I started running for sport in 2009, my first organized race being the Royal Family 5K down at Walt Disney World. After catching the running “bug”, I ran only shorter distances. In 2010, I ran my first half marathon during the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend. In 2013, I ran the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge. After completing that race, I knew that any distance would be attainable, when you wrap your mind around it.I was born in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and currently live in Lillington, North Carolina. Running the foothills helps greatly in speed work and endurance for the flatter races. I was fortunate enough to be asked to join this team and look forward to the many K’s ahead. In addition to running, I will be supporting the DAWS team with overcoming mental challenges and reducing and breaking down mental boundaries.
Brian Johnson is a running coach and recreational athlete. Brian has been training athletes for over 20 years in various capacities and most recently has been training runners to reach their goals from 5K to ultra-marathon and beyond. Brian picked up the running bug in 2009 completing his first marathon in January 2011 at the Walt Disney World Resort. Since then, Brian has dedicated his experience and background in movement and sport science to helping people achieve their dreams of crossing finish lines.
I was born and raised on a little island located in the Bronx, New York, and now reside in Manhattan…where I am fortunate enough to train on the hills of Central Park. This project is a very personal experience for me, as SMA claimed the lives of my two brothers before they ever got to take their first steps, let alone run their first mile. Every time I lace of my running shoes, I run for them.
I started running in 2005, completing my first New York City Marathon in just about six hours. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to finish over 100 races ranging from the Fifth Avenue Mile to ultra events. In 2012, I set out to run 12 marathons within the year in order to raise money for the Dream Team Project to benefit the Make-a-Wish Foundation. In 2013, I helped blue-sky the concept of Do Away With SMA...and in January 2014, this charity was officially created. In 2015, we completed our first multi-day endurance event (500 Miles for SMA)...and 2017 brings another huge adventure for the charity!!!
In February 2013, after a very challenging last few months of 2012, I became inspired to run the Princess Half Marathon. I gave myself 364 days to go from only walking to running, BUT runDisney announced the Inaugural Glass Slipper Challenge (10K + half marathon over 2 consecutive days)!! I KNEW this was what I was to register for, so I conned my wonderful husband to signing up with me. During my training, I ended up with a significant injury and ended up non-weight bearing for 9 days and utilized a cane for a few weeks. My Doctor advised me against continuing the training, SO what did I do?? I registered for the 5K in addition to the Challenge, because I wasn’t being told “NO”. I had been 8 weeks ahead in the training schedule and had JUST enough buffer room for therapy and rehabbing my leg. AND I DID IT!!!!! All 22.4 miles of my FIRST challenge and official half marathon!!! I WAS HOOKED. I got connected with DAWS and ran Dumbo Double Dare collecting shy under $1300 (between my husband and I). Two weeks after Dumbo (and of course, the 5K), I ran my first marathon at Presque Island and the weekend after that another half (Mighty Niagara)!! I have since ran the Dopey Challenge AND Rebel Challenge +5K (do you see a theme here?!?!) in January of 2015 and am now a Half Marathon Fanatic!! As a Registered Nurse, I have the knowledge and skills to learn and teach others on sports medicine/therapy as well as assist to help with mental health/wellness and nutrition. I have spent my entire life in Western New York (yes, the snowbelt about an hour southwest of Buffalo), however LOVE a HOT summer day by the pool.
Mr. Michael Pease is the CEO of The Chautauqua Center (TCC) a Federally Qualified Health Center located in Chautauqua County, NY. He has both his Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Healthcare Administration and is a nurse as well. During the past 15 years he has worked at various organizations in both clinical and supervisory roles.
Throughout his career he has been responsible for developing, implementing and evaluating a full array of services. He enjoys change management as a key aspect of ensuring organizations not only survive but thrive in the ever fluctuating high pressure healthcare sector.
Mr. Pease has been a long time resident of Chautauqua County and currently lives in Cherry Creek with his wife of 17 years. He is very active in the community and participates on a number of local, regional and national Boards of Directors. In his free time he enjoys the outdoors and he and his wife have been running a number of half and full marathons.
He has a strong interest in helping DAWS achieve its goals. He was introduced to this organization in 2014 and believes in its mission.