Race Day Pictures from RDS Runners

RDS Runners Team Flynn, in the Washington, DC, Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon, on March 17.

Barbara Mooney with family after running in the NYC Half on March 18.

Jill Muniz in her corral just before the start of the 2012 NYC Half.


Alexander Lopez greeted by friends post-race after he crossed the finish line.


RDS Runners Team Flynn

Team Flynn has now run as RDS Runners in two half marathons. Last June, Team Flynn rocked San Diego in June in the Rock n Roll Marathon. They were at it again on March 17, St. Paddy’s Day, in Washington, DC, Racing for the Extraordinary in their St. Patrick’s Day “themed” RDS Runners shirts. Thank you again, organizer Erin Fry and team members, for running for young Flynn, and all of those with Down syndrome.

NYC Half Marathon

The weather on Sunday, March 18 was perfect, overcast with a temperature in the lower 50s, as the RDS Runners left their starting points in the New York City Half Marathon. Twenty one runners, led by race organizer Lisa Arnoa, competed in the race. Their 13.1 mile effort raised $30,000, easily exceeding their $25,000 goal. Our RDS Runners placed 4th overall in charity fundraising in this event. After the race, a group of the runners met at McBride’s Pub in Hoboken for a post race party.

Lisa has been a dedicated supporter of RDS, Ds cognitive research, and the promise of drug therapies that will be able to assist her young son, six year old Sal. An excerpt from her fundraising page, which describes her motivation, is included here:

“On November 14, 2005 my son Salvatore Matthew was born. That day I began a journey that would teach me more about life then I ever knew. Everyday Sal faces challenges whether its saying a word, getting dressed or learning how to write his name. The hope is with cognitive research and the development of a treatment those challenges will not be so difficult. Since the day Sal was born he has been faced with many obstacles which has made him a strong little boy. He makes me smile everyday and he loves unconditionally. Down syndrome is what Sal has, it is not who he is or what defines him. His laugh is infectious and his personality will make you smile. These are just some of the great things about him. Sal is my angel and  I will continue on this journey and I will continue to spread awareness and support RESEARCH DOWN SYNDROME. So please be part of that journey…. your donation will  make a difference!!!”

Thank you so much!!!

Lisa & Sal 🙂

RDS is grateful for the efforts of all the RDS Runners in the NYC Half, and for the 500 donors who took the team over the top. Thank you all, team and, see you next year!

One other note, RDS is an official charity of the ING New York City Marathon on November 4, and an RDS Runners team is being formed. Registration for this event must be completed on the NYC marathon registration page by April 23. A drawing will be held to determine the non-guaranteed entry field. You can register as an RDS Runner here. Let’s put together an even bigger team for this race!

RDS Runners racing in NYC and Washington, DC this weekend!

Research Down Syndrome sends its best wishes and thanks to RDS Runners who are competing in half-marathons in NYC and DC this weekend. Both races have over 20 runners whose miles are supporting Down syndrome cognitive research. The NYC Half team has EXCEEDED its fundraising goal, and is closing in on being the 4th highest fundraising team in the event. Next year, they will be at the top.

Team Flynn competes Saturday, St. Paddy’s Day. Erin Fry and her team are racing through the streets of DC in their specially designed RDS Runners shirts:

Good luck to all the runners in these events. They are Racing for the Extraordinary!

A note from an RDS Runner

Our RDS Runners 2012 season is underway. We recently participated in the New Orleans Marathon, and we have runners in New York City and Washington, DC events this weekend.

We’d like to share the thoughts of Allison Peeples, an RDS Runner who completed the New Orleans marathon two weeks ago. Her words are heartfelt and inspiring:

On March 4, I ran in the Rock N Roll New Orleans Marathon/Half Marathon. It was my first (and possibly my last) half Marathon, and I couldn’t think of a better way to have run it.  I ran in honor of Jarrett Plank and on behalf of a foundation called Research Down Syndrome (RDS). I have followed Jarrett through his mother’s facebook page and his dad’s blog. Jarrett was born with Down Syndrome, and he has had to endure numerous surgeries and hospitalizations in his one short year of life. Jarrett has more courage and strength in his little finger than I have in my whole body and a smile that will melt your heart. He was blessed with such a wonderful family who has touched my heart more than they will ever know. Some of us, including myself, take for granted how blessed we are to have children who do not require extra needs. We plan their futures….college, marriage, jobs, children. We often don’t think about the fact that these same futures may not be possible for some children. Because of the work done by Research Down Syndrome, individuals like my friend Jarrett, may have a future filled with the same opportunities that all children should be able to have. RDS supports scientific studies directed towards understanding the sources of cognitive difficulties in persons with Down syndrome. RDS believes in the promise of a future where therapies will be available that will help improve memory, learning and communication in persons with Down syndrome. This will lead to increased life opportunities in education, employment, social interactions….perhaps a future where persons with Down syndrome might be able to live independently.

On March 4, with Jarrett’s courage and my feet, I ran 13.1 miles to help RDS fund research that has already made extraordinary progress. Please consider making a donation to RDS.

Let’s Race for the Extraordinary!

Thank you again Allison

Welcome to the RDS Runners Blog

Research Down Syndrome(RDS) would like to welcome readers to our RDS Runners Blog.

Our blog will be a useful and fun forum for discussions centered on the RDS Runners program, which has become THE national charity running program to support Down syndrome research. Our RDS Runners have raced in events across the country – from New York to San Diego – in support of research to improve memory, learning and communication in persons with Down syndrome. RDS Runners are entering races long and short, competitive and fun, from 5k Fun Runs through full and half marathons. We have even heard from folks interested in triathlons. And, let’s not limit this program exclusively to running and triathlons. We have had suggestions for biking and sailing events, for instance. Whatever the event, competitors know that their efforts will boost research that has already made remarkable progress in understanding the origins of cognitive difficulties in persons with Down syndrome. In fact, recently, research supported by RDS and the RDS Runners program has helped lead to the initiation of a Phase 1 clinical trial by Roche Pharmaceuticals. This trial is testing a potential drug designed to address the cognitive and behavioral deficits associated with Down syndrome.

The RDS Runners blog will be a forum to promote upcoming events, a site where runners can share their success stories and compare aches and pains. Our RDS Runners Training Consultant will be “on call” to answer any training questions or point runners to useful training sites. Most importantly, this blog will be a space where runners can share personal stories about why supporting Down syndrome research is important to them, and how it motivates them to train, compete and fundraise for a cause. You will be inspired and educated by their stories. Learn why they Race for the Extraordinary!, and why you will want to do the same.

RDS Runners Team Flynn, in the San Diego Rock 'N' Roll Marathon, June 2011

Visit our blog regularly, and please share this site with friends and supporters of Down syndrome research. Come back soon to read personal stories from runners in the NYC and New Orleans Half marathons. Later, we will introduce you to our running consultant, Bianca Brutlag.

In this, our first entry we certainly want to thank all the RDS Runners who are participating in races this year. Our upcoming races are listed here, and our RDS Runners fundraising site highlights these races as well.

Please let us know what you think with any comments or questions below.

Let’s all: