Inspired by mom, Nebraska man running from Colorado to Holdrege for MS charity

Donate to Chris's page with MS Run the US

LINCOLN, NE - Like many Americans, Chris Whitney started running again when the pandemic hit.

But the former high school runner is taking his old hobby farther than even he thought he would.

“I kind of just woke up one morning and I told my wife, I’m going to go for it,” Whitney said.

In June, Whitney will run from Wray, Colorado to Holdrege, Nebraska. That’s 166 miles over six days. Tackling a task that daunting takes deep motivation.

“I’m running for my mom and I’m running for my friend Kevin Bedel," Whitney said. "My mom, Joyce Whitney, has had MS since pretty much when I was a young kid.”

Whitney watched as multiple sclerosis gradually took his mom from playing catch before baseball games to having limited mobility.

“She’s been wheelchair bound for about 15 years now," Whitney said. "My dad and my brother take just great care of her as she’s living in our house still. It’s been heartbreaking to see that throughout the years.”

He’s always wanted a way to help and found that in MS Run the US, a cross country relay split into 19 segments. Each runner raises money for the non-profit. Whitney is already $2,000 past his goal of $10,000.

The charity uses the money to fund research projects and offer specific aid to people with the condition.

“Another good reason to remember why the is all happening is because it resonates with people," Whitney said. "Whether it’s from my story, my mom’s story, Kevin’s story, or if they’re donating in honor of somebody else.”

Whitney runs 50-70 miles a week as part of a four-month training program. He’ll participate in the Lincoln Marathon in a couple weeks. When training is tough, Whitney thinks of the finish line.

“(When everything) kind of comes to a head and we finish up in Holdrege, it will be… about 1,000 times more emotional than it has been thus far, and it’s already been pretty emotional,” Whitney said.

Whitney might be familiar to you. He’s a former News Channel Nebraska reporter and anchor. Now, he’s the Communications Coordinator for the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and lives in Omaha.