Thursday, April 17, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

'Tomorrow Chaser' runs to support local charity for athletes with disabilties

One runner in Sunday's Rock 'n' Roll Half-Marathon wasn't concerned with getting off to a fast start. In fact, she'd agreed to start slower than anyone.

'Tomorrow Chaser' runs to support local charity for athletes with disabilties

One runner in Sunday’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon wasn’t concerned with getting off to a fast start. In fact, she’d agreed to start slower than anyone.

As part of Transamerica’s Tomorrow Makers program, the designated “Tomorrow Chaser” in yesterday’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon waited in the corrals until every single participant had left the opening gates before beginning her run. For every runner she would eventually pass by the end of the race, she would earn $1 toward a charity of Transamerica’s choosing.

For a challenge this steep, however, Transamerica wasn’t about to recruit any person just jogging around the neighborhood. They went out and recruited accomplished runners—athletes like Leslee Hoey, a former Penn State University track and cross-country standout. In other words, they wanted someone who could raise some serious money.

“I live right near a Transamerica employee, and he told me about this program,” Hoey recalls. “He told me he could get me into the San Francisco Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, and since my brother lives in San Francisco, it works out perfectly.”

Not only did she get to visit with her brother, Hoey finished second among all female competitors in the event. “So after the race, Transamerica asked whether I wanted to be a Tomorrow Chaser.”

On Sunday, Leslee ran for Philly Achilles, a local chapter of an organization that endeavors to allow all types of people with disabilities to participate in mainstream athletics. In fact, a couple of Philly Achilles’ members ran in Sunday’s event along with Leslee.

“The first Achilles Track Club was formed back in the early-1980s, but our Philadelphia chapter was founded last year,” explains Melissa Wilcox, the chapter President for Philly Achilles.

In fact, race day marked the chapter’s one-year anniversary. Leslee Hoey took it upon herself to provide their anniversary present.

“It won’t be easy—I’m used to running up front,” Leslee admitted before the race. “The back of the pack is pretty crowded. But honestly, my goal is to run as hard as I can, and pass as many people as I can to raise as much money as possible.”

Yesterday morning, Leslee Hoey was the single last runner to leave the starting gate… but in the end, she—and Philly Achilles—may have been the race’s biggest winner. When all was said and done, Leslee had earned $11,551 for the local chapter, passing more than half the field while finishing in a time of 1:33:06.

Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.

Robert Senior Sports Doc blog Editor
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Robert Senior Sports Doc blog Editor
Alfred Atanda, Jr., M.D. Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.
Robert Cabry, M.D. Drexel Sports Medicine, Team physician - U.S. Figure Skating, Assoc. Team Physician - Drexel
Brian Cammarota, MEd, ATC, CSCS, CES Symetrix Sports Performance, athletic trainer at OAA Orthopaedics
Desirea D. Caucci, PT, DPT, OCS Co-owner of Conshohocken Physical Therapy, Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Michael G. Ciccotti, M.D. Rothman Institute, Head Team Physician for the Phillies & St. Joe's
Julie Coté, PT, MPT, OCS, COMT Magee Rehabilitation Hospital
Peter F. DeLuca, M.D. Rothman Institute, Head Team Physician - Eagles, Head Orthopedic Surgeon - Flyers
Joel H. Fish, Ph.D. Director - The Center For Sport Psychology, Sports Psychology Consultant - 76ers & Flyers
R. Robert Franks, D.O. Rothman Institute, Team Physician - USA Wrestling, Consultant - Philadelphia Phillies
Ashley B. Greenblatt, ACE-CPT Certified Personal Trainer at The Sporting Club at The Bellevue
Cassie Haynes, JD, MPH Co-Founder, Trap Door Athletics, CrossFit LI Certified
Eugene Hong, MD, CAQSM, FAAFP Team Physician - Drexel, Philadelphia University, Saint Joe’s, & U.S. National Women’s Lacrosse
Jim McCrossin, ATC Flyers and Phantoms
Kevin Miller Fitness Coach, Philadelphia Union
Heather Moore, PT, DPT, CKTP Owner of Total Performance Physical Therapy, North Wales, Pa.
David Rubenstein, M.D. Main Line Health Lankenau Medical Center, Team Orthopedist - Philadelphia 76ers
Justin Shaginaw, MPT, ATC Aria 3B Orthopaedic Institute, Athletic Trainer - US Soccer Federation
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