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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:


Our next season begins in March!

Info Sessions:

Upcoming Events

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

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

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

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 Hero

Meet Honored Hero Lauren Villarreal

My name is Lauren and I am so excited to be Team Challenge Seattle's Honored Hero this season.  Not only am I the Honored Hero, but my dad will be running in Surf City on my behalf.  I want to first thank everyone for all they are doing through Team Challenge as it gives me hope that one day we will have cures for Crohn's and ulcerative colitis.  

My story started when I was just 14 years old. I was experiencing extreme fatigue, taking a ton of naps, and lost motivation for everything that took energy. At first my parents thought that maybe this was just some sort of teenage sluggishness and even though I knew things weren't quite right I told them I was fine and they believed me.  I started losing a lot of weight and my fatigue started getting even worse. We knew it was time to take me to the doctor and I had to be honest with my mom that I was experiencing a lot of blood.  I had hid that fact from my parents for a very long time.  

I consider myself one of the lucky patients because my doctor immediately referred us to a GI specialist as he is also an IBD patient and knew what was going on.  My scope concluded that I did in fact have ulcerative colitis. Not even a week after diagnosis, I was rushed to the ER because I fainted at school. At that time my dad was deployed and my mom had to juggle taking care of me, an extremely sick child, and my two siblings.  My blood pressure was dangerously low and I required a 2 unit blood transfusion.  The next couple weeks in the hospital were nothing short of a blurr for me and my family.

After trial and error of medications I am finally on an infusion regimen every 7 weeks. My growth has halted and I am still plagued with fatigue, but I will not let this disease run me! I am stronger than this stupid disease and I will continue to excel in school, in my arts, and with my friends.

We all know that only cures are forever and that is all I want... a CURE.  Team Challenge is an amazing community that not only empowers me, but helps my parents feel like they are doing something to help me as well.  




Coach Kaelyn


This is my 13th season coaching with Team Challenge.  When I first started in 2011 I had no connection to Crohn's or ulcerative colitis. 6 years and 14 seasons later I am now connected to hundreds of people I call family, including my husband, whom I met during my first coaching season.  When I am not coaching Team Challenge, I work as a massage therapist, sport psychologist, and teach barre fitness classes. I have done several half marathons, 3 marathons, and a handful of triathlons.  I am very passionate about health and fitness, both physically and metnally, and really enjoy helping people achieve their fitness goals.  Aside from helping people train for half marathons, the relationships I have built through my involvement with Team Challenge are some of the most important ones in my life.  I look forward to another amazing season and adding more people to my #TCfamily.



Coach Brittany


Hey, I am Coach B!  This is my 5th season with Team Challenge.  I have been a participant, mentor, and coach! I found Team Challenge just months after being diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2013 and haven't looked back since. I had quite the journey to my diagnosis.  In fact it took 21 years to finally have an answer to what was going on with me.

I am a swimmer at heart, but fell in love with running once I achieved remission.  Running and living a healthy lifestyle (I believe) has allowed me to remain in remission for over 3 years now.  When I am not running, I enjoy hanging out with family and friends, traveling, hanging out with my sweet Corgi, Smalls, being the coolest Auntie, and cheering on my Mariners, Cougs, and Seahawks!  I can't wait to meet each of you this season and welcome you into this amazing #TCfamily


Mentor Karen







Hi! My name is Karen, and this will be my 7th season with Team Challenge. Not only am I a Team Challenge mentor and participant, but I serve on the National Team Challenge Alumni Committee.  I hope to bring what I learn from that committee to our local chapter and more importantly what I learn from you, the participant, back to the committee.  

Team Challenge is near and dear to me because my brother and nephews suffer from Crohn's Disease. With 5 family members affected by these diseases I have seen first hand the struggles. We have laughed and cried together many times and for me all I wanted to do was find a way to help and make a difference.  Finding Team Challenge allowed me to do just that. In addition, I found a family that understood, new friends, and a means in which to help those who live with Crohn's and colitis.  I gained far more than I could have ever imagined when I joined Team Challenge and I hope to add to our #TCfamily this winter season.  Cannot wait to meet all of you and help you achieve your goals for this year!

Mentor Patrick


This will be my 3rd season with Team Challenge.  I moved out to Seattle a little over a year ago from New York and since that time, Team Challenge has become more than just a family to me.  I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in high school and have been fighting for a cure ever since. I am also the oldest of 3 siblings, all of whom were diagnosed with Crohn's disease shortly after I was. My family and I have seen our share of the ups and downs that this disease brings, but we are constantly grateful for all the wonderful support of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation provides day in and day out to those who suffer from these diseases.  Team Challenge has changed my life for the better in a multitude of ways and I cannot wait to share my experiences and help you create your own amazing memories this season!

Mentor Toni


This will be my 10th season with Team Challenge! I suffered from ulcerative colitis for more than 10 years before finally having my colon removed in 2008, leaving me with a permanent ostomy.  I joined Team Challenge in 2013 as a way to push myself to complete a half marathon.  Little did I know that I would find an extended family and the best support group I could have ever imagined. I continue to return because of my incredible teammates, the pediatric patients, the caregivers and supporters I have met over my last 4 years with Team Challenge.  I look forward to supporting and cheering each of you on as you not only cross that finish line, but help us get that much closer to the ultimate finish line of cures. 

Mentor Summer


I'm Summer! I love macaroni and cheese, horror movies and Krav Maga. This will be my 4th season with Team Challenge and my 2nd as a mentor.  I was officially diagnosed with Crohn's disease in July 2013, but I have tried to make sure that since that day this disease does not define who I am or what I can or cannot do.  I joined Team Challenge because two of my friends, who also suffer from Crohn's and ulcerative colitis had participated in these events and couldn't stop raving about their experiences.  I was in need of the support that the #TCfamily provides.  This group encouraged me to run and raise awareness for those who can't.  I have met so many patients and caregivers through Team Challange. Their stories, their struggles, and their triumphs are why I keep coming back.  I look forward to meeting all of you and what this amazing season will bring and how it will change your life!


Additional Details

Bring Team Challenge to Your Office!
Our local staff will present a program overview and share how you and your co-workers can make a difference. Contact Seattle Manager Nicole Kittelson to learn more or schedule a visit.


Nicole Kittelson
Endurance Manager, Team Challenge
Crohn's & Colitis Foundation - Northwest Chapter
9 Lake Bellevue Dr., Suite 203 Bellevue, WA 98005
Email:    Tel: 425-451-8455  x5     Fax: 425-451-1708

Sara Honored hero