Batons 4 Chase
Call to Take Up the Batons
Alexis Scores Baton at Bethel
Rachel takes up the Baton at Disney
Giving Her All for Chase
Lee at the Graveyard 100
Christy accepting Baton from Erin
Race4Chase Cape Cod Team
Sarah and Cape Cod Team
Erin at VT Marathon sporting new T-Shirt design
Shawn at Sumter Race
Dyon takes the baton from Lee
Shawn passing baton…
Shawn competing in Calgary Half Marathon
Henry with his buddy, 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.
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: Erica Hawley, Bermuda
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
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
Training partner of Sam Dickerson and Bermuda’s Junior National Champion, Tyler goes to university in Leeds in the U.K. After receiving the baton in Leeds, Tyler travelled to race in the Caribbean and Central American triathlon championships in Costa Rica, and then onto the North American championships in Florida, before handing off off the baton to a teammate from Bermuda, Erica Hawley. Tyler came in 3rd in Costa Rica, and finished in the top 10 in Sarasota.
#12 – Erica Hawley, Bermuda
Baton #2- (Red)
Current Location: Unknown
Origin: Kevin Bresnahan, Sept 1, 2013, Lakewood-Trumbull YMCA camp – MISSING
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
#2- Dyan Coker
Event: Disney Marathon, January 2015, Orlando, Florida
Dyan takes the baton from Lee
#3- Scott Sartwell
Dyan and Scott
Event: Asheville Half Marathon, March 2015, Asheville, SC
#4- Denise Hartmann
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
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
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
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
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)
Owner: Ben Pleva
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.
Ben Pleva competed in the 2017 Race4Chase Kids Community Triathlon in Monroe and passed the baton to one of Chase’s friends, Ben Rosenthal during the awards ceremony at the race. ben will return next year to compete in the race.
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
#1 – Greg Peck
Baton #10 – (Gold)
Owner: Catherine Bannish
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
#1 – Ivo Louvado
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
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
#4- Sean Ellman
David III passes to fellow DC police officer Sean
#5- Kat O’Neill
Sean Ellman and Kat O’Neill making exchange of baton
Event: Thomas Jefferson Community Center, Arlington VA
#6- Fred Campagna- WTNH News8 Weatherman
Event: Spring Street Mile, Manchester CT, June 10th
Fred passed baton to Lydia at Spring Street Mile Race
Fred passed the baton to Milford Road Runners teammate, Lydia Tilsley, at the Spring Street Mile. He broke his previous best time on the course while Lydia took 2nd place in her age group.
#7- Lydia Tilsley
Event: Walkway Half Marathon, June 11th, 2017, Hudson NY
Lydia passes baton to Elsie at Walkway Marathon
Lydia was quick to pass the baton to the next Race4Chase holder. After finishing a fast mile in Manchester on Saturday, she turned the next day to compete in the Walkway Half Marathon in Hudson New York on June 11th in 1:54:44, taking 3rd place in her age group and handing the baton to Elsie DiBella of Acton MA who finished just over 2 hours taking 8th place in her age group.
#8- Elsie DiBella, Acton, MA-
Event: Pan Mass Challenge
The baton traveled the entire 192 miles course of the 2-day Pan Mass Challenge. http://profile.pmc.org/ED0139 It was a grueling ride – the first day covers 110 miles and 3700 ft of elevation change, along which I had to ride through about 2 hrs of drenching rain. Day 2 was 82 miles with 2100 ft of elevation change and felt much like the end of a marathon, where you don’t know if you can go on but somehow you do.
Elsie passed the Race4Chase baton onto Kelly Spencer, who is competing in Casco Bay Islands Swimrun, which is a combination of 4 miles open water swimming and 10 miles of all terrain running, all while tethered to a partner.
Kelly and Elsie are part of the Healthcare Business Women’s Association (HBA) Boston Fit to Lead program https://www.hbanet.org/hba-boston-fit-to-lead - What is Fit to Lead? it is a fitness-infuse, leadership development journey. where members train for a transformational fitness experience while: connecting with with HBA members in a different environment, connecting learnings realized through training to their work, leadership and professional self and most of all have fun getting fit. Our members have a variety of transformational events including half ironman triathlons, climbing Mt. Fuji, ultra Spartan’s and Kelly’s Swimrun.
#9- Kelly Spencer
Event: Casco Bay Islands Swim/Run
My partner Dennis Lucey and I completed 6 miles of swimming and 16 of running to and over 10 islands –while tethered together. It’s a true sport of team, keeping each other moving and taking turns leading/following-always encouraging each other to push past what feels like a limit. It was a beautiful day, cold water (59 degrees) and not the most helpful of tides, but we kept smiling in spirit of sport and what Chase and his family are accomplishing to help others. We were so happy to carry the baton in our wetsuit sides to each island.
#10 – Catherine Bannish
Event: Spartan Challenge
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
#1 – Shannon Osborne
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
Event: USA Triathlon National Championships, Milwaukee Wisc
#4- Tammy Powell, Franklin PA
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.
Baton #12 – (GOLD)
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
#1 – Mary Kreis
Erin passing baton to Mary
Baton #13 – (Gold)
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
#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
Event: The Green Bulldog Dash 5k, Uniontown, Ohio, October 2nd, 2016
#2- Jackson Krejsa – Student at Green High School
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
#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 competed in the Color Run 5k, July 11th, 2016, Phoenix Park, Dublin, Ireland
#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
#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, who is 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, 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. Now he sets his sights on Ironman Louisville in September 2017.
Baton #16 -
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
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.
Baton # 18-
Owner: David Brown I
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.
Baton # 20-
Origin: Phoenix Mesa Marathon, February 2017, Erin Flanagan’s 18th Marathon State
Owner: Ernesto Suarez
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Origin: New Jersey Marathon, April 26th, 2017
Erin Flanagan’s 19th Marathon State
Owner: Jenn Onofrio, Jersey City, NJ
Erin is pictured above with her sister at Chase’s playground at Normandy Beach on the eve of the New Jersey Marathon. Erin’s race was not her fastest but her sister set her PR in the Half the same day!
Erin passed the baton to Jenn Onofrio from Jersey City NJ who competed in the Half with her sister.
#2- Jenn Onofrio- Jersey City NJ
Baton # 22-
Origin: Cleveland Marathon in Cleveland Ohio, May 21, 2017
Erin Flanagan’s 20th Marathon State
Owner: Maddie Stambough