Catie Sims met Garrett Sapp and his family several years ago when she decided to turn her love of running into a way to help others. Since then she has become part of the Sapp family and travels from Canada to Orlando every January to run with them during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, and loves telling people about Garrett and the other wonderful people she has met on this journey. Meet Catie:
Why did you choose to join the Race to End Duchenne team?
When I was 51, I discovered a love for running. Then, just over 4 years ago, I found a website called “Who I Run 4” and decided that I would love to share my passion of running with a child. So after 3 long months of waiting, I was teamed up with the Incredible Garrett Sapp. I had never even heard of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, but his Mom, Amber has shared so much of their lives with me. In the last 4 years, I feel like I’ve become part of their beautiful family. Now every step I run, is for Garrett, and all with Duchenne. I wear my shirt with pride, and am always happy to answer questions about our team and our purpose.
How many races have you participated in? If more than one, which was your favorite and why?
Well, at last count, I now have about 62 medals…so, lots of races, but my favourite is always The Dopey Challenge at Disney. Not only do I get to travel to a warm and sunny (sometimes) state, but I get to spend valuable time with Garrett, and his family and I get to meet so many other wonderful families. I always get an extra race medal for Garrett, since he is my inspiration, and so far I’ve able to send him medals from 2 countries, and 5 different states (with a 6th coming at the end of the month).
How do you prepare for races?
Lots and lots of training of course, but lots of mental preparation as well. I try to get in 20km a week normally, and Garrett is always in my heart. I find training so much easier when you have inspiration, and his smile, and positive attitude does it for me everytime.
Do you have any fundraising and/or training tips you could share with other runners – either advice someone gave you or you’ve discovered on your own?
Since I live in Canada, I organize a charity hockey game every year. So, my advice would be to find something that’s popular in your area, and work with that! I also try to spread awareness at each event, with lots of information available. I also happen to to know someone in the area (a friend of my daughter in law) who’s son Zac, was diagnosed with Duchenne, who comes to drop the puck at our games. He’s a sweet little guy with a million dollar smile. I think seeing him there, makes the need seem more real. And he loves the attention! Showing my passion for this cause helps too. When I share with folks the good work that PPMD does, they are happy to be part of it!
What’s the first thing you like to do when you finish a race?
First of all, I’m so thankful to be able to drag these old bones over the finish line…but when possible, my favourite thing is to get a hug from a very special little man. I would run around the world, if it mean’t a cure for Duchenne.
Join the Race to End Duchenne
Race to End Duchenne is Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy’s signature program that raises funds to support our mission to end Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Whether you are a seasoned athlete or a first time runner/walker, we have an event where you can make your miles count even more as you pound the pavement to raise funds for PPMD’s mission!Join the Race to End Duchenne