My Fundraising Page

The Road to NZ, and a Cure
Feb 07, 2012




Help Me Reach My Fundraising Goal for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and Help Me Cross The Finish Line of


March 3, 2012, Lake Taupo, NZ

Update 2/6/2012: 25 Days to Go!

This weekend marked our last build week before our taper for race day! It's crazy to think that we embarked on this crazy journey over 8 months ago, and that it will soon be coming to an end. And it's even crazier to think that on Saturday, we had an 100 mile bike ride as part of our training, and that will be less than half of our race on race day!

Unlike last weekend, we were blessed with perfect weather for our ride to San Juan Capistrano and back. Last year, we did that ride training for Vineman, but instead of turning around and biking back from San Juan Capistrano, we took the train home! I have to say this was much more fun, and I felt great at the end of the ride!

We're as trained and ready as we can be, and are starting our packing and making final race preparations!

Update 1/29/2012: Entering the "No Bonk" Zone

We have exactly 33 days left until Ironman New Zealand. This means 2 more hard 'build' weeks before we start tapering, and no room for error. No room for getting sick, injured, or 'bonking' (running out of fuel and crashing on a training ride).

It's our final few weeks to dial in on nutrition, learn how to deal with any punches thrown our way, and to pack for New Zealand!

Yesterday was, well, perfect for learning to deal with the aforementioned. The plan was to ride the Great Western Loop TWICE (click here to get an idea of our ride-- note this is not my team!) - that is 2 45-mi loops, for a total of 90 miles with 9,000 feet of elevation gain. To put things in perspective, that would take me about 7.5 hours on a good day. Yesterday was NOT a good day. Someone must have upset the wind Gods, as we here smacked with strong headwinds which started when we were only 10 miles into the ride. This means in addition to a few climbs with a 12% grade, we had headwinds so strong I thought I'd start rolling backwards, areas where we were pedaling DOWNHILL and still only going 7mph, and dangerous crosswinds that almost knocked our bikes over during some of the mountain passes.

Add 80+ degree temperatures to the mix and we had one heck of a day- learning our body's limits, fuel requirements, and that we are all going to pray for no wind on race day!

Needless to say, it was a brutal day. I finished 76 miles of the route but wouldn't have finished the ride before sundown, so was driven over part of the course and then headed out on my transition run. Today, spending some time recovering... easy- only 3 hours of training for the afternoon!

Update 1/22/2012

I'll start by clearing up a common misconception that a lot of my East Coast friends and family seem to share. Yes, it rains in San Diego, and yes, it gets cold here! This weekend, we got both, but training had to go on! So, while most people were at home asleep, and nice and dry, I was out cycling. Since it's not safe to ride on the roads in the rain, we made 4.5 mile loops around Fiesta Island for hour upon hour. It was flat, but it sure didn't feel like it with the headwind! I only wish our photos truly showed off just how soaked to the bone, muddy, and cold we really were!

Today (Sunday) was take 2 on the bike ride. With the rains cleared up, we headed out on a 70 mile bike loop, followed by one of my first 'real' runs (meaning on the road and not in a pool) since my foot injury. Everything felt fine, but I'm exhausted and off to bed early! Big week of training, pilates, and prep for our 90 mile ride next weekend!

Update 1/12/2012

Well, we're down to the final push. We're just 50 days away from Ironman New Zealand! This means a lot of freaking out, wondering if I'll really be ready, and a LOT of training. While you are enjoying a 3 day holiday weekend, we're heading out on an 86 mile 'leisurely' Saturday bike ride, followed by a recovery spin, 2 mi ocean swim (it's about 56 degrees right now) and 2 hour run on Sunday.

A typical week looks like this:

Saturday- long bike (80-100 mi) + transition run

Sunday- spin, swim, long run (2-4 hrs)

Monday- swim

Tuesday- spin +strength training

Wed- pilates, spin, swim

Thurs- aqua jog + strength training

Fri- spin, swim, yoga

Last weekend, we were joined by the "voice" of Ironman- Mike Reilly- for our ride, who will be announcing our names as we cross the finish line! Can't wait to see what surprise they have for us next!

It would be great if there was more sleep in the schedule! But I love it, I love my team, and I'm passionate about the cause.... which makes it all worthwhile!


I'm excited to announce that I have been selected for Team in Training San Diego's IronTEAM- a group of 30 individuals who will train together for the next 6 months, fundraise hundreds of thousands of dollars for blood cancer research and patient services, and cross the finish line of Ironman New Zealand in Lake Taupo, NZ next March.

You had to apply to be on the team. I was lucky enough to make it. And yes, I still can't decide if I am THRILLED or just insane. But, I do know that accomplishing this feat is about more than another finisher's medal for my wall (though it will be awesome)!

Yes, my fundraising goal is EXTREMELY ambitious. But, with every season, and every race, I become more connected to the cause and know we can't stop until there is a cure.

I couldn't do what I do without your support and generous donations, so thank you from the bottom of my heart!


Almost two years ago, my Mom was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. I'm not a doctor or scientist, and felt helpless. I didn't want to stand by and watch my Mom's CLL progress. I attended an information session for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training program, and immediately knew that is how I could help. I couldn't even run a mile without stopping, but knew that I had the determination and heart to train and raise funds for blood cancer research for better treatments, and ultimately a CURE for cancer.

I signed up for my first triathlon to raise money, never having been on a road bike and out of breath after just moments running! A year and a half later, I'm proud to announce that with your support, we have raised over $20,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. And, in July, I completed my first Half Ironman (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run) with my Mom once again waiting at the finish line- this time, with a glass of wine waiting for me. Only fitting for Sonoma!

When I started this journey, it was just about my Mom. I never expected to meet so many other individuals who have been affected by cancer, but now, I know that while an Ironman may sound crazy, it is what I can do to help bring us closer to a CURE.

I've met SURVIVORS who have become some of my best friends. LLS funds helped develop the treatments that saved their LIVES.

I've met families that can't pay their medical bills or rent. Some of the funds we raise help them make ends meet.

Then there's my Mom's doctor (Dr. John Byrd, Director, Division of Hematology and Chair of Leukemia Research at Ohio State University)- who personally has a $5 million research grant from LLS.

And I've met- and trained with- individuals who have lost close friends and family members- but are still devoted to finding a cure so no one else has to endure what they have.

So, it goes without saying that every swim, bike, run & race I complete is in honor of all of those fighting blood cancers, including:

My lovely Mother, Fran Eppig (who's also becoming an expert triathlon spectator)

My teammates, Lawrence & Jacob

Our honored teammate (and one of the original Ironmen), Dave Orlowski

My friend Tyler's cousin, Graham

And in loving memory of those who bravely fought blood cancers, and who we miss dearly:

My aunt, Margie Dealy

My best friend's grandmother, Florence Agostinelli

My dad's coworker, Bob Mons

Jada, age 4

Please help me as I continue this journey, to honor all of those affected by cancer, and to get us to a CURE.

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


Your Future IRON(WO)MAN



Supporter Comments

    "and I'm first again! Go Steph Go!!"

    Jason Weber

    Fri Jun 10 03:06:02 EDT 2011

    "Want go be among the first to wish you well on your grand journey! "

    Mom and Dad

    Fri Jun 10 05:57:33 EDT 2011

    "GO STEPH!!! Best of Luck - Not that you need it :) *Meg*"

    Meghan Russo

    Thu Jun 16 05:55:57 EDT 2011

    "For iPad2 - Hope this helps just a little bit!"

    Courtney Joseph

    Thu Jun 16 06:23:48 EDT 2011

    "Happy Birthday!!"

    Samantha Good

    Fri Jul 08 01:21:05 EDT 2011

    "You are an inspirational woman Stephanie! You are changing people's lives. You are in our thoughts during all of your fund-raising and travels!"

    Haley Early

    Mon Jul 25 02:55:04 EDT 2011

    "You ROCK Steph!! I hope to make it to NZ to cheer you on!!"

    Mary Shvodian

    Thu Jul 28 12:01:56 EDT 2011

    "Can you say iPad 5 times?"

    J Richard Knaggs

    Thu Jul 28 01:41:51 EDT 2011

    "Your training is making you a stonger, healthier person; your fundraising is changing lives in ways you will never know! Your efforts are truly transformational. Thank you! Love, Mom and Dad"

    Frances Eppig

    Thu Jul 28 05:48:33 EDT 2011

    "Good Luck!"


    Wed Aug 03 11:55:19 EDT 2011

    "We are very happy to help you with your goal to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. You inspire us to both reach out to help others and to push ourselves to achieve more. (Can we go with you to New Zealand?)"

    Bill and Dana

    Mon Sep 05 01:10:41 EDT 2011

    "Good Luck!"

    Meche Larimer (Dana's Mom)

    Mon Sep 05 01:15:05 EDT 2011

    "Giving Thanks for you and the love and energy you bring to our world!"

    Momma Eppig

    Mon Nov 21 04:46:56 EST 2011

    "Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for you and everything you do!! :) xx ps- Sorry this took me forever! You looked so amazing with that desert plate! :)"

    Samantha Good

    Tue Nov 22 01:12:40 EST 2011

    "Thank you Stephanie for all your hard work. We cheered a friend on at Taupo a couple years back -- it was awesome, but even the cheering was exhausting. You're amazing! Best wishes to your mother. (We are friends of Robin Gunn.)"

    Leo & Maegan Dirac

    Thu Dec 29 02:19:24 EST 2011

    "Have fun and good luck!!! Too bad I'm not the one to get you to do ANYTHING lol."

    Nick Leclerc

    Wed Jan 04 07:29:45 EST 2012

    "Good Luck Steph! I am SO proud of you and all that you have accomplished! Keep up the great work! I can't wait to hear how it goes! Love you! XO"

    Becky & Adam Johnson

    Thu Jan 05 12:10:58 EST 2012

    "This is a great cause and great organization. Best of luck in March, and keep that enthusiasm. All the best"


    Thu Jan 05 01:05:56 EST 2012

    "Good Job Steph!!"

    Pedro Miguel Parames

    Sat Jan 07 09:57:22 EST 2012

    "You are an amazing girl!!!! We ALL love you:) You won't need luck, you have guts and many Rosaries!"

    W and R Harris

    Wed Jan 11 07:42:05 EST 2012

    "Pika Pika Pikachu!"


    Sun Jan 15 06:38:41 EST 2012

    "Stephanie, Good luck in this incredible journey and we will be rooting for you and your family!"

    Diane & Rick

    Fri Jan 20 10:04:43 EST 2012

    "You know we are behind you 100%! Stay cool and focus on your training goals! You can do this! Love, Mom and Dad"

    Frances Eppig

    Fri Jan 20 06:47:36 EST 2012

    "good luck!"


    Mon Jan 23 12:43:49 EST 2012

    "So proud of your efforts Stephanie. The "brothers" in Bariloche would be proud of you too. :-). God speed to you. "

    Catherine Schultz

    Mon Jan 23 09:09:19 EST 2012

    "Captain Cook's encounters as he traveling the unknown world -- including New Zealand -- are nothing compared to your determination in facing the challenges you set for yourself. Go, discover yourself, and help discover a cure!"

    Q. Lorraine

    Wed Jan 25 12:55:37 EST 2012

    "Good luck! Cannot wait to hear all about it and come visit this spring when you get back!"

    Ashley and Chris Blume

    Thu Jan 26 06:35:47 EST 2012

    "Good luck! Your efforts will not go unnoticed or unappreciated by many who need LLS's help!"

    Elizabeth Parker

    Fri Jan 27 01:48:17 EST 2012

    "Good luck!"

    Lisa Speicher

    Mon Jan 30 10:26:09 EST 2012

    "Enjoy the ride"


    Mon Jan 30 05:50:19 EST 2012

    "A dollar for every mile! Go Steph Go!!"

    Kate & Tim

    Tue Jan 31 07:53:44 EST 2012

    "Good luck Steph! We love you!"

    John and Jesse

    Thu Feb 02 01:41:00 EST 2012

    "My prayers and best wishes will be with you as you cross the finish line and all the time before that."

    Doris Graves

    Fri Feb 10 10:58:20 EST 2012

    "Cheers from Maryland! "

    Tea for Team

    Mon Feb 13 05:39:41 EST 2012

    "Bro's for life! Good luck Stephanie!"

    Kelly Mathis

    Mon Feb 13 09:56:36 EST 2012

    "Rock the course Stephanie! "

    Carrie Gleeson

    Sun Feb 26 08:37:14 EST 2012

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $10,700.00 | Goal: $14,500.00
74 %

My Team

Team Total: $350,338.05 | Goal: $500,000.00

Make a Donation

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

My Thanks To

Anonymous $500.00
Leo & Maegan Dirac $500.00
Oxford Industries $429.00
Michael Eppig $400.00
Elizabeth Parker $250.00
Michael Lieberman $250.00
Deana & Randy Volker $250.00
Mitch Markel $250.00
Carl Rossow $250.00
Momma Eppig $200.00
Elizabeth Eppig $200.00
Anonymous $150.00
Kate & Tim $140.60
Marissa Guevara $140.00
peter bucter $106.88
Jazzy Fantastic $101.00
Wakefield Stornetta $100.00
Johnson & Johnson $100.00
Nancy Cody $100.00
Scott Flynn $100.00
Lynn Collins $100.00
Monna Nabers $100.00
Doris Graves $100.00
John and Jesse $100.00
Deanna Harris $100.00
Focus Group $ $100.00
Anonymous $100.00
Anonymous $100.00
Lydia Harrington $100.00
melinda/john colgan $100.00
Q. Lorraine $100.00
Jack and Lynda Bucter $100.00
zak $100.00
karen & dick eppig $100.00
Jill Oppedisano $100.00
Kris Jatana $100.00
Nick Leclerc $100.00
Swap Meet Proceeds $100.00
Monna Nabers $100.00
Russell Robertson $100.00
Frances Eppig $100.00
Steve and Laurie $100.00
Mom and Dad $100.00
Frances Eppig $77.00
Catherine Schultz $75.00
Philip Bensing $75.00
Deana & Randy Volker $70.40
Tips from Serving Beer $70.00
Bill and Dana $51.00
Michael Moore $50.00
John Schalk $50.00
Meghan Russo $50.00
Grady Snyder $50.00
Ashley and Chris Blume $50.00
Amy Bodnar $50.00
Diane & Rick $50.00
Katherine Szelc $50.00
Joseph Agostinelli $50.00
Allison Daugherty $50.00
Patrick Nasr $50.00
Becky & Adam Johnson $50.00
Todd Black $50.00
Zachary Komon $50.00
Gurujan Dourson $50.00
Michael T. Maruyama $50.00
Sam & Kieran $50.00
Samantha Macola $50.00
Laura Care $50.00
Haley Early $50.00
Jennifer Fernandez $50.00
Annette Martorell $50.00
Courtney Joseph $50.00
Meghan Russo $50.00
Jason Weber $50.00
Keith Aviles $45.00
WellDoc $37.50
Safeway $30.46
Tea for Team $30.00
Santa "Netty" Claus $30.00
Samantha Good $27.00
Pamela Trepanier $25.00
Carrie Gleeson $25.00
Kelly Mathis $25.00
ryan inman $25.00
Cory Reynolds $25.00
Maria Guercioni $25.00
Kelly Hogan $25.00
Lucy Hadley $25.00
Robert King $25.00
Candice Fox $25.00
Tyler Schultz $25.00
Mary McCoig $25.00
Nicole McCoig $25.00
Pikachu $25.00
Julie Casey $25.00
Katrina Hearn $25.00
Pete Sclafani $25.00
Fredy Zuercher $25.00
Pedro Miguel Parames $25.00
Samantha Good $25.00
Dr. Carole Collins $25.00
Meche Larimer (Dana's Mom... $25.00
Catrina Futterer $25.00
Deanna Harris $25.00
David Micheletti $25.00
The Wilson Family $20.00
J Richard Knaggs $20.00
Erika Zehm $20.00
Mary Shvodian $20.00
Gail Geoia $20.00
Amanda Bowles $20.00
Lisa Speicher $15.00
Asia Simonelli $10.00
Jarret Zafran $5.00
Frances Eppig  
W and R Harris