Crystal Graham: Support from back home on NYC Marathon day

14938102_10208834937805326_8149185065808265399_nIt was such an honor to get to root on my husband, Chris Graham, at the TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday. Months ago, I had been rooting around on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s website for information … I serve on the Virginia Chapter board for the organization. I came across information on Team AFSP – an effort to recruit runners to raise money on behalf of AFSP and run the NYC Marathon.

At the time, Chris wasn’t home. But when he called me later in the evening, I casually asked him if he wanted to run the marathon. He had mentioned before that one day he’d like to run NYC, Boston and Chicago. Turns out, even though he’s relatively new to the marathon journey, he didn’t have to wait to mark one of those races off his bucket list.

So … we contacted AFSP and found out what to do, and Chris signed up. The day we signed him up, we agreed to raise a minimum of $3,500 and secured that commitment with our credit card.

So …. That’s where you … our extra man came in. You helped us reach his fundraising commitment months early. Chris joined a team of 10 for AFSP Sunday that raised $ 59,849.

So …. Thank you. And thanks to everyone who joined us on this journey – from people who donated to the silent auctions, made donations or just gave Chris encouragement along the way. And thanks to the three people (you know who you are) who even gave us some cash so we could enjoy NYC a little bit more.

Our Team …. From start to finish.
Nineteen of you rooted us on when as we went to sleep one more time in Waynesboro before our early train from Charlottesville to NYC.

Keri Beasley Jones Good luck and have fun
Rhonda Howdyshell Run hard…Chris, pain is weakness leaving the body
Christel Childress Good Luck Chris!
Peggy Jarratt Moore Wonderful fund-raising from people who really care about this cause! Long run Chris so you and Crystal take some time to enjoy NYC also!
Ginger Anderson-Ham Exciting … enjoy!
Carole Hill Wishing Chris the best run of his running career. Try having a little fun while there.
Steven Weiss Best of luck!!!!
Tim Martin Good luck!
Virginia Graham Good Luck Chris
Jill Clark Safe travels
Jodi Tibbs Have a great time on this adventure
Michelle Kennedy Sutton Good luck!
Hilary Jeffers Good luck to Chris, I know he’s trained hard for this (I see him out running a lot).
Karen Suzanne Edwards Safe travels. Precious cargo. Have all the fun!
Marsha Tooley Berg Good luck, Chris! Have fun on that train, always my favorite way to travel!
Travis Harris Go get em Chris Graham. Remember 6 minute pace!
Elizabeth Massie Three cheers for Chris!!
William Banks God bless you both

And we got even more support the next morning as we traveled to NYC.

Christel Childress Safe travels!
Jill Clark Have a fun safe meaningful happy trip
Margaret Mitchell Howell Safe travels and good luck Chris?

And even more support as we got Chris checked in at the runner expo.

Allen F Layman Good luck!
Brenda Bell Good luck
Tina Moler Grove Have a great race
Bob Lunger Go get em Chris Graham!
Donna H. Gum Hope you will do well!! More power to you.
Ali Martinez the moose is a beast!!
Brian Mininger Have a great race Chris!

And the night before …

Angela Berry Good Luck to Chris
Sean C. McGowan You go Chris Graham…what a great tribute… Crystal Abbe Graham
Shirley Walters Ramsey Way to go Chris! Can’t believe you are doing the NY marathon. What an honor and for suicide prevention at that!
Jacque Decker Wilson good luck safe trip

And then there’s this. Our good friend Jerry Carter may live in Orcas Island in Washington State but the man walked 26.2 miles today in honor of Chris. That my friends is simply amazing.

And then race day was here ….
The love started when we posted waiting for the Subway.

Leslie Lindsay Chisnell Best wishes for a great run!
Kathryn Woodward Johnson Have fun, try hard and remember you and Crystal are already winners. Great job!!
Paul Boyers Go get it done, Chris! Good luck and great job.
Hilary Jeffers Best wishes!
Carole Hill You’ve got this, Good Luck
Nick Patler Go Chris!!
Christel Childress Run Chris run
Elizabeth Massie Good luck!!!!
Tim Spears You go Chris, GOD bless………..!!
Jennifer Ramsey Harner good luck Chris!
Tressie Cochran ❤❤

And continued when we boarded the ferry to get to the start line.

Stephanie King German GOOD LUCK Chris!!!

Hilary Jeffers Good luck today. You are both such a huge insperation,
Melissa Grine Nygaard I agree with what Hilary just posted! Go Chris! You two are amazing!

And then I was elated when Chris sent me this photo from the start. He made it!

Bradley Carter Game Face !
Elzena Anderson Wishing you the best!

And we even had a few friends decide to track him in real time.

Christel Childress Tracking him! You know that he is in his element running down New York City, what a great day to be out running!
Kayla Sparks Apps on and set to track!! Exciting!!

And at 10:23, the race officially began for Chris.

Carole Hill What position, I am so excited for him!!!
Peggy Jarratt Moore I’ll be watching for your updates!!!!

And I was pretty excited to spot Chris in the crowd at the 16-mile mark with a big smile on his face.

Abbey Wascovich I love that he’s running with his phone!!
Christel Childress He looks good! He’s holding up well!
Shirley Walters Ramsey Wow! Great pic!
Zachary Copley Matherne Go Chris!
Leslie Lindsay Chisnell Smiling Chris…..
Elizabeth Massie So impressive!!
Barbara Spilman Lawson Whoo-hoo!
Carole Hill Woot, Woot, he looks happy!
Christine May See Absolutely amazing. He’s truly an inspiration!!
Jeff Goering lol everybody’s still smiling at 16 – but I know he finished with a smile too

Liptrap WR Awesome!
Peggy Jarratt Moore Chris looks like he is enjoying this! Awesome job Chris!!!!

It was so cool to be able to track him!

Kathy Nimax Wow, I can’t imagine running that far!
Letitia Poole Eavey Wow that’s awesome!!! Great job Chris!!
Christel Childress Great job Chris!
Kathryn Woodward Johnson Amazing – great job.
Carole Hill WaHooWa!!!

And then, well, my phone died. And apparently, Chris’ did too. So no finish photos but …. My new friend Dr. Dan sent me a few he captured with his phone!

Sara Hamilton Christopherson He doing ok? WTG Chris!!!
Mark Fitzgerald Congratulations to ya my friend
Christel Childress Way to go Chris!
Carole Hill So proud of your guy. How awesome is this for both of you!
Jodi Tibbs Fantastic!! What a time to remember! So proud….
Teresa Miller Wease Great job Chris!!
Sam Hostetter I know that feeling

And there’s the happy face of our NYC Marathon finisher!

Tina Moler Grove Nice, way to go.
Jodi Tibbs Woo hoo!!
Kathryn Woodward Johnson Congratulations – you are #1 to me. Great job!!
Kat Schwendeman That’s awesome, WTG!
John Spears Congrats!!!
Nancy M. Dowdy Way to go Chris!!!
Christine May See CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!! I am in awe . . .
Rhonda Lynne Stanley Winfield So very proud of you friend! Amazing!!!
Frances Arthur Wells Congratulations Chris! Way to go!
Peggy Jarratt Moore You are truly amazing Chris; so very very proud of you! And for a great cause!!! Wahoo!!!!
John Cullen So cool! Way to go Chris!
Christel Childress To finish is to win? amazing!
Jennifer Robertshaw Way to go Chris!
Carole Hill Indeed he did. U R awesome, Chris!
Brenda Canning Congratulations Chris !
Elizabeth Massie WHOO HOO! You inspire us, Chris! Good going!!
Amy Sorgen Great job
Donna Hess Wells Congratulations !
Ali Martinez you the man, moose!!
Julie Crone WTG, so proud of your achievement!!
Elzena Anderson Awesome, congrats!
Sergei Troubetzkoy Congratulations!
Steven Weiss Congratulations
Bob Lunger Way to go! Can’t wait to hear about it!
Kim Engleman Congrats!!!
Jeff Goering Well struck!
Nick Patler Great job Chris!!
Michelle Kennedy Sutton Awesome!
William Banks Congratulations God bless
Paul Wayne Terry Congratulations!
John Lowdermilk Congratulations Chris Graham. We are thrilled.
Carol Bingaman Yeah. Congratulations!
Brenda Bell Congratulations
Donna H. Gum Congratulations on your medal

I can’t embed posts by Chris but before he crashed for the night, he posted some insights and thoughts on the day.

From Chris’ page:
Now, to my anxiety of the past six weeks: I injured the plantar fascia on my left foot on a training run six weeks ago. Which is a big-words way of saying, I injured muscles under my heel, to a point where it was hard to walk, much less run. A week later, probably compensating for the heel injury, I injured the Achilles tendon in my right ankle. I wasn’t able to run more than six miles in one stretch for three weeks leading up to today. I honestly wasn’t sure until today that I’d be able to run more than a few miles, but I really wanted to do the whole 26.2. I ran more than an hour slower than my PR, but I finished. Too many people back home were rooting for me, for me to literally pull up lame. Because of so many good folks back home, we raised more than $3,600 for suicide-prevention research. I said all along that I had the easy part, just having to run 26.2 miles. I pulled my end of the bargain today. Thanks to all who supported us and made the effort worthwhile!

I just want to echo his sentiments and thank you all … our team members … for rooting for us in this journey and offering congrats when it was all said and done. Proud of my rock star, and proud of you all for supporting us and such an important cause. You all are the best!



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