SANTA YNEZ, Calif. - Local multiple sclerosis charity organization MS Run the US is hosting their first and only 3,260 mile ultra relay running across America for multiple sclerosis in April. A Santa Ynez resident will be running the second segment of the relay and has already raised thousands of dollars.
During the relay, 19 people in separate locations across the U.S. will run back-to-back an average of 160 miles in six days.
The run will begin in Santa Monica, CA, in mid-April and will end at New York, NY, in mid-August.
Each runner participating in the relay also committed to raising $10,000 over 10 months for multiple sclerosis.
Santa Ynez resident Loren Ollenburger is running from Barstow, CA, to Las Vegas in 8 days. A total of 220 miles.
Ollenburger was inspired to run because he was diagnosed with MS in 2004 and wanted to do something to help raise awareness for a disease that has hit close to home for him.
In his bio on the website, Ollenburger says, "I’m running to raise awareness about MS. I’m running to raise much needed funds to enhance research and assist those who are hit hard by this hidden disease."
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease that disables a person by attacking their central nervous system. MS Run on the US says the symptoms range from mild, such as numbness in the limbs, to severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another.
The cause of MS is still unknown.
This is Ollenburger's second year participating in an MS Run the US relay. He is also on the board of director's for the organization.
Ollenburger has raised $9,746.47 of his $25,000 so far. If you would like to help Ollenburger's cause, you can donate on his page here.
Runners are selected to participate in the ultra relay through an online application process on the MS Run the US website.
Once selected, each runner spends months training and fundraising with help and direction from the organization prior to the event’s start.
When the race begins, runners are followed and aided by the organization’s road crew team the entire way.
All money raised supports MS Run the US’s mission to raise awareness of the MS disease, aid research, and to help those living with disability due to MS.
To learn more about MS, the relay run and the organization, you can visit the MS Run the US website here.