Batons 4 Chase

The Batons 4 Chase Program looks to keep Chase’s spirit and vitality alive by requesting athletes to take up the baton, compete in a challenging athletic event in Chase’s honor and pass the batons to another willing to do the same.


The baton program was inspired by close friend of the Kowalski family and original Race4Chaser, Kevin Bresnahan.  As part of his campaign to complete his first 1000 miles in Chase’s honor, Kevin ran his last 14 miles from Bethel High School where Chase had competed in his first track races at age 2.  It was there that he left his first Race4Chase baton at the starting line along with a message for someone to find asking for him to take up the baton and do some athletic event in Chase’s honor and pass the baton along to someone willing to do the same.

Kevin proceeded to run 10 miles to the Lakewood Trumbull YMCA camp where Chase learned to play baseball and will host one of the three Race4Chase Kid’s Triathlon Programs in 2014.  He left his second baton at this location with the same message before meeting up with 100 Race4Chasers at Chalk Hill Elementary School in Monroe Ct where Sandy Hook Elementary School students currently attend school.  There, he presented a third baton to the Kowalski family to be placed on their fireplace mantel as a reminder of the inspiration that Chase has given to Kevin and many others.

The day culminated with the last mile completed by the Race4Chase community from Chalk Hill to a local residence under police escort. ChalkHill finish


Baton #1 was taken by Alexis Garrity, age 10, who was visiting in Monroe and attending the Chalk Hill celebration.  After hearing of the baton, she insured that her mother took her directly to Bethel High School to secure it for her and subsequently ran her first 5k at the Disney Happy Haunted 5k Trail Run in Orlando Florida.  The baton has traveled from Orlando to St Augustine, FL to Columbus, SC.

Expanding the Baton 4 Chase Program

Other than the initial three batons, CMAK plans to release additional batons at special events and occasions throughout the year and will follow these batons as Chase’s spirit is passed throughout the athletic community, preserving his memory and inspiring others to challenge themselves in his name.  The first one of these was passed to ultramarathoner, Lee Whitaker, from Ft Mill, SC by Kevin Grimes after the Howl at the Sun 5k race during the weekend spent with Coach Pat Kelsey at Winthrop University.  Erin Flanagan will be passing out a baton at each of her marathons on her quest to complete one in every State in honor of Chase.

Visit this page to follow the latest update of each baton and read stories from each of the baton holders.


Baton History and Updates

Baton # 1- (Red)

Current Location: Bermuda

Owner: Tyler Smith, Junior National Champion of Bermuda

Competition: TBD

Origin: Kevin Bresnahan, Sept 1, 2013, Bethel High School, Bethel CT, 1000 mile culminating run


#1- Alexis Garrity, October 10th, 2013, Disney Happy Haunted 5k Trail Run, Orlando FL



#2- Rachel Delaney, December 14th, 2013, St Augustine Beach, Florida, 5k Santa Suits on the Loose 5k Run


#3- Shawn Delaney, February 2nd, 2014, Westside Christian Academy 5k Run, Sumter, South Carolina


45′, Rainy and Cold but looking in good form, 16 year Air Force Veteran left for Africa after this race.

#4 – Nina Coulson- August 31st, 2014, runDisney, Half Marathon, Disneyland, California











#5- Crystal Randy Reitz- Rt 66 Half Marathon, Tulsa, OKlahoma, November 22, 2014

Crystaland Melissa

Crystal (left) and Melissa at Rt. 66 Half










#6- Melissa Kepner – Cowtown, Ft Worth, Texas March 01, 2015 and OKC Memorial, Oklahoma City, OK, March 22nd, 2015 







#7- Heidi Langan (Race4Chase Kids Tri Program- Trumbull) – Llanhydroch Parkrun 5k , Cromwell, England, August 2015



#8 – Mackensie Bloxham - Wreake and Soar Valley Athletic Club- 9 year old triathlete - Aylestone Junior Parkrun (2k), November 30th, 2016


Mackensie introducing Race4Chase to his running club


#9 – Trystan Barnett- Northants Tri Club -


Passing of the baton at the ITU Events at Leeds UK

#10- Sam Dickinson (Leeds UK)- Junior European Triathlon Champion

Sam spends his winters training in Leeds which also boast the training grounds of the Brownlee twins.


Jonathan- Sam- Alistair

Sam has passed the baton to Bermuda’s Junior National Champion, Tyler Smith.

#11 – Tyler Smith, Bermuda


Baton #2- (Red)

Current Location: Unknown

Owner: Unknown

Origin: Kevin Bresnahan, Sept 1, 2013, Lakewood-Trumbull YMCA camp – MISSING

#1- Unknown


Baton #3- (Red)

Current Location: Sandy Hook, CT

Owner: Kowalski Family


Baton #4- (Green)

Current Location: Arizona

Owners: Olivia Whipple


Origin: Kevin Grimes, March 1st, 2014, Howl at the Sun 5k, Ft Mill SC

(Winthrop University event)

#1- Lee Whitaker, Fort Mill SC

Event: Cremator 50, July 9th, 2014, Beaufort, SC

Lee at the Graveyard 100

Lee at the Graveyard 100

#2- Dyan Coker

Event: Disney Marathon, January 2015, Orlando, Florida

Dyan takes the baton from Lee

Dyan takes the baton from Lee

#3- Scott Sartwell

Dyan and Scott

Dyan and Scott

Event: Asheville Half Marathon, March 2015, Asheville, SC

#4- Denise Hartmann

Denise at Virginia Beach Half

Denise at Virginia Beach Half

Event: Shamrock Half Marathon, Virginia Beach, VA

#5 – Erin Byrge


Denise passes to Erin

Event: Mt Clemons Marathon, Mt Clemons, MI in PR time of 2:42 and Ironman Lake Placid

#6 – Tyler Whipple

Erin passes to Tyler

Erin passes to Tyler

Event: IEA Hustle for Haven House 5k, Troy, MI in PR 21:26

#7 – Melissa Whipple

Event: Kids Triathlon, Ann Arbor MI

#8 – Olivia Whipple

Melissa Passes Baton to Olivia

Melissa Passes Baton to Olivia

Event: TBA



Baton # 5- (BLUE)

Current Location: Spring Lake, NC

Owner: Amy Rich, Spring Lake, NC

Event: 36th Annual First Health Turkey Trot 10k, Pinehurst, NC

Origin: Erin Flanagan‘s participation at the All American Marathon at Fort Bragg, NC on May 4th, 2014.

#1 – Christy Jones, Fort Bragg, NC


Competition: Kinetic Half Triathlon (Website)
From Christy Jones:
“I am looking forward to taking the baton and dedicating my participation in the Kinetic Half Triathlon to Chase’s memory. It is an honor to have been asked to take the baton to this race.
The symbol of a baton has become a progressive revelation over the years. Most recently I have added the symbol of a baton to my website and online business(a work in progress) named dunamisfit. Dunamis is the greek word for power, from which we get the english word dynamite. Bibically, it refers to Christ’s power in and through us to the benefit of others. The baton pictured in the dunamsifit website is in the hand of a female runner. It is half baton, half stick of dynamite, symbolizing the power of God being carried to others. There is also pictured an arm from the shoulder down lifted half dumbell half dynamite stick.
I believe it is a divine appointment for me to get to take the baton to represent Chase at this race, and will make it my mission to be praying for Chase’s family as I race, and be available to whatever else God may have in store.
Thank you again for the opportunity and the honor!
Yours in Faith and Fitness,
#2- Donna Decker McCollum

Donna at All American Half

Donna at All American Half

Event: All American Marathon: Half, Fort Bragg, NC
#3- Elizabeth Prince, Fayetteville, NC- Maggie Lee For Good Run, October 31st, 2016
#4 – C. Burt
All American 5k, Fort Bragg, Fayetteville NC

#5- Molly Patterson, Fayetteville, NC

Event: Oak Island Lighthouse Half Marathon, Oak Island, NC, April 16th, 2016


Molly took 7th place in her age group!
#6- Amy Rich- Spring Lake, NC
Event: 36th Annual First Health Turkey Trot 10, Pinehurst, NC

Baton # 6- (BLUE)

Current Location: Texas

Owner: Sarah Dombrowski

Competition: Half Marathon (June 2014) + 11 others

Origin: Race4Chase Cape Cod Relay Team 2014


The Race4Chase Cape Cod Relay team, lead by Christina Hansen (421) pictured above with her teammates, completed a challenging 192 mile continuous relay course with a 12 person team in less than 31 hours (day and night).  Along their way, they met Sarah Dombrowski who along with her teammates proudly takes the Race4Chase baton into 12 different competitions before it will be passed.



Baton # 7- (Purple)

Current Location: Calgary, Canada

Owner: TBA

Competition: TBA

Origin: Erin Flanagan, VT Marathon, Burlington, VT


#1- Erin Flanagan (picture competing above) completed the arduous Vermont Marathon on May 25th, 2014 in a time of 3h33

#2- Shawn Flanagan completed her first Half Marathon at Calgary Marathon (Half/Full) on June 30th, 2014, pictured running and passing the baton to Calgary family



Baton #8 – (Green)
Location: CT
Owner: Stephen Mullany 
Origin: “Chasing Inspiration Award” 1st Annual Race4Chase Kids Triathlon- Henry was awarded the baton after not being able to compete in the triathlon due to injury.  He has committed to competing in races for the next year before returning baton at the 2nd Annual Race4Chase Kids Triathlon
Henry successfully completed the 2nd Annual Race4Chase Kids Triathlon and passed the baton to another of Chase’s friends, Stephen Mullany after the event.
Stephen returned to the Race4Chase Kids Community Triathlon in 2016 to pass the baton to Ben Pleva who could not compete on the day due to a broken arm.
(from left to right, , Henry Telefay, Ben Pleva, Stephen Mullany)
Ben Pleva did complete his first triathlon at the Race4Chase Kids triathlon program FINALE in Southington CT on August 5th 2016 and will return in 2017 to pass the baton along.
Baton #9 – (Purple)
Location: Hilliard, Ohio
Owner: Greg Peck
Origin:  Brian Pogue, long supporter of CMAK, competed in the Chattanooga Ironman in September 2014 and passed out the #9 Race4Chase Baton at mile 23 of the marathon leg.

Brian after Ironman

Brian after Ironman


#1 – Greg Peck

Event: TBA


Baton #10 – (Gold)
Location: Arlington, VA
Owner: Kat O’Neill
Origin:  This baton originated at the Baltimore Marathon in October 2014 where Erin Flanagan completed the 6th State in her quest to run a marathon in all 50 States.

Erin running Baltimore

Erin running Baltimore


#1 – Ivo Louvado


Erin passes baton to Ivo

Erin passes baton to Ivo

David writes: “I just wanted to express to you how grateful and honored I am to carry the race for Chase baton to my next race (Disney Marathon 2015).  I am looking forward to passing it on to a colleague of mine who is running with me.  I thank you for committing yourself to keeping the legacy of Chase and all the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy alive.  As a Baltimore City Police Detective I often witness tragedy and despair, but as a father myself I could not ever imagine losing a child in such a tragic way.  I have visited the CMAK website and I am truly moved by all the individuals who have come together to truly turn a tragedy into triumph.  I truly thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me a part of this legacy.”

Event: Disney World Marathon, Orlando, Florida, January 2015

#2- David L Brown Jr

Ivo passes baton to David

Ivo passes baton to David

Event: 13th Annual Blue Jay 5k Race for Lymphoma Research at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland

#3 – David L Brown III

David II passing baton to David III joined by Ivo

David II passing baton to David III joined by Ivo


#4- Sean Ellman

David III passes to fellow DC police officer Sean

David III passes to fellow DC police officer Sean

#5- Kat O’Neill

Sean Ellman and Kat O'Neill making exchange of baton

Sean Ellman and Kat O’Neill making exchange of baton

Event: Thomas Jefferson Community Center, Arlington VA

Next Event: TBA

Baton #11 – (Green)
Location:  Franklin, PA
Owner: Kathy Beith, retired 3rd Grade teacher and triathlete

Origin:  The baton was originated by Race4Chase supporter, Michelle Catucci, school teacher from Madison, CT who trained and completed the Pittsburgh Marathon, Half in a personal best 2:44:14.

Michelle PRs at Pitt Half

Michelle PRs at Pitt Half

#1 – Shannon Osborne

Michelle passes baton to Shannon

Michelle passes baton to Shannon

Event: Willow Creek Triathlon, Quaker Lake, Allegany State Park, PA
#3- Anne Dolce, Jamestown, NY and Mindy Lawson-Crabtree, Frewsburg, NY

Anne, Shannon and Mindy at Willow Creek

Anne, Shannon and Mindy at Willow Creek

Event: USA Triathlon National Championships, Milwaukee Wisc
#4- Tammy Powell, Franklin PA

Mindy, Tammy and Anne at USAT National Championships

Mindy, Tammy and Anne at USAT National Championships

#4- Tammy Powell at the USAT National Championships 2015
#5 – Kathy Beith-  triathlete and retired 3rd grade teacher.  Started triathlon training post age 60 and competed in the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii in 2016.
Event: TBD
Baton #12 – (GOLD)
Location: Pennsylvania
Owner: Mary Kreis
Origin:  This baton originated at the Disney World Marathon in January 2015 where Erin Flanagan completed the 7th State in her quest to run a marathon in all 50 States and set a personal best time of 2:24:14.

Erin finishes her 7th

Erin finishes her 7th

#1 – Mary Kreis

Erin passing baton to Mary

Erin passing baton to Mary


Event: TBD



Baton #13 – (Gold)
Location: Ohio
Owner: Jackson Krejsa
Origin:  This baton originated at the Boston Marathon in April 2015 where Erin Flanagan completed the 8th State in her quest to run a marathon in all 50 States and set a personal best time of 2:21:03 despite the difficult wind and rain.

Erin just before finish line at Boston

Erin just before finish line at Boston


#1- Terry J Gang

My support group – wife of 16yrs Leigh, Son Tyler 14, Daughter Olivia 11

Me – I’m 46 and was not a long distance runner until I started running in 2008 at 39 yrs. of age.  Started with a 5K in early 2009 “Frostbite 5K” in February in Ohio and ran my 1st Half in 2009 in Akron, Ohio.  Since then, I have run 13 other half’s and ran my first Marathon in 2012.  On my 2nd Marathon run – The 1st annual Pro-Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, I posted a Boston Qualifying time (3:21:57) and hence, Boston was added to my bucket list.  I enjoy running as it is a great stress reliever and I love to be outdoors.  Along the way I have also done some Warrior Dashes with friends and colleagues as the combination of running and obstacles is fun as well.

Erin passes baton to TJ

Erin passes baton to TJ


Event: The Green Bulldog Dash 5k, Uniontown, Ohio, October 2nd, 2016

#2- Jackson Krejsa – Student at Green High School


#3- Expecting to race by the end of February and pass the baton along.


Baton #14 – (Green)

Location: Longford, Ireland

Owner: Brendan and Madeline Doyle
Origin:  This baton originated at the Dewey Beach Marathon in May 2015 where Erin Flanagan completed the 9th State in her quest to run a marathon in all 50 States.

Erin completes #9

Erin completes #9

#1- Erin has passed the baton to Frances Hoare who was visiting Connecticut and interning at Generation UCAN along with Erin.  Frances attended the Boston Marathon and participated in all of the Race4Chase events during the weekend including crewing the Race4Chase tent at the fire station.  

Frances Hoare (left) and Erin Kowalski at the Boston Marathon

Frances Hoare (left) and Erin Kowalski at the Boston Marathon

Frances Hoare competed in the Color Run 5k, July 11th, 2016, Phoenix Park, Dublin, Ireland
Frances4 Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset frances7 Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset
#2 – Gerry Duffy -  Won the Deca Enduroman Challenge (10 Ironman distance races in 10 days) in 2011 and completed 32 marathons in 32 days in 2010.  He is an inspirational speaker  and Ireland Best Seller author of ”Tick, Tock, Ten” and ”He Who Dares, Runs” describing these events and how he faced his fears and burst through comfort zones; from weight loss to giving up smoking as well as overcoming a pathological fear of public speaking.
Event: 10 miler, December 28th, 2015

Gerry Duffy after 10 Mile race

Gerry Duffy after 10 Mile race

#3- Brendan and Madeline Doyle

Gerry Duffy passed the baton to his good friend, Brendan Doyle, who has been actively involved in his many adventures as an ultramarathoner.  Brendan is an ambitious ultra-marathoner himself having ran over 40 full marathons, 5 ultra marathons- the longest 131 miles, known as “The Race,” which is Ireland’s toughest 24hr endurance race. He has not limited himself to running having completed 2 Ironman triathlons, also trail races and cycling races.  He lived in NY for 10 years where he started his running and has a sister in law in Stamford, CT so is familiar with the area.Brendan’s wife, Madeline, is also a runner. She completed 2 full Marathons, many half marathon, 5ks, 10ks, 10 miles and quite a few sprint triathlons.  They are both running coaches and have approx. 6/8 running classes every week. “Brendan Doyle Running”  train all types of runners from complete beginners to ultra marathoners- school children to master runners. They also organize races including the “Royal Canal Run Longford” which is an annual two day running event in April.Madeline and their son, Ben, will be the first to compete with the baton. They are traveling to Sydney Australia in February and will run a local race there.  Upon returning, Brendan, whois training for a double Ironman, will take the baton and compete before passing it along.
Baton #15 -
Location:  Boulder, Colorado
Owners: Jeremy Lawrence
Origin:  This baton originated at the Philadelphia Marathon in November 2015 where Erin Flanagan completed her 11th Marathon for Chase in her quest to complete a marathon in each State.
#1- Jeremy Lawrence, Broomfield, Colorado
Jeremy Lawrence Race Photo
Jeremy Lawrence, friend of the Flanagan family and former Bethel CT resident, is training and competing with the Race4Chase baton leading up to the Ironman Boulder in August 2017.  His attempt to complete his first Ironman triathlon at Boulder in 2016 with the baton was sidetracked by a cycling accident. Undaunted, he is focused on completing this quest in 2017.
Baton #16 -
Location:  UK
Owners: Ross Anderson
Event: Hyannis Marathon Feb 26th 2017
Origin: Clarence DeMar  Marathon, N.H. – September 25th, 2016- Erin Flanagan’s 15th marathon
#1 – Tom Peters of the Lowell Running Club
#2- Ross Anderson at the BayState Marathon-  October 16th, 2016
#3:  Ross is running the Hyannis Marathon in Late February
Baton #17-
Owner: John Wedding
Location: Louisville, KY
Event: 2017 Boston Marathon, Race4Chase Team, April 17th, 2017
Origin:  Minnesota Mestronic Twin Cities Marathon, October 9th, 2016- Erin Flanagan’s 16th Marathon
After breaking 3:20 in the marathon and setting her Personal Record at the marathon distance (3:19:42), Erin Flanagan passed the 17th Race4Chase baton to John Wedding from Louisville KY.  John, who finished just in front of Erin in 3:17:13, is a veteran of over 50 marathons which is even more impressive considering he only started marathoning in 2011.
#1- John Wedding, Louisville KY
John followed Erin’s PR at Minneapolis with a PR of his own in his first race as the baton holder going 3:06:35 at the Monumental Marathon in Indianapolis.  He may test his luck with the baton a few more times before intending to hand it off at the 2017 Boston Marathon this Spring.
Baton # 18-
Owner: David Brown I
Location: Florida
Erin Flanagan has passed the baton from the Monumental Marathon in Indianapolis to former baton holder David Brown who will hike the Appalachian Trail starting in March.
Baton # 19-
Owner: Paul Hallenbeck
Location: Woodbridge, Virginia
Origin: Charleston Marathon, January 2017
Erin Flanagan completed her 17th State in her quest to complete a marathon in every State for Chase by completing the Charleston Marathon in Charleston, SC.  She experienced one of her most difficult marathons (3:54:01), suffering from dehydration on a hot and sunny January day.  During her stay, she met Paul Hallenbeck from Woodbridge Virginia and discussed her story and the baton and thereafter passing the baton to Paul. We await to see what plans Paul has for the baton.
#2- TBD
Baton # 20-
Origin: Phoenix Mesa Marathon, February 2017, Erin Flanagan’s 18th Marathon State
Owner: Ernesto Suarez
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Event: TBD