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Team AANMA Goes the Distance In Marine Corps Marathon

On November 1, 2012 @ 11:23 am In All Articles

McLEAN, VA, NOVEMBER 1, 2012 – “Running the Marine Corps Marathon was harder than I ever thought it would be – and even more rewarding,” says Anna Pierce, 36, from Winchester, Va. “But I’m proud to say my asthma didn’t slow me down at all.”

Anna has had asthma and exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB) since she was a teen-ager, but by running the marathon – her first – she proved that fitness, perseverance and resolve – AIR POWER – win the day.

Anna was part of Team AANMA, a group of 28 runners from across the United States who competed in the Marine Corps Marathon on Oct. 28 in Washington, D.C. The team’s goal: to prove that asthma and EIB don’t slow you down when you’re fully informed, trained and equipped for the challenge.

Team AANMA raised more than $14,000 in support of Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) – the leading non-profit organization for people and families with asthma, allergies, EIB and related conditions.

“I am honored and humbled by these runners,” says Nancy Sander, AANMA president and founder. “They are a true inspiration for people who are often sidelined in the mistaken belief that they cannot or should not exert themselves for fear of wheezing or coughing. The fear is real – and many athletes don’t realize their breathing problems are more than just overdoing their workout. However, with a clear diagnosis, a personalized treatment plan and a strategic program, they can cross the finish line with AIR POWER to spare.”

Team AANMA’s fastest time was posted by Gary Wilhelm, 45, of Woodstock, Md., who ran the 26.2-mile course in 3 hours, 53 minutes. The best overall age-weighted performance was by Renee Thompson, 40, also of Winchester, Va., who clocked in at 4:01 and bested 59 percent of the 1,606 finishers in her gender/age division.

Debbie Alford, one of three Team AANMA runners from Brownsville, Tex., billed as the “Hot Tamales,” was diagnosed with asthma and EIB at age 19. Undeterred, she learned to manage her symptoms. Now 46, Alford runs long distances regularly.

“It’s not just running, it’s what I do to prepare to run,” Alford says. “I make sure I pay attention to my symptoms, such as a tight chest or coughing before I run. I check the weather and take note if it’s humid or very cold – either can exacerbate my symptoms. The last thing I want to feel is out of breath and out of energy.”

Tracy Rivers, 45, of Upper Marlboro, Md., was told as a child to avoid sports due to her asthma. Thanks to a strategic management plan developed with her doctor, she is now able to control her breathing during exercise and power herself further and further.

“I feel extremely joyous and proud that I compete alongside runners who don’t have asthma or EIB,” Rivers says, “mainly because people said I would never be able to do it. Now I tell adults and kids with asthma, ‘Run your own race. You are a superstar for living your life to the fullest.’”

On Oct. 25-27, AANMA hosted free spirometry lung function and exhaled nitric oxide tests at the Health and Fitness Expo by GE at the DC Armory in Washington, DC. Staff heard countless inspiring stories from people with asthma and EIB while also disseminating practical, family friendly information.

Team AANMA is sponsored by TEVA Respiratory.

Below is a list of Team AANMA runners and their finish times:

FIRST

LAST

AGE

TIME

HOMETOWN

STATE

Gary

Wilhelm

45

3:53

Woodstock

MD

Renee

Thompson

40

4:01

Winchester

VA

Elizabeth

Bayless

43

4:13

Dallas

TX

Keely

Towson

37

4:14

Atlanta

GA

Anna

Pierce

36

4:16

Winchester

VA

Rick

Dexter

32

4:17

Orlando

FL

Jennifer

Grimsich-Yenawine

38

4:18

Westfield

NJ

Carolyn

Langille

43

4:19

Mt. Airy

MD

Catherine

Rusu

26

4:26

Silver Spring

MD

Kushal

Dave’

24

4:27

Pittsburgh

PA

Adriana

Nash

36

4:28

Brownsville

TX

Kelly

Murray

39

4:37

Edinburg

VA

Pamela

O’Keefe

28

4:44

Pittsburgh

PA

Debbie

Alford

46

4:50

Brownsville

TX

Marisa

Espindola

40

5:01

Brownsville

TX

Silvia

Pinel-Villalobos

41

5:11

Chester

NJ

Debbie

Ghassemi

44

5:20

Manassas

VA

Carla

Adkins

29

5:42

Brooklyn

NY

Tracy

Rivers

45

6:08

Upper Marlboro

MD

Maria

Merlo

55

6:12

Robbinsville

NJ

Angela

Merlo

54

6:20

Mullica Hill

NJ

Joyce

Richardson

50

6:22

Bowie

MD

Larry

Evans

66

6:28

Reston

VA

(Note: 5 Team AANMA runners pulled out of the marathon due to non-asthma-related illness or injury.)

About AANMA

Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) is the leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending needless death and suffering due to asthma, allergies and related conditions. AANMA specializes in sharing family-friendly, medically accurate information through its award-winning publications Allergy & Asthma Today magazine and The MA Report newsletter, its web site at www.aanma.org and numerous community outreach programs. Follow AANMA on Facebook at facebook.com/AANMA and on Twitter at twitter.com/AANMA.

About TEVA Respiratory

Teva Respiratory is the U.S.-based respiratory subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: TEVA). Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., headquartered in Israel, is a leading global pharmaceutical company and the world’s largest generic drug maker. Teva has a global product portfolio of more than 1,250 molecules and a direct presence in approximately 60 countries. The company is committed to increasing access to high quality healthcare by developing, manufacturing and marketing generic products; innovative and specialty pharmaceuticals; and active pharmaceutical ingredients.


Article printed from Allergy and Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics: http://www.aanma.org

URL to article: http://www.aanma.org/2012/11/team-aanma-goes-the-distance-in-marine-corps-marathon/

URLs in this post:

[1] Team AANMA Runs with AIR POWER at Marine Corps Marathon: http://www.aanma.org/2012/10/team-aanma-runs-with-air-power-at-marine-corps-marathon/

[2] Team AANMA Runs with AIR POWER at Marine Corps Marathon: http://www.aanma.org/press-room/press-releases/team-aanma-runs-with-air-power-at-marine-corps-marathon/

[3] Team AANMA Marathon Runners Raise Awareness of Asthma and Allergy: http://www.aanma.org/2013/10/team-aanma-marathon-runners-raise-awareness-of-asthma-and-allergy/

[4] Team AANMA 2012: http://www.aanma.org/press-room/events/team-aanma-2012/

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