It’s all about PHenomenal Mojo – Pittsburgh Marathon Recap

May 02,2016

The Pittsburgh Marathon. Our team’s hometown race. It’s an event to embrace.

It’s an event for which the city really turns out to cheer, run, walk, volunteer, ring cowbells, and embrace.

And for Team PHenomenal Hope and our Pittsburgh PH community, it was no different. This year, Team PH returned and expanded our efforts as we race to make a difference and use this big event to raise PH awareness and give back to the community. 

It was an entire weekend of celebration of who we are, what we are about, and most importantly who we are racing for, and an event we will truly not forget.

A supporter making a sign for a marathon runner

The marathon actually started days before, at the Pittsburgh Marathon Expo, where Team PHenomenal Hope shared some sweet booth space with our sponsor, Mojo Running and Multisport.

At that space we offered a Make-Your-Own-Cheer-Poster and worked our hardest to help Pittsburgh runners and fans get their cheer on. We passed out over 1,500 posters, helped people of all ages express their creativity on our high-quality signs, and snapped some amazing photos capturing the spirit of the marathon.

Family holding up cheer signs for their mom

We truly had a blast talking to runners as they passed by, hearing their excitement, slight nervousness, and anticipation as people were gearing up for an event for which they had spent months preparing. At the end of the evening on Saturday night, our team members felt satisfied and even more excited about race day, and we hope the Pittsburgh community felt the same.

Members and volunteers with Team PHenomenal Hope at the Marathon Exp

Race day brought the chance for our team of 27 racers and 31 volunteers to join in the awesomeness known as the Pittsburgh Marathon.

Some of our athletes raced their first 5K, half marathon or marathon, while others were going for a new personal record, and all were racing for our patients and our cause.

With the Pittsburgh marathon we went public with our Let Me Be Your Lungs campaign, as our athletes connected with and raced for our PH patient friends, who truly helped motivate the runners to train and race and complete their goals.

Illustration for the 2016 Let Me Be Your Lungs campaign.

And many of our PH friends were up with us, waking up before 5AM to join us on the course, whether at our water station or at the finish line – we had 6 PH patients, and their family members downtown with us, as well as friends from Actelion and our team, while others tracked their athletes and watching the marathon online. Talk about a team effort!

On marathon Sunday, we again realized that we don’t race for the PH community but we race with the PH community; and it is such a privilege. For many reasons, the marathon and half marathon were memorable races for all this year, and the connections and friendships forged will live well beyond race day.

We also raised money to help our nonprofit raise awareness and for the PHenomenal Impact fund – we are now well over $8000, with a month left to fundraise for this campaign! Way to go TEAM! You can still support the team on Crowdrise here.

As we all recover and get ready for the week ahead, we send out a sincere thank you to all the people who made our Team PH Pittsburgh Marathon truly PHENOMENAL.

It was out of our initial meetings with owner Jen Wohlgamuth that the idea of Let Me Be Your Lungs began.

Special thank you to: Mojo Running and Multisport – Their booth theme was “A little shop with a lot of sole,” and we could not agree more. Not only did they donate booth space for our cause, but they have been an integral part of this next phase in our team’s development. It was out of our initial meetings with owner Jen Wohlgamuth that the idea of Let Me Be Your Lungs began. We give her special thanks for not only supporting us at the Expo, but starting a movement and what will become our national campaign.

Thank you to the new athletes who signed up to race and raise funds for Team PH through the Pittsburgh Marathon, and to our team members who raced and volunteered at the expo and marathon. We also send a huge thank you to our PHriends who joined us at the expo and on race day and supported us near and far. Everything you all do makes a difference.

We also give special thanks to Bon’s Eye Marketing for supporting our marathon campaign online through our social media amazing graphic designs and more, and Fort Pitt Web Shop for developing this from a concept onto the website. You’ll be seeing some cool changes to our website soon, including our special Let Me Be Your Lungs feature pages.

We also need to give a special shout out to Ink Division Printing and Printscape Graphics who helped turn around amazing jerseys, T-shirts, and signs to help us raise awareness throughout the Expo and the City of Pittsburgh.

We also would like to thank our sponsors, from our presenting sponsors and those whose monetary contributions helped fund this event to others who literally ran with us in the race (thank you Kevin Yeargers of Northwestern Mutual!). We thank all of you for supporting our cause and making the work of Team PHenomenal Hope possible.

We thank P3R and the Pittsburgh Marathon for putting on an incredible event. You help people realize dreams on raceday and beyond, and you make it possible for teams like ours and many others to race to make a difference and change the world.

Please join Team PHenomenal Hope at Asiatique Thai Bistro on Saturday, May 7th to celebrate what we’ve accomplished and where we are heading. Details and tickets available on Eventbrite here.

On behalf of the Team PH Marathon Planning committee, we thank you.

2016 Team PH Marathon Planning Committee:

Mandy Budzowski, Rachel Cave, Jessica Romanias, Dustin Wehler, and Patty George

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