7th Annual Finish for a Guinness 5K Road Race (Pre-Race Interview)

My journey will kick off this Sunday, September 6, 2015 in Warren, Rhode Island. This will be my second time running this race. I ran it last year, shortly before my ankle got worse. It is a very nice race, and it’s for a great cause. I can’t say it better than what is on The Christopher Stone Fund web site:

Christopher Stone

This charitable event is being held to raise awareness and funds for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. In the winter of 2008 Christopher Stone was diagnosed with ALS at the young age of thirty-four. As a result, the Christopher Stone Fund was established to help support the Stone family as they went through this challenging time. Sadly, Chris lost his fight in the summer of 2009, less than a year after being diagnosed. However, the Christopher Stone Fund continues to actively raise funds for local ALS chapters and families as well as other charitable causes.

This horrific disease affects over 30,000 people just in the USA. Caring for individuals with ALS is often expensive and emotionally straining. We hope this race will help provide ALS victims, families, and caretakers with the most fulfilling quality of life during this most trying time.


Last year, the atmosphere of the race was incredible. I showed up, and picked up my number (and shirt) the day of the race. The pick-up area is at a marina, which is great for me because I love the water. The first part of the race was right along the water. Then we went through downtown Warren a little bit, and then ran through some neighborhoods. It was fun seeing people outside of their houses, cheering us on. Then we were back alongside the water all the way through the finish line.

The race lived up to its name. I did indeed get my free Guinness beer. My current profile picture is from that race, with me posing with the Guinness. This was back at the marina, where we picked up our numbers.
Profile - Finish for a Guinness 2014
It was now a party atmosphere, with some great live music, and a ton of food (pizza, fruit, fish tacos, cookies, and much, much more). I stuck around and saw the award ceremony, and had a great time. So, I’m doing it again this year. It is a great race to kick off my journey.

As I mentioned in the introduction of this web site, I plan on interviewing the hosts of each race. So, I shot a message through the Christopher Stone Fund web site, and Tara agreed to the interview.


First, would you be able to tell me about Chris, such as his personality, what he did for a living, and what he liked to do?

Chris was an big outdoors man. He was easy going, LOVED to hunt, ski, camp and travel. He worked with his dad in the Family Business installing overhead doors.

Was Chris into running?

Chris was not into running, my sisters and I are the runners.

Who came up the course of the race?

My sisters and I came up with the course. The Marina, where the post party is held was the center piece and we framed everything else around that. We believed runners would enjoy the water view.

Are you finding that the event keeps growing each year?

Each year the event grows and develops. We see more runners, more spectators, and more community involvement. We add more to the race each year as well to improve the overall experience. People hear about the race and it keeps growing!

Have you been getting more sponsors each year? Are there any new ones this year that you would like to mention?

We have our faithful sponsors like Blount Fine Foods, that have sponsored our race for all 7 years. Each year we get more, we actually added a special sponsorship this year “BEER SPONSORS” to be able to recognize everyone! There are too many to name but we appreciate all of them!!

Has there been progress in finding the cure for ALS?

More attention is being placed on finding a cure or at least slowing the progression of the disease and Brown University is actually a leader in researching ALS.

What do you think of the ice bucket challenge phenomenon?

The Ice Bucket Challenge was a great way to bring this disease to the forefront. It is one disease that has not has much progress in treatment since it was first discovered. The challenge made people aware and raised so much money that went to finding a cure.

Is there anything else you would like to mention to the audience?

The 5 sisters started this race to help one of the sisters. We took our love of running and turned it into way to help our community. We have donated over $80,000 in the last 6 year and all monies have going directly to the community. We have helped local families, local ALS organizations, Compassionate Care (which is a Godsend to all patients with ALS) and other local families with medical issues that need assistance. We try our BEST to make this race the BEST. We want everyone to leave this race wanting to return the next year!

This just inspires me even more to do this project. It is just incredible to find people out there, like Christopher’s wife, Amy, and Tara along with the rest of the sisters, who have gone through a horrible tragedy, and turn it into something so positive and uplifting. In this case, we lost Christopher Stone to a terrible disease, at such a young age. He seemed like a very good guy, too. It seems that this is often the case – we lose some very good people way too soon. But, there are people in the world, like this family hosting the race, that have this awe-inspiring inner strength to persevere and make a great difference in the world. Most people, in a similar situation, may mourn by shutting themselves out from the world – and who could blame them? It is so inspiring to see people like this family take their situation, and turn it into a huge positive, and make a difference in the world, potentially saving many lives in the future – all in honor of their family member.

Instead of the news associations and networks spewing and focusing on hatred and terror in the world, it would be more refreshing, and maybe more contagious, if they would show more stories like this. These are the type of people that I want to be around.

If you’re free this Sunday, September 6, 2015, come on down to the race – even if you don’t participate in the actual run. The race starts at 10am. It is at the Old Warren Marina, 66 Church Street, Warren RI 02885. There is plenty of parking at the Tourister Mill – located on Water Street.

If you cannot make it to the race, and would still like to donate, you can go to the Registration page, and make a donation at http://www.lightboxreg.com/finish-for-a-guiness_2015?func=&mobile=0.

The web site for the event is at http://www.finishforaguinness.org/.

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  1. TaraThibaudeau
    September 3, 2015

    Thank you Paul, great picture of our race and family!!

    1. Paul Stroessner
      September 4, 2015

      Thanks so much for taking the time to answer the questions! They were great answers. I know it must be a busy week, so I really appreciate it. And I am looking forward to the race on Sunday!


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