Archived Story

Running Wild for someone else

Published 9:46am Friday, June 13, 2014

When she laces up her shoes Saturday morning, Michelle Curfman wouldn’t just be enjoying the lavish woods and well groomed trails of Maplewood State Park, she will be running for someone who can’t.

Curfman, a member of the I Run 4 Program, will be competing in the Running Wild Trail Run this weekend for herself and her 19-year-old friend, Alisha.

The I Run 4 Program is a program designed to allow able bodied runners to be paired up with someone with special needs and compete in a event for that person.

Curfman, who found out about the program through a friend who’s son was matched through the website, joined in January and was matched with Alisha on June 5.

The match took quite a few months as the program is based on how many individuals are signed up to run and how many special needs individuals sign up to be run for.

“When I signed up there were about 2600 runners signed up ahead of me. The wait was long but well worth it,” Curfman said.

Curfman’s buddy, Alisha, suffers from a rare form of chromosome disorder called 11q terminal deletion disorder. This is a disorder where one of the chromosome 11’s in a human’s body is either broken or lost. This effects the motor skills, learning and physical appearance of the person.

This has not stopped Alisha, a Texas teenager, from graduating high school. She has made strides that even her doctors did not think were possible.

“Her mother says that she has surpassed many expectations,” Curfman said. “She can communicate using picture boards and modified signs. She walks and rides a trike. When she was born doctors did not believe that she would be able to do this! She has an amazing mom who believes in her.”

The Running Wild Trail Run at Maplewood State Park, now in its third year, will kickoff at 9 a.m. with a kid’s 200 yard dash. The 7K trail run will follow at 9:30 a.m. and a one mile run/hike will begin five minutes after.

This won’t be the first race for Curfman as she is very active runner who has participated in track in high school and continues to run today. As a member of a running group called 12 in 12, Curfman competes in at least one event a month and plans on competing in the fifth annual Turkey Trot in Fergus Falls on November 15.

The Fosston native looks forward to her first race in the park and to fulfill a promise to a friend.

“My goal is to enjoy the beautiful scenery and finish strong. My time goal is around 9:30 /mile. And, of course, to run for Alisha and share the event with her,” Curfman said.

If you are interested in joining the I Run 4 Program, visit for more information.

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