Inaugural 24-Hour Relay Run For Research

Research Down Syndrome thanks the 24-Hour Relay Run for Research organizers Lisa Arnoa and Matt MacDougall, and all the runners who participated in this RDS fundraiser held in Clark, NJ on Friday and Saturday, June 13-14. The team members took turns running a 1 mile loop, before passing off the baton to the next runner. Over the 24 hour period, the runners accumulated 157 miles, which were sponsored by individual donors and businesses.

Matt shared these thoughts about the experience:

Considering we had to deal with torrential downpours, thunder, and lightning on Friday, followed by heat, humidity, bugs, and oh yeah…an inebriated old man wandering into our event, I'd say this event couldn't have gone better!  

As we rolled into a beautiful Saturday at Oak Ridge Park, I was humbled as I stood back and watched people from all walks of life and different backgrounds come together and become part of something our grandchildren will be proud of!  Every person who was there could feel the positive vibe…the energy…the love that came from 25+ runners who ran their hearts and souls out for Research Down Syndrome.  I wanted this to be something that everyone could be a part of…I am pretty sure I got my wish.

PS –  A side note:  My wife told me that my 5 year old Zach was so excited to run on Saturday…when he got there he told me "Daddy, I'm gonna run to help people too!"  My heart melted and tears came to my eyes. (RDS says, “Thank you Zach!”)

And Lisa, mom of eight year old Sal, who has Down syndrome:

Thank you so much for being part of such an incredible event with awesome people. Sal and I thank each and everyone who dedicated there time in making this event possible. Matt great job my friend so appreciate all that you have done for RDS.

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We’re sure Lisa and Matt would be happy to share their experiences and “how to” advice to anyone who would wish to organize a similar 24-Hour Relay Run for Research. It would be fantastic to see local groups plan a similar event later this year, or perhaps on the same weekend as this event next year.

Again, RDS thanks Matt, Lisa and all the other runners for such tremendous enthusiasm and support of Down syndrome cognitive research. It is events such as this that are helping move research investment into the everyday discussions on Down syndrome advocacy.