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Running from Los Angeles to New York to end Multiple Sclerosis

MS Run the US is a 3,100-mile long relay race from Los Angeles, California to New York. The run was started in Brookfield, Wisconsin in 2009 to raise awareness and research funds for Multiple Sclerosis. The organization also raises money to assist those currently living with MS.

Ricardo Contreras, who studies Exercise Science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, participated in last month’s run as a road crew member. At just 22, he’s already an experienced distance runner and has run in a number of 5Ks. He shared his heartwarming and inspiring experience as a road crew member in this audio story.

Listen below to meet Ricardo Contreras, a student and trainer in Milwaukee who served on the road crew from Joliet, Illinois to the finish line in New York.

Contreras was tasked with serving a handful of runners for a month from Joliet, Illinois to New York. He was a coach mixed with a trainer mixed with an assistant.

You could hear him saying, “Do you need water? How are your legs feeling? Do you need me to stretch you out?”

He added thoughts of encouragement and tough love to his list of duties to the runners.

Contreras says the most memorable moments came towards the finish of the race while working with a runner named Anna. Anna’s mother has MS and is paralyzed. Anna ran on her behalf.

“It kind of made it all worth it to see people crying at the finish line,” said Contreras after reflecting on the challenges posed by the run.

Learn more about the cause, how much money has been raised and how to participate next year by visiting the MS Run the US website.