Fifty-Two Fives Fundraiser

I suffered from Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS) in 2009. In 2015, we ran 52 races and raised $59,686 to support the awesome work of the GBS/CIDP Foundation. This site contains archives of our 52 race reports and weekly updates; scroll to the bottom for the race reports. The final report is here.

The Fundraiser

The fundraiser is over, but you can still visit the IndieGoGo page for the campaign. There’s also a Facebook page over here at

Our goal was to raise $52,000 but through the generosity of many we beat our goal and raised $59,686 for the Foundation. If you’d still like to support the work of the GBS/CIDP Foundation, you can contribute directly here.

What is GBS?

GBS affects 1 in 100,000 people. It begins with weakness or tingling sensations in the legs, and can spread to the arms and upper body. These symptoms can increase until muscles cannot be used at all and the person is almost totally paralyzed. It can be life threatening.

My experience with GBS was tough. In a few days, I went from athletic to struggling to walk to the mailbox. It took too long to get diagnosed and I didn’t know where to get help — it was mentally very tough. You can learn more about my story here.

Why Run?

Late 2009 -- a few months after I got GBS. Out of shape, but on the road to recovery.
Late 2009 — a few months after I got GBS. Out of shape, but on the road to recovery.

I ran in defiance of GBS. I’d been a very regular runner since 1993, GBS stopped me for nearly two years.  In the end, I ran a half-marathon, eleven 10ks (6.2 miles or so),  a 7.6 miler, two five-milers, a 4.5 miler, a four-miler, thirty-four 5ks (3.1 miles or so), and a one-mile time trial.

This website is called “Fifty-Two Fives” because my defiant fundraising plan was hatched in 2012 with the goal of running fifty-two 5k races in one year. As the idea developed, I decided that I’d count any race that had a timer.


Here are the races I ran:

  1. Resolution Run 5k (time: 21:32) at Papago Park in Phoenix, AZ on January 3
  2. Foster City 5k (21:21) in Foster City, CA on January 18
  3. Super Guadalupe River Run 5k (21:06) in San Jose, CA on February 1
  4. Campbell Valentines’ Day 5k (22:15) in Campbell, CA on February 7
  5. Brazen Racing Bay Breeze 5k (31:37) in San Leandro, CA on February 14
  6. UjENA Fit Club Double Racing 5k (20:15) in San Jose, CA on February 21
  7. Mardi Gras Madness 5k (27:05) in San Jose, CA on February 22
  8. Brazen Racing Hellyer 10k (46:46) in San Jose, CA on February 28
  9. Jenny’s Light 5k (21:46) in Los Gatos, CA on March 8
  10. Carrera UNICEF por la educacion (48:33) in Buenos Aires, Argentina on March 15
  11. Zimbabwe Run 1 miler (6:20) in Mountain View, CA on March 22
  12. Wildflower Run 5k (21:40) in Morgan Hill, CA on March 29
  13. Play Ball 5k (22:40) in Oakland, CA on April 11
  14. Presidio 10k (50:15) in San Francisco, CA on April 12
  15. Mt Diablo Trails Challenge (24:35) at Mt Diablo, CA on April 19
  16. The St. Lawrence Run for Fun (22:39) in Sunnyvale, CA on April 25
  17. The Great Race (28:45) in Los Gatos, CA on April 26
  18. Trail Quake 5k (30:13) in Saratoga, CA on June 6
  19. Bubble Run 5k (slowly!) in San Jose, CA on June 13
  20. Lupus 5k (22:30) in Saratoga, CA on June 14
  21. Quarry Lakes 5k (24:10) in Fremont, CA on June 27
  22. Morgan Hill Freedom Fest 5k (22:56) in Morgan Hill, CA on July 4
  23. Lighting the Way 5k (23:08) in Los Gatos, CA on July 18
  24. Firefly 5k (23-something) in San Jose, CA on July 25
  25. Journey for Jessica Emerge 5k (24:14) at Lake Almaden, CA on August 1
  26. Crystal Spring Trail Run 5 mile (42-something) at Woodart Park near Woodside, CA on August 9
  27. Troy’s annual Almaden Hills run 5k (29-something) at Almaden Quicksilver park in Almaden, CA
  28. 12th annual 10k on the Bay 5k (23:10) in Hayward, CA on August 30
  29. Trail Hog 10k (58:57) at Joseph Grant county park in San Jose, CA on September 6
  30. Lake Merced 4.5 miler (34:58) at San Francisco, CA on September 13
  31. Awesome 80s 5k race (22:45) at San Francisco, CA on September 20
  32. Moonlight 5k (26:05) in Palo Alto, CA on September 25
  33. Hoofin’ and Woofin’ 5k9 (39:15) in San Jose, CA on September 26
  34. Trailblazer 5k (23:16) in Mountain View, CA on September 27
  35. Rocky Ridge 10k (1:04:04) in the Las Trampas Wilderness, CA on October 3
  36. Montclaire 5k (22:41) in Los Altos, CA on October 4
  37. Rescue Run 5k (29:14) in Castle Rock, CO on October 10
  38. Tarantula Run 10k in Los Vaqueros, CA on October 17
  39. Run to Send a Girl to School 5k in Mountain View, CA on October 18
  40. Cougar Mountain Trail Run Series 7.6 mile in Seattle, WA on October 25
  41. ZombieRunner Halloween 5 mile in Campbell, CA on October 31
  42. Stanford Race against PH 5k in Palo Alto, CA on November 1
  43. Save Mount Diablo Trails Challenge 10k on Mt. Diablo, CA on November 8
  44. Race to the Flagpole 5k in Livermore, CA on November 15
  45. Whiskey Hill Redwood Run 10k in Woodside, CA on November 16
  46. Terraloco TrailCross Bayfront 5k in Menlo Park, CA on November 21
  47. DSE Bayfront 5k in Brisbane, CA on November 22
  48. Zoom Turkey Trot 10k in San Jose, CA on November 26
  49. Brazen Racing Quarry Turkey 10k in Fremont, CA on November 28
  50. Santa Run 5k in Sydney, Australia on December 6
  51. Zoom Quarry Lakes 10k in Fremont, CA on December 20
  52. Brazen Almost New Year’s Half-Marathon (2:23) at Lake Chabot, CA on December 27

3 thoughts on “Fifty-Two Fives Fundraiser”

  1. You are doing a great thing for GBS patients, I got it in 1984 it took a real toll back then. Thank you for helping the GBS Foundation.


  2. Wonderful! I congratulate you, you are off to a good start. I just read the article in the foundation’s newsletter and looked you up.

    I have CIDP and I am running 12 5k’s in a year, one each month. I started in September 2014 and we (my friend is doing it also) have completed 8 as of last weekend.

    Your plan is a great one! Keep on going!


  3. I got GBS March 13, 2016. I was completely paralyzed and in a coma for 3 weeks and spent 5 months on the hospital. I have this summer finally started running with leg braces. I started running with a 15 minute mile and got it down to 8:45. This week I just was cleared to be able to run 2 miles each time and I ran my first in 20 minutes. It’s encouraging to see someone else with GBS running because I have been aiming to run a 5k in the mid 20s. Keep up the hard work and keep spreading awareness because I have meet several people who haven’t been nearly as fortunite and a lot of there situation could have been avoided with the proper healthcare!


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