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Man Runs 100 Miles In Honor Of His Late Mom’s “Grit, Guts, And Determination.”

Craig Bachrodt with family and friends after running Leadville 100

Craig Bachrodt has always found solace on a running trail.

Growing up in Rockford, Illinois, he often ran alongside his mother, Sarah Bachrodt, an artist and overall Renaissance woman who taught him how to be resilient at an early age. When Craig reached adulthood and moved to Florida, he continued to run as a way to clear his mind and see the world through a different lens.

Craig Bachrodt running.
Smile Train

It was on one of those Central Florida running trails that he met Anna Redgate, an art teacher who turned to running to get through a personal tragedy. The two bonded over the healing power of running, and they shared many happy years together until Anna passed away in 2017 at the age of 48.

Devastated, Craig turned to the person who had always been a constant source of love, guidance, and support over the years: his mom. When asked to describe Sarah, her son didn’t mince words.

“Grit, guts, and determination,” Craig said.

Sarah Bachrodt with one of her paintings.
Wikimedia Commons

Sarah had suffered more than her share of troubles over the years, but she still managed to raise four active children with a myriad of different interests. She spent her time shuttling the kids from practices to rehearsals, all while juggling her own work as an abstract artist with works on display across the world.

Craig recalls a house filled with artwork. “I grew up in a museum,” he said. And it was a meticulously organized and clean one, too , thanks to Sarah.

“Mom had four teenagers and a white carpet,” Craig said in wonderment. “She would sometimes vacuum at 3 a.m.”

A natural athlete herself, Sarah stepped into the role of cheerleader for Craig, even after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2021. One of the last things she did before her death was to encourage Craig’s ambition to run in the Leadville 100, a 24-hour road race held in one of America’s highest towns, Leadville, Colorado.

Craig Bachrodt and his running partner and friend Rami.
Smile Train

Craig says that his mother gave him the “why” he’d been looking for to run the challenging race at the age of 54. He’d already run a few marathons in Anna’s honor. He decided to run his first-ever ultramarathon for Sarah, and felt Anna’s spirit was cheering him on.

Craig has long been donating to charitable causes near and dear to his heart, so he decided to use the Leadville 100 to help several of his favorites, including Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft organization. Craig sees the important work Smile Train does as an extension of his mother’s “grit, guts, and determination.”

“To me, Smile Train is helping the mothers of children with clefts do what they’d do if given the resources,” Craig explained. “The stories I read of Smile Train’s patients and their families always remind me of what true endurance looks like. Their grit, guts, and determination matter from the moment the child is born and for the rest of the treatment journey, which can be a 20-year marathon. Cleft treatment is the most life-changing thing you can give to a family in need, and I think it’s fantastic that you can change someone’s life forever.”

Craig Bachrodt and his family
Smile Train

Craig created a campaign called “Run 100 for Moms,” hoping to raise (and match!) $100,000 in donations to benefit his five favorite charities, including Smile Train. His goal was to celebrate and honor his mother, Anna, and all mothers everywhere.

On August 20th, after months of training and planning, Craig set out on his 100-mile run through Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. On his arm, he’d written a mantra:

“For Charity. In honor of Mom. With Anna.

Eight hundred people started the race, but only 368 finished it. Craig was one of them!

Craig Bachrodt, his family and friends at the end of the Leadville 100 race.
Smile Train

Craig hopes that Smile Train, their partners, and the families who receive their life-changing services understand that “what they are individually and collectively doing is true endurance.” He’s proud to support them, every step of the way.

You have the power to put a life-changing smile on a child’s face! Find out how by making a donation to Smile Train here, and please share this story to spread the word.

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