Golden local and passionate adventure woman, Marie-Michelle Lafontaine will be running the Golden Ultra in support of the Branch Out Neurological Foundation.
Why the entire Golden Ultra?
Taking on the full Golden Ultra is a pretty big commitment for a fundraiser, but Marie-Michelle is a pretty amazing athlete. In 2016 she ran (and won) only the half marathon stage and felt a little "wimpy" running fresh next to people who were out there on their third day of pure mountain bliss. She's excited to take on the big challenge this year and feels like the motivation of a social cause is just what she needs to keep her heart pumping, legs moving, and smile shining for three days!
What is Branch Out?
Branch Out Neurological Foundation exists to help mitigate and eliminate the 600+ diseases of the nervous system that affect nearly 20% of the world's population! We’re doing it with an open mind by "branching out" to fund a new field of research we've dubbed neuroCAM (neuroscience + complementary and alternative modalities).
The Foundation funds students and academics to engage in valid, peer-reviewed scientific research into innovative tech solutions and non-pharmaceutical approaches, which are not typically funded by current granting programs.
How did Branch Out Start?
Branch Out was co-founded by Marie-Michelle's good friend Crystal Phillips, who was an elite speed skater prior to her diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis. Crystal was a big fundraiser for the MS Bike Tour in Alberta and got the idea to start Branch Out after having meaningful discussions with people impacted by other neurological disorders.
Why is Marie-Michelle running for Branch Out?
As Marie-Michelle says, "I am fundraising for [Branch Out] because [Crystal] is so inspiring, her cause is touching, and she is changing the world!" How's that for some motivation?