My Fundraising Page

'Tri'ing to Find a Cure
Jun 08, 2011



**VINEMAN 70.3 (Half Ironman)**

JULY 17, 2011

Update 6/2/2011

This morning, the Ironapp I installed on facebook reminded me that we only have 44 more days til race day! Talk about a reality check! Last weekend was our last 'recovery' weekend- which was actually a longer workout than we do for Olympic distance races!Tonight, we're running 10 miles, and our weekend rides will be 60+ miles followed by 8-10 mile runs. Crazy, yes, but we'll be ready when Vineman rolls around!

Update 5/22/2011

It's hard to believe I am already less than 2 months away from my first Half Ironman! The past few weeks have been both physically and mentally challenging as we ramp up to race distance mileage, and it's a good reminder that I still have work to do! Our weeknight runs are up to 9-10 hilly miles, and our Saturday morning brick workouts have turned into ALL DAY Saturday workouts! This weekend, we had our hardest & longest training session to date... a 52 mile bike ride (complete with 2700 feet of elevation gain and a 4 mile climb) followed by a 7 mile HOT run. I was out on the bike and run for 6.5 hours (though we did stop on the bike to enjoy fresh berries from a roadside farmstand), but it is hard to imagine doubling the run!

Instead of collapsing when I got home, it was off to Bar Fly in La Jolla, who was generous enough to let me hold a fundraiser. It was an excellent venue and we had a great turnout, bringing in $750 for a CURE! Now, I have less than $1,000 left to raise for Vineman. Thank you for your continued support!!!

Update 5/17/2011

Just three weeks after returning from Hawaii, I headed up to Paso Robles, CA for the 'one and only' 29th annual Wildflower Triathlon. Wildflower was my first ever triathlon, which I completed in May 2010, so it will always have a special place in my heart. But besides that, it is a world renowned race - known for the spectacular wildflowers blooming, the scenic hills (which are neverending and make the bike and run quite the challenge), and 30,000 athletes and spectators camping in a park for 4 days.

Unlike the other races, for which I've been fundraising, I signed up for this one just for fun, so you can imagine my surprise when I unzipped my tent from an afternoon nap to see my Mom standing there grinning. Surprise! She said she woulnd't dream of missing my race... and I am so glad she didn't. It made the weekend that much more special... and gave me an extra boost that helped me improve my time from last year by more than 14 minutes (which any athlete knows is NO small feat).

Spending the weekend with the team and my Mom was also a reminder of why so many amazing individuals are out here. It's not about the races, or our times, it's about finding better treatments... and ultimately, a CURE. Next up for Mom and I? Vineman Half Ironman in July.

Thank you for your encouragement and support. One more month to reach my fundraising goal!

Update 4/14/2011

Aloha, and Mahalo for the donations for Lavaman! With your support, LavamanTeam in Training athletes raised over $2.8 million for blood cancer research and patient services!!!!

I'm sorry for the lack of updates and race news- I just returned from Hawaii and have been catching up on work- so here's the scoop from Hawaii! On March 30th, I loaded up my bags and hopped on the flight to Kona, with the race just four days away! I was welcomed in Kona with a perfect balmy, Hawaiian breeze, and couldn't wait for my parents, sister and brother-in-law to arrive in paradise! I had a celebratory Mai Tai, but then it was time to focus on familiarizing myself with the course, and how to run on loose lava rocks and on deep sand after the swim, bike, and first four miles of the run. The answer?? Carefully! Our first swim was incredible- after months of training in 56 degree water, to hop into a 77 degree bay, complete with sea turtles, was a dream come true!

Needless to say, the few days leading up to Lavaman were full of excitement, and we were truly blessed to race in paradise, all the while helping raise funds for a CURE! Race morning rolled around, with beautiful weather. I was in the first swim wave, which was in in water start-- meaning I started with the Elites, relay teams, and all Females and Males age 29 and under. Needless to say, it was brutal to fight through and get into a rhythm, without someone swimming over me, but I managed to pop out of the water in 26 minutes. Then, off to the bike, which is actually part of the Ironman Championship bike course. After fighting a strong headwind on the way out, I felt the rewards, almost feeling like I was flying, on the way back! I headed out on the run- hot, but knowing I was having a great race. The heat really got to me, but I still managed to improve my run time by 4 minutes, and pass two men while coming down the chute to the finish line! My mom, always amazing, was there to give me a huge hug at the finish line, which really is the best gift. Second best? Raising $4,485 for a cure. And, not to mention, the race was a personal best time (3:07:55), beating my last race time by 24 minutes!

After a relaxing few days off, I am finally back to the mainland- with the harsh realization that Wildflower is less than 3 weeks away- so I need to seriously buckle down and cram in hill training!!! And the fundraising doesnt stop.... next up is Vineman Half Ironman in July- and I'm still more than $2,000 short of my goal! Here's a link to more race pics!

Just copy and paste it into your browser:

Update 3/8/2011

It might be "Fat Tuesday," but with all of our training lately, I can say that this is the first Mardi Gras where I don't feel fat! My teammate Robin and I just got back from selling Mardi Gras beads downtown- and got almost $400 in donations! With less than 4 weeeks to go before my first race of the year, I'm trying everything to get closer to finishing fundraising!

And, it's just 23 days until I leave for Hawaii! I am getting SO excited! This is the most prepared I've felt for a race, but it doesn't take away the jitters... and the idea of a Half Ironman in July still freaks me out!

I trained with the Vineman team Saturday morning- hill repeats up Torrey Pines, followed by a 3 mile run. It's only March, but we had beautiful 78 degree weather, which was almost too hot for the run, and scares me for the rumors of 100 degree weather in Sonoma in July!

After the brick workout, I headed over to the Lavaman picnic we hosted for our honored team mate, Bianca RollBusch. Bianca is a pony tailed, upbeat first grader who has an infectious grin from cheek to cheek. You would never know Bianca has been in and out of chemo and hospitals since age 4. After several trips to the doctor because of re-occurring 'colds,' the doctor offered to do a blood test before they left on a trip to Disneyland. 80% of her cells were cancerous, and they thought they would lose her before the end of the week. Her Dad recollects how they used up all her veins on her arms and had to put the IVs in her feet, and her Mom said one of the hardest parts was trying to ask a four year old to take chemo medicine, and all of the others that go with it to counteract the side effects. Bianca made it through 2.5 of chemo, and was playing with us on the beach this weekend, celebrating the end of her chemotherapy cycle. She is not out of the woods yet, but is on the right path.

Even after everything that Bianca has been through, with our team circled around her, Bianca thanked us for our training and fundraising efforts to help find a cure for Leukemia. I was blown away. Every week, I find myself more connected to the cuase, hearing about another family that has been affected by cancer. Every week, I have another reason to 'tri' to find a cure. We're out there swimming in the freezing ocean, biking up hills, and running until our legs don't want to move, but it doesn't compare to Bianca's battle. I hope you find inspiration from this story also, and thank you for your support as we raise money for a cure.

Lavaman Triathlon is just 25 days away.... and Vineman 70.3 is in 5 months! Please help me reach my goal-- just $2,515 left to fundraise!

Update 2/8/2011

First, a huge, heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported me since my first triathlon last year! With your help, I am already more than halfway to reaching my fundraising goal for 2011! We have already raised over $4,500 since January 1st for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society! Now, I'm focusing my training efforts on a Half Ironman in July-- and on reaching the fundraising minimum for that race! Only $3,200 more to raise!!!

This weekend, I participated in a 10k race on Saturday morning, which Coach said would be a great practice run-- and I surprised myself by finishing in under an hour! Then, it was off to the first Vineman training of the season, to meet my fellow 'teamies' and run another 2 miles!

Sunday, I held a successful brunch fundraiser that brought in just over $400 to help find a cure. For the rest of the week, it's back to swimming in the ice cold ocean, more running (to build our base for the half marathon at the end of our race!) and to head out on out longer bike rides!!!

Update 2/3/2011

Last weekend kicked off with a 25 mile bike ride (uphill both ways, if you can figure that out!) and 4 mile run halfway through the ride.

Then, as if we weren't still recovering, Sunday morning we headed out on a 10k run, which was cloudy, but beautiful, to preview the course for our race this weekend. We ran through Sea World's parking lot, crossed over the bridge down at Mission Bay, and ran along the bay. However, by the time we made it to our ocean swim at 3pm, the air temp was down to 54, the ocean water was a balmy 56 degrees, and the winds were up. Anyone who watched the US Open knows that well, at about 3:30pm, the sky opened up and dumped on us. The water was choppy, we could barely see the beach, and there was no way to dry off when we got out of the ocean!

Then, while the rest of the country was getting pounded by ice, blizzards, and subzero temperatures, winter snuck into San Diego, too. We might not have snow, but I would by no means call it ideal training weather! It's been windy and cold all week, but I've been running and spinning outside anyways, gearing up for Lavaman! Our pools are all outdoors, too!

A special thank you to everyone who has stepped up and donated this week- I have a little less than $1,000 to go, and just 9 more days to reach my fundraising deadline! So far this season, we've already raised more than $3,300 to help FIND A CURE!

Update 1/27/2011

Tonight is the official KICKOFF for Vineman, which means training officially begins for my first Half Ironman. That's right, not only do I have the tri bug, but I'm taking it to the next level... all to help me get closer to reaching my goal of completing a full Ironman.

To most of you, it probably seems like this came out of nowhere. This time last year, I was sitting in a TEAM info session signing up for my first triathlon, to help raise money to find a cure for my Mom. With generous donations and support, I was able to raise over $9,500 in 2010.

But, it's not just about my mom anymore. During my first season, I became close friends with one of my teammates, who was first diagnosed with leukemia in college, and recently relapsed. Before the relapse, we promised each other we'd do Lavaman and a half ironman together... so this one is for him, too.

I've been training since November for Lavaman, and am very excited for my first ocean swim this Sunday! Yes, you heard me right- ocean swim in january! This week the water is 56 degrees.... but I guess that is warmer than the air back east! Soon we'll be starting longer runs and swims to start in preparation for Vineman- I hear it can reach 110 degress on the run course in Sonoma in July. I'm planning of keeping my eye on the finish-- where wine will be waiting. I guess that is the perk when the race sponsor is La Crema!

Too bad we don't get wine during training!



November 2010

I'm at it again! After another incredible race with my Mom at the finish line, I'm going to brave winter training in preparation for my next race, Lavaman, in Kona, Hawaii on April 3, 2011.

Forget the fact that I signed up just a week after completing the Triathlon at Pacific Grove... winter in San Diego, you may ask? We might not have snow, but you better believe we'll have some freezing bike rides and even colder ocean swims!

When I signed up for my first race in January, I was racing in honor of my Mom, who was diagnosed with CLL last year. It quickly became much more than that- as I'm sure you can imagine when you are training 6 days a week with an incredible group of people! You realize how many lives, families and friends are impacted when a loved one is diagnosed with blood cancer, and meet some of the survivors themselves.

During my Pacific Grove training season, I had the privilege of training with 4 survivors, one of whom was undergoing radiation during our training season, and still crossed the finish line.

It is a humbling, unforgettable experience, and engrains them in your hearts forever. And while we wish no one ever had to go through that type of experience, the least I can do is train for those who can't, and keep raising funds to come closer to finding a cure.

I think what hit me the most is when I read an article recently about the doctor treating my Mom at OSU. Dr. Byrd is a nationally renowned leukemia specialist and researcher, who just received a 5 year renewal of a $6.25 million dollar Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) grant from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The money we are raising is actually reaching patients, including my Mom.

I'm looking forward to a great season in honor of all of those fighting blood cancers, including:

My mom, Fran Eppig

My teammate, Lawrence Achacoso

And in loving memory of:

My aunt, Margie Dealy

My best friend's grandmother, Florence Agostinelli

My dad's coworker, Bob Mons

Thank you all so much for your help, love, donations, and support!


Supporter Comments

    "Good Luck"

    Ryan James

    Thu Jun 02 03:36:22 EDT 2011

    "Rock on, superstar!"

    Mother's Day Fundraiser

    Sat May 07 08:31:39 EDT 2011

    "Go Stephanie! "

    Isabel Couto

    Fri Feb 18 10:17:08 EST 2011

    "Steph you are amazing!! So inspiring to us all!!! :)"

    Sami Good

    Mon Jun 06 01:26:57 EDT 2011

    "You are inspirational! (and a little crazy too!)"

    Laurence Fish

    Mon Jun 06 01:53:08 EDT 2011

    "Great Job Steph!"

    Susan Milano

    Mon Jun 06 01:56:46 EDT 2011

    "Stephanie an amazing friend. We sih you the best @ Vineman. This is foro your mom. Love you Fran."

    Tina Parker

    Mon Jun 06 02:02:17 EDT 2011

    "Go Steph Go!! I hope to make it tonight to Barfly!"

    Mary Shvodian

    Sat May 21 10:22:51 EDT 2011

    "Go Steph! "


    Wed Jun 01 10:02:14 EDT 2011

    "Good luck!!"

    Jessica Winer

    Thu Jun 02 07:56:32 EDT 2011

    "Great Job Rockstar on your continued comittment! I love being the first donation, since last time I was last donation! :)"

    Coach Jay and Coach Melissa

    Sun Feb 06 07:37:04 EST 2011

    "Wishing you the best of luck- what a wonderful act of love! "

    MWPH employee donation match

    Tue Feb 08 03:45:49 EST 2011

    "Go Steph!!! So proud of you and all of your accomplishments :)"

    Susan Milano

    Tue Feb 08 11:09:20 EST 2011

    "Go Steph! See you at the finish line! "

    Mom and Dad

    Wed Mar 16 03:51:03 EDT 2011

    "Go TEAM!!!"

    Melanie Wolfe

    Fri Apr 22 01:27:50 EDT 2011

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $3,650.00 | Goal: $3,650.00
100 %

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We are sorry donations are no longer being accepted for this participant for this event.

My Thanks To

MWPH employee donation ma... $350.00
Brunch Fundraiser $250.00
Selling Mardi Gras Beads $190.00
Anonymous $150.02
Lawrence Achacoso $150.00
nicolas leclerc $150.00
Gurujan Dourson $115.00
Pete & Betsy Bucter $101.01
Tom + Jen Woodfin $100.00
Mother's Day Fundraiser $100.00
Lorraine Straw $100.00
Mom and Dad $100.00
John and Jesse Epstein/Is... $100.00
Marice Wiese $100.00
MWPH employees $95.00
Nicholas Bambico $75.00
Jazzy Fantastic $53.00
Wayne Kao $50.00
Ryan James $50.00
Melanie Wolfe $50.00
Isabel Couto $50.00
Jerry Symanski $50.00
Susan Ram $50.00
Coach Jay and Coach Melis... $50.00
Marie Garcia $40.00
anthony so $40.00
Jenny $30.00
Laurence Fish $26.00
Tina Parker $25.00
Susan Milano $25.00
Sami Good $25.00
Kate Agostinelli $25.00
ashley blume $25.00
Arlette Sherrill $25.00
Soledad Guercioni $25.00
Barry Kohn $25.00
Susan Milano $25.00
Way-Jen Enlow $20.00
Mary Shvodian $20.00
Jessica Winer $10.00
Paul Doronila $10.00
Kathryn Agostinelli $10.00
Ivy Wells $10.00
Karen Cosby $10.00
Sandra Williams $10.00
Jeff Kagan $5.00
Bar Fly Fundraiser