* Below find a very special addition to imrunnerchica.com- guest blogger Scott Krizek discusses the World Record that 62 Milwaukee area runners set in 2011, all in honor of local runner, Jenny Crain. Crain, an elite athlete, was hit by a car during a training run in 2007. She suffered severe brain injuries but has made great strides through intensive and expensive rehabilitation.
January 24, 2012
This morning we received the long awaited news that Guinness had certified our World Record for “Most Runners Linked to Complete a Marathon.”
The entire day I found myself thinking about the World Record and sharing the good news with everyone who knew of the event. “Congratulations” were phoned in, emailed and posted on Facebook and LinkedIn.
At the end of the day, I had planned to ski but instead opted to enjoy the sunshine with a run at the lake. Certainly, running was not an unusual thing for me to do, but the change in plans was so fluid that it seemed like my schedule had been changed for me.
For those that know the Lake Michigan Lakefront “track” I ran to the point near Veterans Park and then opted to go north for no other reason than I felt good and didn’t want to stop. I climbed the Brady Street Bridge and suddenly it occurred to me that I was a block from the scene of Jenny’s accident. I was struck that the winds had taken me to this fateful place.
I reached the busy intersection of Brady and Farwell, and stopped for the light and noticed a new and unusual crosswalk signal. The signal was not a part of the traffic light, but rather stood alone at about 5 feet tall and held a button to press to cross and a speaker that barked a stern warning “Do Not Walk. Do Not Walk.”
As I looked at this new signal post, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was there as a result of Jenny’s accident. Struggling to find a silver lining, my first idea was that this machine had prevented many similar accidents.
Our great hope is to find meaning from events that shake us. I hope to God that there is far more than a walk signal that comes from this. It seems just too trivial given what was lost.
Is the deeper meaning, the motivation to organize and achieve a World Record? While impressive in many ways, it may be more trivial because a World Record doesn’t even protect people on a street corner.
This is what I think we accomplished:
We helped a friend in need. The incredible number of supporters was a testimony to the quality of person that Jenny is.
The number of people involved extended well beyond those who ran. Robin Gohsman and the other people who organized and supported this group deserve the majority of the credit. Of course, there were hundreds of people who gave generously to a person whom they never met. In total, Jenny received over $116,000!
Secondly, I think the “Jennipede” was an example for the city of Milwaukee and perhaps even nationally of people coming together to do something that was in its very nature Good. The relatively large amount of press that we received suggests that the community was thirsting for something good to cheer. Here are just a few of the recent examples:
Finally, I believe in the Chaos Theory of Good and that somehow these generous acts and sacrifices will lead others to help someone else when given a chance. Many friendships were formed in this group and my guess is those people will again “link up” to help others.
As I ran home, I was kept trying to understand why I ended up running to that spot. I guess God wanted me to reflect on life a little. I do know that it made me sad and proud. To be honest, I wish we did not have this record. I wish that guy had kept his car under control or that Jenny had stayed home with the flu that day in 2007.
Of course, I can’t change the past so all I or anyone can do is remember one of my marathon mantras,
“Just Keep Moving”
Thank you for being a part of this event. Your gifts and support will have a positive impact well beyond Jenny’s care. We will never know the total Good that will come of this event but it will be significant. I am honored to say that we followed Jenny’s take on life…
“Make it Happen!”
* Donations are still being accepted and appreciated for the continuing rehabilitation of Jenny Crain. Visit