Weekend Race

PhilKelsey1There were a few turn of events at this weekend’s 100-mile Ultra marathon. As we all know, life has a way of throwing challenges at us for many reasons, some of which we do not initially understand. A many of you have already heard, unfortunately Phil had an injury during the race. He is okay and we have spoken to him since. He is recuperating, ‘taking it easy’ and doing much better. We are so glad he is alright. His mind, heart and sprit were ready for the challenges of the day …but his calf muscle had a difference of option this weekend. Although Phil felt immense disappointment, he sees all the good that has come from the preparation for this race and our rare disease community, as do we. It was incredible week in so many ways, with so much wonderful effort and love behind it.


Below is an email update from Phil;

The race did not go as hoped or as expected. I pulled my calf muscle during my training and re-injured it very early in the race. By mile 5 it was tight and by 25 it was screaming. I sought help in the medical tent with heat packs and Tiger balm and tried to work through it for another 5 miles but there was clearly no way that I was going to survive another 75 miles on this calf. It pains me to say that I dropped out of the race at mile 29.5 at 1:30 AM. It was my first DNF (Did Not Finish).

Needless to say, I have been pretty down for the last 36 hours with such disappointment but I am turning the corner. I can’t say when as I need to get my calf checked out to assess the damage but I will promise this ‘THERE WILL BE ANOTHER DAY’. My son Matt did not spend 4+ hours preparing the playlist with all of the songs that you all graciously donated for nothing. Wylder and I will be back with a vengeance; I PROMISE.

Thank you again for the outpouring of support for Wylder’s Research Project. We have raised ~$5,600 (including the match from Giving Hope World Wide) and we did all this in under 3weeks. As I said in the earlier email, the money is important but is the community that truly matters.

Warmest regards, Phil

What a guy!!! Phil you are amazing to us.  WylderNation YOU are amazing to us. And just as Phil said, the money is important but not nearly as important as the coming together of this community in support of rare disease research.


It turns out for this Ultra marathon there were over 190 people registered and about 40 runners finished the race. The course was grueling and muddy that day. As if running 100 miles was not enough it turns out do to 8″ of rainfall in two weeks and knee deep water leading to crazy mud run off. Can you even imagine? Seeing as how it is impossible for me to even wrapt my head around RUNNING 100 miles, I certainly cannot imagine someone doing it through such harsh conditions. Kelsey and Phil trained many times on this course and even ran 50 miles just a few weeks back on this track in preparation for the race day. But no one could predict the course would look the way it did that day. That being said Kelsey ran 27 hours straight through that course. WOW. She had a beautiful run that she had trained so hard for. Phil and her even got to run part of the race together in the begging and she had songs from you all playing in her ears. Just incredible! I began running a mental list of all that I did while Kelsey was running and it was unbelievable. Went on a date with my honey.Watched two episodes of Downtown abbey. Slept 8 hour. Cleaned my house. Return some clothes. Got my car washed. Went to the grocery store (twice). Had an afternoon swim. Mad a fancy dinner.  Did some yard work. Went to a girlfriend’s house to catch up. Went for a swim at her house. Watched another two episode of downtown abbey. Slept another 4 hours. What!? All while Kelsey was running. Running, running, running.


We are so proud of both of you. What strength you have, and the way you are showing others how a “rare” is coming together is priceless. Tremendous effort and we thank you for letting Wylder fly with you, for rocking your WN gear, for keeping Wylder James in the for front of your mind and heart.  Wylder was always such a night owl, and so I can only image how much fun it was for him to stay up all night and run in the dark, through the mud and making trouble. Just what all little boys dream of doing. xoxo


  1. WylderNation NY is so inspired by both Phil and Kelsey xoxoxox They epitomize everything that Wylder James brought to life: selfless love, living in the moment, and never, ever losing hope — hope always. Thank you Phil and Kelsey for your amazing work and dedication to carrying on Wylder’s Legacy.

    • Mommy and Daddy says:

      Leslie, they really do epitomize the essence of wylder … you are so right! Thank you WN NY xoxo

  2. Poor Phil! I am so sorry about his leg and even sorrier for his dissapointment, even though 29 miles to me is a HUGE accomplishment! I laughed at your day while Kelsey was running-haha! that was great, she is amazing! I don’t think I could even stay awake 27 hours, much less run it! thanks for sharing all of this SHannon and I am soo happy for the outcome of the fundraiser! xoxo ,Chelsea

    • Mommy and Daddy says:

      I could not agree more Chelsea, I cannot even stay awake for 27 hours, much less run it! The outcome of the fundraiser was definately outstanding! xoxo

  3. Cathy Johnson says:

    I am so proud to be a part of this army of supporters who work endlessly to provide hope for so many. Phil and Kelsey are amazing – I can’t imagine even attempting what they did. UH-mazing! (I’m pretty sure Chelsea has coined a new phrase!) And I especially love the mental picture you painted, Shannon, of Wylder running in the dark. I’m guessing he was being chased by Trek, Jacob, and Riley! :) Can’t wait to see what’s next on the awareness/research agenda! xoxoxo

    • Mommy and Daddy says:

      So so true Cathy, you always find the perfect words. More on research plans details coming very soon … xoxo

  4. On June 5, I sent out the first email for the song donations in support of Wylder’s research project. 9 days later, after 100s songs were donated and thousands of dollars were raised, we raced. Though it didn’t turn out as hoped from a race standpoint, the sense of community that came together far exceeded all expectations in the end. Kelsey and I are healing physically and planning a future race, hopefully together. We decided to leave the FirstGiving pages up and continue to have songs come in until the next race… Stay tuned. I really love the community you have created Shannon and Steven and am so happy to be a part of it!!!!! As we say in Boston, Wylder Nation is ‘wicked awesome’!!!!

    Thank you all for the continued kind words of support!

    • Cathy Johnson says:

      You bet, Phil. And I can’t wait to see what you and Kelsey are up to next. I am going to see both of my daughters this weekend (we live several states apart) and one of our planned activities is choosing songs for the next playlist! :) Thanks to both of you again for all you are doing on the rare disease front!

      • Mommy and Daddy says:

        I cant wait to hear what you come up with Cathy!!! Enjoy your time with your daughters. xoxo

    • Mommy and Daddy says:

      That really is amazing Phil … what an outpouring of support of people that believe in you and Wylder. We are so happy you and kelsey are a part of this and do all you do for Wylder Nation. WN is ‘wicked’ awesome and YOU are “wicked” fast Phil! Sending our love and prayers for speedy recovery for you both. (ps. Kelsey emailed me about her fractured foot yesterday, YUCK)! Dont know how you both do what you do. UH-mazing. xoxo

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