Running one marathon is tough, but imagine running one every day for six days. That's exactly what Daemen University alum Meghan Guhler ‘16, Physical Therapy, did in May. We spoke to Meghan about MS Run the US and what the experience meant to her.

Meghan Guhler ‘16 running on road with mountains behind herWhat is MS Run the US? 

MS Run the US is a relay run of 19 runners from Santa Monica, CA to NY, NY. The purpose of the organization and run is to fundraise money used to fulfill financial aid requests from individuals living with MS, further research advances specific to the impacts of diet and exercise on MS and toward finding a cure. The organization and runners also aim to raise awareness of what Multiple Sclerosis is and entails. Each runner is responsible for running a marathon (or more) each day for about 6-8 days and fundraising a minimum of $10,000.

How did you get involved with this event? 

My aunt was diagnosed with MS in 2010 and it was shortly after that that I started volunteering to assist individuals living with MS within the local community and participating in events hosted by the MS Society. I stumbled upon MS Run the US on Google while seeking out other opportunities to help those living with MS. As I had promised to myself, I submitted an application a year after graduating and was invited to run on the team in 2020. Unfortunately, Covid-19 caused the event to pivot virtually. Since that year, I have remained actively involved in the organization as an alumni and Ambassador. This year I was extended another invite to run the original segment I was scheduled to run in 2020.

Describe the experience.  

While the journey was never easy, the overall experience was everything I had hoped it to be and more! I ran segment 6— 164 miles from Vernal, UT to Steamboat Springs, CO over 6 days. I averaged over 30 miles per day for 4 days then about 20 miles each of the remaining 2 days. The sun was hot, nights were cold, and views of red rock transitioned to snow capped mountains along the way. After running, I'd spend each night eating, hydrating, stretching, and resting in the organization’s RV preparing for the following day. At the base of every hard climb, it never failed that I would receive an email notification about another donation received. This year, I have raised over $32,000 for the organization.  The support I have received from family, friends, coworkers, teammates, and strangers alike has been overwhelming. I’m still searching for how to best sum up and describe the whole experience; however, I am certain it was one I will cherish forever.

Meghan Guhler ‘16 running with back to the camera sign in front of her that says Welcome to ColoradoWould you ever do it again? 

Yes, yes, yes! I will remain an active member of the organization and will continue to raise funds and awareness. Provided the opportunity, I would absolutely join the team to run again.

What tips do you have for anyone considering running a marathon a day for six days? 

Train how you plan to perform. You are capable of more than you think. The body is resilient when you allow it to be. Consistency is absolutely key! When it gets hard, remember why you started. Fuel early and often and practice these strategies leading up to the event.

If anyone is interested in learning more about the organization, opportunities to get involved, and/or applying to run on the relay team, please do not hesitate to have them reach out to me directly! 

Here is a link to Meghan's registration page for anyone interested in reading/learning more about her story, the organization, and relay team. Donations can also be made through her page as well.