It's one of those powerful stories of hope, loss and determination.
It's the story of Jenny Crain, a former national-class distance runner who now struggles to do ordinary daily tasks. And now that her story has become better know, the cyber running community is getting involved to offer help.
Crain's best performance was likely the 2004 New York City Marathon, where she earned the title as the top American finisher. She qualified for the Olympic Trials and still had hopes of competing in the Games when, in August of 2007, she she went out for a run and never returned.
Crain was struck by a car in Milwaukee, Wis., when she was out for a training run. She suffered severe brain damage destroying her spatial awareness and short term memory and limiting her ability to read.
An in-depth article on Crain, her career, her accident and her recovery appeared in the November issue of Runner's World (and can be read online here). With her medical expenses growing, the Jenny Crain Make it Happen Fund helps with costs, hosting a benefit in Milwaukee on Feb. 4. But the rest of the global running world wanted to help, too, and a cyber auction is in place with details on the Jenny Crain website and on Facebook.
Among the items available for pre-bid are a VIP spectator package for the 2010 Boston Marathon, a weekend at the Nike Oregon Project in Portland, a 1979 Boston Marathon poster signed by winner Bill Rogers and a Mammoth Track Club women's hooded sweatshirt autographed by Deena Kastor and Anna Pierce.
Items that are available for an email bid including two entries to the Bay to Breakers 12K, entries into the Peach Tree Road Race 10K and a collection of autographed books from the staff of Runners World.