#runforlisa #danceforlisa

The American Fork Half Marathon – Round 2

Hello Everyone!

One year ago, we kicked off our #TayandBay running campaign with the American Fork Half Marathon. It was an incredible experience for everyone involved, and during the course of the campaign we raised enough funds to cover Taylor Morris’s outstanding medical bills.

Tay & Bay & Rachelle

One year later, and guess who is running the race??? That’s right, Taylor Morris.

Taylor called us a week ago and asked if he could write a message for our site, and include a special idea for this race, one that is near and dear to his heart, and to the hearts of all of Lisa Stoddard’s family, friends, and former students. In his words…


Taylor Here! I can’t even describe how grateful I am to all of the Rose Runners and those that helped support them as they ran during the #tayandbay campaign. Recovering from tragically losing my little sister, while coming to grips with the physical changes I would have to live with for the rest of my life after breaking my back and neck is unbearable enough. On top of that, I received calls on almost a daily basis telling me I had another bill that needed to be paid or it would go to collections. I’m a college student! School, figuring out my future, and adjusting to married life while working full-time is difficult enough. I recovered extremely well, and I received tons of support from family and friends to help me move forward mentally and emotionally. But still the bills and phone call after phone call…

Rose Runners stepped in and helped. We saved all we could and paid what we could on our own. We applied for financial aid to offset the cost of certain bills from hospitals. Rose Runners helped with the bills that we were unable to pay for on our own. Thank you to everyone who has followed our story and has contributed to making our journey a story with a happy ending.

Tay & Bay June 2014All the bills are done! That is such an unbelievable relief! There is no way that we can say thank you enough, so instead we’ve decided to pay it forward right alongside the organization that helped get us back on our feet.

Last year I made a promise that I would push myself to be ready to run a half marathon the following year. I’m ready to run, and I’m excited to call myself a Rose Runner!  A friend and teacher that was a great support to Bailee and I was Lisa Stoddard. Lisa Ann (Wright) Stoddard passed away on Monday April 28, 2014, from a tragic car accident. Her husband Troy and her four young children miss her dearly, but have shown great strength and optimism as they move forward. Lisa was a wonderful mother and a devoted wife, but she was also an extremely hard working provider for her family.  Lisa has worked in the Dance Department at BYU while also teaching dance full-time at American Leadership Academy in Spanish Fork, as well as The Dance Company. Before that, Lisa was the Dance Team Director at Utah Valley University, a Dance Team Director at Orem High School, and set choreography at many more Universities and dance studios all over the country.

Rose Runners understands the huge expense of a funeral, but for a family to tragically lose a mother, a wife, as well as a source of income, places a huge amount of stress on a family that is still trying to grieve. Join us in helping the Stoddard family. No donation is too small. Let’s run together. Let’s cheer for each other. Let’s make a difference.


With that being said, all donations to the Rose Runners Fundly campaign for Lisa Stoddard and all donations to the Rose Runners website between now and race day will be given to the Stoddard family for the benefit of Lisa and Troy’s 4 children. We hope to raise $5,000, and any amount you share will help! To kick off the campaign, Rose Runners is donating $500! Feel free to spread the word, and whether or not you are running with us at the American Fork Half next weekend, post a running pic on Instagram or Facebook with #runforlisa and #danceforlisa and we will share on our official Rose Runners social media accounts.


The Oak Ridge NHS 5K!

The Oak Ridge NHS 5K!

Hello Everyone!

We are so excited that Oak Ridge High School’s National Honor Society is sponsoring a race on behalf of RoseRunners! These high school students are bright and motivated to positively impact the local community, and it is a privilege to have RoseRunners tied to a worthy endeavor. Race proceeds will go to benefit 1-3 families in the Conroe/Spring areas of Houston who are facing overwhelming medical bills. We are currently vetting nominees, and if you have any families you would like to nominate, please send us an email at theteam@roserunners.org.

If you would like to join us, please register HERE, and we’ll see you in 20 days!


Oak Ridge Rose Runners Race photo












Look Who Just Signed Up For Her First 5K...

Look Who Just Signed Up For Her First 5K…

This afternoon MarShae Morris signed up for her first ever 5K, and she will be running the Deseret News 5k in Salt Lake City with her big brother Taylor on July 24!

MarShae RRunners Pioneer 5k Sign Up
After watching the RoseRunners crew finish the American Fork Half Marathon, Taylor decided that he could participate by running (read: shuffling his feet / walking) through shorter races to show the world he is physically healing and he appreciates all the love and support from friends near and far.

MarShae was already planning on being in Utah at the time, and now the two siblings will get to actively participate with Team RoseRunners together! We couldn’t be more excited.

Rachelle, Bailee, and friends will be running the half marathon, and there is also a marathon distance and 10k distance, so if you want to join us 30 days from now, sign up for the race and let us know. We’d love to have you!

Team RoseRunners Meets The American Fork Half Marathon

Team RoseRunners Meets The American Fork Half Marathon

A big congratulations to the RoseRunners crew who ran the American Fork Half Marathon and 5K this past Saturday! We sincerely appreciate everyone who ran, who cheered, and who donated on the historic day for the RoseRunners. We felt love support from friends and family near and far – thank you for all the messages of support from around the country!

Rachelle is going to blog about the race experience, as she is setting out to run 10 half marathons during the next 12 months to raise money for her brother Taylor and spread the message of what RoseRunners is all about. Check back tomorrow for her recap.

For now, enjoy the pictures and video footage from the first Team RoseRunners race!

Shannon, Rachelle, Bailee, and Cici

Shannon, Rachelle, Bailee, and Cici

Rachelle & Bailee running through American Fork Canyon

Rachelle & Bailee running through American Fork Canyon

Bailee & Rachelle finish together in stride

Bailee & Rachelle finish together in stride

Shannon, Cici, Bailee, & Rachelle post race - Smiles all around!

Shannon, Cici, Bailee, & Rachelle post race – Smiles all around!

Best friends embrace after Cici finished her 1st ever half marathon

Best friends Bailee & Cici embrace after Cici finished her 1st ever half marathon

Taylor with his fiancee Bailee and sister Rachelle

Taylor with his fiancee Bailee and sister Rachelle

Taylor with Team RoseRunners Half Marathon & 5K Finishers

Taylor with Team RoseRunners Half Marathon & 5K Finishers

RoseRunners #TayAndBay Support Crew

RoseRunners #TayAndBay Support Crew

RoseRunners Meets Good Morning Utah

RoseRunners Does Good Morning Utah

Good Morning Utah anchor Emily Clark hosted Rachelle, Taylor, and Bailee this morning to talk about RoseRunners and to spread the message of what we are doing. Since we mostly discussed the back story of RoseRunners, we thought we would share some of the details of what we are currently doing:

1. Founding RoseRunner Rachelle plans to run 10 half marathons over the next year as a way to raise money for her brother Taylor (#TayAndBay campaign) to help cover the cost of medical bills. She can’t do it alone. If you would like to become a member of Team RoseRunners, click HERE.

2. RoseRunners has the full intent to create a sustainable non-profit model to be used to both emotionally and financially support individuals and families who grieve and who need help covering large medical bills in conjunction with grief. We are brand new and would love help from nonprofit organizations who’ve been doing this for years. If you want to help, please email us at TheTeam@RoseRunners.org!

3. Rachelle, Bailee, and a few friends will be running the American Fork Half Marathon tomorrow morning! Taylor and friends will be at the finish line (proudly wearing his blue RoseRunners #TayAndBay shirt), and we would love to have your support! Hopefully we’ll see you at American Fork High School sometime between 8-9 am tomorrow morning!

4. Can’t make it to the race tomorrow but live in Utah? We will also be running the Deseret News Half Marathon on Pioneer Day. If you think you can be in half marathon shape by July 24, we would love to have you join us!

5. Thanks again to Emily Clark and ABC4 Good Morning Utah! Click HERE or on the image below to watch the video from the show!

RoseRunners Meets Good Morning Utah

RoseRunners Meets Good Morning Utah

How a Random Fro Yo Trip Changed the Course of “History”…

How a Random Fro Yo Trip Changed the Course of “History”…

New Years Resolutions typically make about as much of an impact in my life as a cayenne-lemonade fast does – I have a ridiculous level of determination for a short period of time, feel great for a week, and then don’t really change anything about my lifestyle to make a lasting impact.

Last year, however, something spontaneous and unique happened. On New Years Day 2012, I treated my younger siblings Taylor, Madeline, MarShae, and Marielle to frozen yogurt, and while we ate our treats (outside, because yes, it was a warm day in Houston), we each shared 1-2 goals that we would focus on during the course of the year.

Taylor:  1. Become the President of the BYU Young Ambassadors & 2. Date a girl for 5 months or longer.

Madie:  1. Read the Book of Mormon & 2. Earn a 3.9 GPA at BYU during the summer term and fall semester.

MarShae:  Do the splits. (#stretchgoal)

Marielle:  Be a nicer person. (When pressed about making the goal “measurable” by Taylor and me, Marielle snarkly replied “I know if I am being nicer, OK???” as she leaned back in her chair and folded her arms defiantly. We decided to just nod our heads and write down the goal.)

Rachelle (Me):  Run a half marathon.

**I had just run 7 miles for the first time ever the morning prior, so I think I had running on my mind.**

As I haphazardly approached my goal during the course of the year, Taylor and Madie aggressively pursued theirs. Taylor became the president of Young Ambassadors, managed to date two women, and fell in love with one of them. Madie was accepted into BYU, earned a 4.0 over the summer term, and was closing in on a “perfect” fall semester.

Following an October trip to visit Madie and Taylor in Utah, during which Madie had asked me how my training was going, I began aggressively training for a half marathon in mid-December. As I trained, I started to take pictures of my surroundings (Madie always “Liked” my running pictures on Instagram)…

White Rock Lake

White Rock Lake 2


On November 10, 2012, I was supposed to run 9-10 miles. However, something magical happened on that autumnal Saturday afternoon – I had decided I was going to run around a lake that is approximately a 9-mile loop, but when I started my run, I found a forested maze of trails that were completely unoccupied. I didn’t just jog on those trails. I ran… and I jumped over logs… and I got stuck in some mud… and I swiped branches away from my face… but mostly I ran.

photo 3 (2)

After covering 2.5 miles of distance along those trails, I reconnected with the paved trail around the lake, and I continued to run… and run… and once I reached the 8 mile mark, I just decided to accomplish my half marathon goal right then and there. I literally felt like I was on top of the world, that I could tackle anything, and that the world was my oyster. I clearly recall observing the incredible cloud formations that stretched across the sky and how light that emanated from the setting sun kissed the clouds and the lake water – I had escaped from the stresses of daily life and had entered my own personal temple. At one point I even thought to myself, “This is why Jonathan Livingston Seagull decided to be more than just a seagull… and this is why people become distance runners.”

Nov 10

So I took care of my 2012 goal on that perfect Saturday afternoon.

photo 4  photo 2

To celebrate, I texted Taylor, Madie, and MarShae…

R:  “Ran 13.1 miles today and accomplished my 2012 goal! Looks like Taylor is tracking on his goals… MarShae, how are the splits coming along? Madie, your GPA?”

Mad:  “My GPA is doing well. I got a 99 on my nutrition test yesterday… I’m so proud of you! I told my roommates! :)

**There was more that followed, but the rest of the text conversation will be shared in a future post.**

When I think about the run that day, I recognize the remarkable nature of that experience. I had never run more than 8 miles in a single outing. The first 2 miles of almost all my runs are typically a little sluggish, but not on this occasion. I had no compelling reason to run the full 13.1 that day – it wasn’t like there were only a handful of days left in the year.

But I did it. And I got the chance to tell Madie I had accomplished my goal. Never could I have imagined that Madie would be gone 10 days later, but I am confident that God knew my goal’s true expiration date was quickly approaching, and so He gave me an extra boost, both physically and emotionally, during that milestone of a training run. God knew what I needed – a healthy outlet for grief – and so He gave it to me.

Looking back upon the fro yo trip on New Years Day 2012, it really wasn’t a huge event in and of itself. It was just a spontaneous outing with siblings. Nevertheless, if that discussion had not taken place, then we would not have shared goals between siblings, and we would not have periodically checked in on one another, and I can assure you I would not have discovered the beauty of becoming a “distance” runner, nor would I have likely turned to running after The Accident as a way to find strength in my grieving, and so the idea for RoseRunners would have never been born…

Fro Yo

It really is the little things in life that make life so beautiful, isn’t it?

And whether or not you are also grieving, or you know someone who is grieving, or you just need an outlet for your own difficulties in life, I hope you go for a run or a walk or a bike ride or anything that helps you remember you CAN do hard things in life.

Running is more than just a sport… And apparently fro yo is more than just a treat.


P.S. I have a goal to run at least 10 half marathons with fellow RoseRunners during the next year. The first one is this Saturday in American Fork, UT. I hope I see some of you there!