Running for Life

One of the best parts about working in journalism is all the interesting people I have the chance to meet. Over the past four years I have met countless people on different stories and a few of them continue to stand out as my favorites. This past week I had the fortunate opportunity to interview a woman who I am sure will be one of the most memorable. Her name is Colleen Caul and her little sister has Cystic Fibrosis. In an effort to raise money for CF and spread awareness, she is going on a 65 day, 1,000 mile run from St. Louis to New York City. It’s an incredible story and I was luckily given the chance to write about her and her run for the Get Involved section for the September issue of ALIVE.

I met up with her last week for the initial interview. I had no idea what to expect when I walked into Starbucks – was she young? old?  Whenever you’re meeting someone new for an interview, there’s always that awkward “hmmm could that be her in the corner? Or the woman sitting by the window?” Luckily she had a flyer with her and I was able to spot it. Turns out she is a 29-year-old actress from St. Louis who began running to bond with her little sister Katie. Katie began running because she discovered that it strengthened her lungs and helped control her disease. Colleen’s story is one that really touches you deep down, especially for anyone who has a sibling or friend that they would do anything for.

{Colleen Caul and her younger sister Katie – both were so inspiring!}

My interview with Colleen could have lasted several hours. She’s one of those people you instantly feel comfortable with. Bubbly and outgoing, she has the ability to captivate you with her stories and I was fascinated to hear how she came up with the idea, which she is calling Run for Roses. The rose is the symbol of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as well as Katie’s middle name. Colleen’s been planning the run for a year now and she is finally off!

Thursday was the kick off rally, held in Keiner Plaza in downtown St. Louis. Friends, family and volunteers all gathered in the 105 degree heat to give Colleen a big farewell. She will be running 15 miles each day, ending at Rockefeller Plaza in New York on September 23.

{The beautiful Kiener Plaza in Downtown St. Louis}

I stopped by the rally to film a piece for ALIVE Around Town blog, you can see the video and story here.  It was the hottest day of the summer but it didn’t stop Colleen’s many friends, family members and supporters from coming out and cheering her on. Even St. Louis Rams kicker Josh Brown suffered through the heat (a whopping 103 degrees!) to show his support for Colleen and the cause. CF is close to Brown’s heart after a friend from high school passed away from the disease.

{Colleen and Rams kicker Josh Brown}

I was so glad to be a part of the rally and if I didn’t have to head back to the office (or wasn’t wearing heels) then I would have run a couple of miles with her. But instead I will follow her along the way on her blog and hopefully will be able to do a follow-up interview when she lands in New York in September!


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