website or email me at:!  Thanks! 🙂

Donate here by copying and pasting the following link!

Also, feel free to visit the MS Run the US homepage!

Have a great week everyone!

Run happy,

Nikki 🙂