23 Apr 2015 Relay Finish and 2014 LIFE Runners of the Year
The third annual LIFE Runners A-Cross America Relay finished 40 days of running, walking, and praying across the country on Palm Sunday, March 29. LIFE Runners from the north (originating in Grand Forks, ND), south (Corpus Christi Bay, TX), east (New York, NY), and west (San Francisco, CA) converged at Falls Park near St. Joseph Cathedral in Sioux Falls, SD, after covering 5,564 miles over 40 days. With this year’s addition of north and south arms, the route formed a true cross over the nation. This year’s relay raised money for the Vitae Foundation, which uses media to build a culture of life and direct women to local pregnancy help centers.
LIFE Runners have selected standouts among their more than 3,400 members. Nelson De Los Santos and Karen Patnaude have been chosen as the adult male and adult female LIFE Runners of the Year. The two student honorees are Ryan Cascio and Paige Castle.
Nelson De Los Santos is the San Antonio LIFE Runners chapter leader and played a key role in the inaugural Mission for Life Half Marathon/5K that took place on March 21. Nelson completed his first full marathon with LIFE Runners at the Air Force Marathon in September 2014. Nelson also helped plan for the addition of the South Arm of the A-Cross America Relay.
Karen Patnaude moved across the globe and started the Fiji LIFE Runners chapter in October 2014. Karen’s leadership and passion have attracted 87 teammates in Fiji to join LIFE Runners in the past five months.
Ryan Cascio is the George Mason University LIFE Runners chapter assistant leader. Ryan contributed to an inspiring promotional video for the March for Life 5K.
Paige Castle wears her LIFE Runners gear in Jefferson City, MO, practically every day. She has played a key role in two LIFE Runners high school chapters, including at her current, Helias Catholic High School, where she runs cross country and track.
Dr. Pat Castle, LIFE Runners coach and co-founder said, “LIFE Runners is about living our Pro-Life faith out in the world and making our daily sacrifices a prayer offering to end the scourge of abortion, and these individuals do exactly that. Each of them is extraordinary and have earned this honor – high fives!” The two adult honorees were added to the LIFE Runner of the Year plaque in memory of Joseph E. Castle, father of co-founder Pat Castle. The two student honorees were added to the plaque in memory of J.P. Peters, a 12-year-old LIFE Runner who lost his battle with immune disorders in February 2013. Other amazing LIFE Runners considered for the honor were Renée Cloutier (UK), Mary Haskamp (MO), Paula Parmelee (SD), Brett Blakeman (SD), Ryan Westendorf (SD), and Kylie Mohalland (MO).