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I have met the most amazing people through the Team Challenge program who have become my closest friends! We are all working toward the same goal... finding a cure for Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. — Leigh

When you join the Team, not only will you receive a comprehensive program to help you achieve your fitness goals, but you will become part of the Team Challenge family. As a Team, we challenge ourselves, change lives and fundraise for cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis - two painful, debilitating, and seldom-discussed digestive diseases. With Team Challenge, you become part of the solution!

Why join Team Challenge?

Here’s what Team Challenge offers you:

Information Sessions

We have many races both nationally and internationally, please contact us for more information!

Angel Whitworth, or 646-942-6520: Triathlon, International, Marathon, Cycle, Race In Orange 
Becky Burris, or 646-352-1016: Marathon, Half marathon, 10k, 5k 
Joe Cobucci, or 404-429-3057: Corporate teams


Independence Rhode Race

Team Challenge heads back to the east coast! This half marathon event follows the beautiful downtown streets of Bristol, RI when it is decked out in its finest during the Oldest 4th of July Celebration in America. The course includes incredible historic homes, a town common, and the America’s Cup Museum before heading out along the scenic coastline, through Colt State Park, and finishing along the water at Independence Park.

Event Date: June 30, 2018

Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon & 5k

Join us for our 11th and final year at our flagship event, and race through Wine Country! This popular race features a scenic vineyard course that starts at Cuvaison Carneros Winery in Napa and takes you 13.1 miles to finish in historic Sonoma Plaza in front of City Hall.

Event Date: July 15, 2018

Lake Tahoe Triathlon

Lake Tahoe Triathlon

The Lake Tahoe Triathlon is held annually the fourth weekend of August on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe at Ed’ZBerg Sugar Pine State Park featuring one of the world’s most scenic lakeshore environments. The Lake Tahoe Triathlon features Sprint, Olympic, and Half Triathlon distances and Aquabike and Duathlon. This is perfect event for first time triathletes as well as seasoned professionals.

Event Date: August 25th & 26th 2018

Bass Lake Triathlon

San Diego Tri Classic

Join us in San Diego, California for our 3rd year at the San Diego Triathlon Classic! You will start your race in Liberty Station, a tourist favorite known for its parks, restaurants and public market. The swim begins in the calm San Diego Bay, with a rare opportunity to ride through the Point Loma Naval Base up to the Cabrillo Monument, and end in NTC Park with a sunny mimosa celebration. This Saturday race allows you the chance to explore all the sites and attractions of San Diego Sunday.

Event Date: September 8th, 2018

Rock ‘N’ Roll Savannah Marathon & Half Marathon

Looking to add a little Southern charm to your race experience? Join Team Challenge as we run and walk in historic Savannah, GA at the Rock ‘N’ Roll Savannah Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay. The course starts in front of City Hall and winds through Savannah’s historic downtown district and charming neighborhoods before finishing in beautiful Forsyth Park. Enjoy local Savannah bands throughout the race course, and celebrate with your teammates at the finish line festival!

Event Date: November 3, 2018

Palm Desert Ride

The Palm Desert Century Ride is recreational cycle event in the low desert Coachella Valley near Palm Springs. Enjoy pristine desert scenery flanked by the soaring San Jacinto Mountains. With 7 distance options ranging from 20 to 130 miles, this event appeals to riders of all levels.

Event Date: November 10, 2018

Race In Orange

Team Challenge is excited to announce a new option in the fight against Crohn’s & Colitis. Whether you love to run/walk a 5k, get dirty in a mud run, cruise in a cycle event, or tri a triathlon…you can now help support CCFA's mission with no fundraising commitment! Set your own goal. The more you raise, the more rewards you receive!

Honored Heroes


Chloe and KimIn 2011, the day before Thanksgiving, Chloe had her first scopes done at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She had just turned 7. Chloe had belly pain as early as her preschool years. At four years old after her older brother’s celiac diagnosis, Chloe also was diagnosed with the antibodies for celiac disease, but even with a gluten free diet, she had pain. 

In January 2011, Chloe began to wake up at night with diarrhea. With only nondescript belly pain, her pediatrician expected the episodes of diarrhea to pass. Her lab work looked good except being borderline anemic. In the fall 2011, a family member noticed how pale Chloe was. Sometimes it is hard to see the gradual changes when you’re with someone all the time. But with new eyes, we agreed that she looked unhealthy. With her regular scheduled yearly checkup right around the corner on the calendar, we waited and discussed her symptoms with her pediatrician again. We asked for a referral for a pediatric GI appointment. Chloe was seen at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and her lab results revealed severe anemia. She was quickly scheduled for an upper endoscopy and colonoscopy. During those tests, the doctor immediately diagnosed IBD from the visual inspection of her colon, which was fully involved with disease.

Since her original diagnosis, Chloe spent a year, 2013-2014, struggling with C Diff.  She had two unsuccessful Fecal Microbiota Transplants. Chloe also had an additional diagnosis of Primary Scleroscing Cholangitis, an extraintenstinal manifestation of IBD, in 2014. Chloe has had to work harder to feel normal. She has had to try multiple medications with their own sets of side effects. She continues to be dependent on medications to be healthy. She has to eat differently than her friends and family with the hope of relief and remission. She has been afraid to leave the house if no bathroom would be available. She has rushed off a soccer field because she just couldn’t wait. The challenge of IBD makes Chloe work even harder to succeed because her stamina is not as good as her teammates. And as a 13 year old, she just wants to play soccer, draw, read, and be outside in nature like a “normal” kid. 

For Chloe, Team Challenge is a way to overcome the loneliness and isolation of IBD. She loves meeting and being with people who get what she’s going through. Team Challenge encourages Chloe that people care about what is happening to her body and that there is hope for a better future with new treatments and ultimately a cure. A cure would mean not being dependent on pills. It would mean no more surveillance colonoscopies and no more clean outs with Gatorade & Miralax...blah. It would mean energy and strength. It would mean no worries about how long remission will last, and not just for Chloe, but for everyone living with IBD.



Coach Dave McGovern, Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k, 5k
Coach Dave McGovern
Coach Dave is a globe-trotting running and walking coach with a master's degree in sport science from the United States Sports Academy. During his competitive career Dave represented the United States on nearly 20 USA Track & Field international teams, won 15 U.S. National Championships and competed in 8 Olympic trials--the most of any track & field athlete in any event in US history. 

As a private coach, Dave has had more than a dozen athletes qualify for the United States Olympic Track & Field Trials. Dave has also coached the national team of Ghana, West Africa, and has been named to the coaching staffs of several USA Track and Field teams, most recently as the Head Coach for the US Team at the 2012 Race Walking World Cup in Saransk, Russia.

Although recognized world-wide as a top athlete and coach, Dave points to his work with Team Challenge as one of his proudest achievements. Dave has been a National Coach with Team Challenge since the program's inception, and has served as Run Coach for Team Long Island since 2008. His interest in Team Challenge was sparked by his personal connection to The Foundation's mission - his wife, Loretta, has colitis.


Coach Ken Lucchesi, Triathlon
coach ken.jpg
Coach Ken combines extensive personal experience in endurance events with a fun and balanced attitude towards training and fitness. He has been a part of Team Challenge since 2011 and has coached both our half marathon and triathlon seasons.

In addition to coaching our National Triathlon Team, Ken also serves as the Head Coach for our Northern California team. He is a valued member of the Team Challenge family! He began his impressive athletic career as a tennis player turned runner and triathlete. He began running in 1998 and has completed six marathons, ten half marathons, six Ironman triathlons, and numerous other athletic events since then.

He is a certified personal trainer (American College of Sports Medicine) with experience coaching athletes of all skill levels and has a positive, energetic attitude towards fitness. He also recently received his Road Runners Club of America "Run Coach" Certification and is a USA Triathlon-certified Level 1 triathlon coach. Ken has a passion for helping athletes reach their fitness goals and is excited to help you cross the finish line for a cure! 


Coach Marc Blandin, Cycle
Coach Marc BlandinTeam Challenge National Cycling Coach Marc Blandin is an avid runner and cyclist with a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education with a concentration in coaching.  

Marc has competed in many bike rides and races including a number of century rides over the last fifteen years.  He has also run more than thirty-five marathons including Boston, New York, and London.  Additionally, he has raced in a number of duathlons and ultra-relays. For many years, Marc was a personal trainer working with celebrities, athletes, and clients whose skills ranged from beginner to professional.  

During the past ten years, he has combined his passion for volunteer work with his passion for exercise, serving as race director for a local road race as well as a triathlon. Marc first became involved with Team Challenge as a running coach with the New England Chapter in 2010, and has served as the Cycle coach since 2012.  Marc loves training cyclists of all ages and abilities, and is always excited to be coaching with the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation.

Additional Details

For more information about how the National Team works, please click here.

To get more information about joining the team, please contact the National Team Manager for your event of interest.

Angel Whitworth, or 646-942-6520: Triathlon, International, Marathon, Cycle, Race In Orange
Becky Burris, or 646-352-1016: Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k, 5k 
Joe Cobucci, or 404-429-3057: Corporate teams