Ragnar Napa Valley Stories: Team WeRun2Inspire

What separates Ragnarians from the rest of the running community and world? Is it our grand running abilities? Probably not. What about our remarkable ability to make running in a tutu look sexy? Maybe. The real thing that sets Ragnarians apart is that we make the most of life. Ragnarians are everyday people who seek to do extraordinary things. One great example of this is team WeRun2Inspire. Learn more about them:

Meet three remarkable students have extraordinary reasons to run with Team WeRun2Inspire in the Ragnar Relay Napa Valley as recipients of the largest, annual, private medical school scholarship of its kind in the U.S. – the Christine A. Geehrer Inspiration in Medicine Award (CAGIM):

Alexandra was in the final weeks of her second year of medical school at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine when she realized the odds of, “Eight percent. I was running against the odds after experiencing sudden cardiac arrest”. Alexandra defied death — a survivor, a runner and one of only a few 25-year-old recipients of an implanted cardiac defibrillator.

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Erika was finishing 4th grade when her father was shot in a drive-by shooting the city of Compton, California. Erika withstood the violence in her community – a firefighter, a runner, the only female in her Los Angeles battalion and the only one in her family to attend college at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine.

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Greg was entering high school when he started running, warding off the black dogs nipping at his heels. Several months into his medical studies at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, the dark clouds returned. Greg confronted his disease – a perseverant, a runner and one of a courageous few breaking the silence on depression.

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The CAGIM scholarship (and Relay Team WeRun2Inspire) was established to honor the inspiring legacy of Christine A. Geehrer, who prematurely passed away on Sept. 1, 2010 to Adenocarcinoma (non-smoker’s lung cancer). Christine didn’t hide her struggles, she worked around them – despite her swollen kneecaps, she ran, she biked, she kite-sailed, she sky-dived, she roller-bladed, she skied off-piste, pushing friends, family and co-workers to join her on every extraordinary adventure. Running her first marathon in her mid-40s, Christine proved that ordinary people can do extraordinary things – and she inspired others to do “things” they never thought they could. When Christine received the unexpected diagnosis on her 49th birthday, the cancer had already metastasized to Christine’s spinal cord and brain, and she passed away 7 days later. Christine never knew about her condition until she was hospitalized at UCSF Medical Center with an unrelenting migraine headache; however, she lived an extraordinary life, calling on others to partake in reaching one’s dreams, and running towards finish lines that few of us rarely achieve in a lifetime!

This is why Team WeRun2Inspire runs the Ragnar Relay Napa Valley year after year, awarding $26,200 annually to UCSF medical students as they earn a seat in our orange-crushed-colored relay vans, pass the slap bracelet to another student runner and enter into their professional lives, contributing to their patients, to the advancement of medicine and to the sport of running relays!

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About Rebecca Babicz

Rebecca Babicz is the Sr. Brand Manager at Ragnar. She enjoys #skiing, #running, #biking and sees the world through social media goggles. It is her personal goal in life to find the world's best fish tacos. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram: @BeBabz

2 Responses to Ragnar Napa Valley Stories: Team WeRun2Inspire

  1. Amy says:

    Awesome: 3 loves of my life; running, education and UCSF!

  2. Vince says:

    What an inspiring story. Keep up the great work!!

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