Spartan up and SAVE – AROO!

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 24-05-2015-05-2008


Twitter-Post_880x440_Memorial-DayWhat does it mean to Spartan up? I’ve heard this term over and over again, but didn’t fully get it until a while ago. It’s kind of like my marathon running. I’ve been asked by people, WHY? Why run marathon after marathon. And for me, until I became sick with Lyme Disease, the thought would never had entered my mind. But there comes a point in life where you discover a reason to want to push yourself beyond your comfort level, to achieve a goal that seems impossible, that will test your mental and physical strength, to go beyond your every day norm.

Spartan Up for a Cause

For me, to Spartan Up means to find out what I’m made of. To prove I’m stronger than Lyme Disease. It means to find out how tough I am. It means inspiring others by not giving up, by training harder, by eating better, by involving my family in the challenge. It means achieving new goals. It means becoming a better person by the journey of discovery.

Whatever your reason for wanting to Spartan Up, now is a great time to register for an event because you can SAVE! That’s right, you can SAVE $40.00 by registering before May 27, 2015. Visit and use this code, MEMORIAL!

Let’s do this! Let’s Spartan Up and get ‘er done! AROO!

Running the London Marathon – 4th out of the “Big Five for Lyme”

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 17-05-2015-05-2008



On April 26, 2015, I completed the Virgin Money London Marathon in 3:42:20, and re-qualified to run the Boston Marathon for 2016. (Picture left: race day kit and number all laid out.) It was back in 2012, after I ran the Hartford marathon and qualified to run the Boston Marathon, that I really believed I had a shot at running what I have now dubbed, “The Big 5 for Lyme”, or rather, at that time in 2012, run the World’s Marathon Majors: New York City, Chicago, Boston, London and Berlin. (The World Marathon Majors added Tokyo in 2013). I want to do this because I want to show the world that with long-term antibiotic treatment, combined with naturopathic medicines, can help those with chronic Lyme Disease (anyone who has not responded to the standard Centers for Disease Control’s prescribed 3 weeks of antibiotic treatment) recover. I also want to try as best I can to give hope to others who have Lyme Disease, that they too can recover.

Annette Coulombe, Angela Coulombe, Joanna Connor

I’ve been fortunate enough to have run the New York City Marathon, the Chicago Marathon, the Boston Marathon, and now London! But London was different for many reasons, including the fact that I also ran this for my sister, Annette Coulombe, who has incurable Lymphoma and was diagnosed 3 weeks before I ran the New York City Marathon in November 2010. (Pictured right: l-r – Angela Coulombe, Annette Coulombe, Joanna Connor, 2014 finishers at the Tri for a Cure, South Portland, Maine.) Throughout the years I battled Lyme, my sister, an Occupational Therapist, would come to my house to help me move my limbs, giving me exercises to perform and large doses of encouragement and support. We planned to be together for my first marathon ever in NYC, so you can only imagine my  horror when she phoned 3 weeks before the NYC Marathon to tell me she had been diagnosed with cancer.


I occurred to me that I could run the London Marathon to help my sister and other battling cancer. I looked online for different cancer charities to run for and found the perfect charity, Worldwide Cancer Research, namely because they are the ONLY cancer charity who give money to research anywhere in the world, currently funding 7 projects in the US including one at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Cambridge MA. (Pictured left: Marathon Sunday: Team mates running the London Marathon for Worldwide Cancer Research, Gemma Scott, Craig Scott, Angela Coulombe, Davey.) So I took on the challenge of not only training throughout the worst Maine winter yet, but to also commit to raising over $3500 for Worldwide Cancer Research.


Conditions were perfect for the run! At the start of the run, it was about 52F, with a light drizzle keeping us all cool. (Picture right: Keeping warm in my dollar store rain poncho before the start of the marathon.) Pre-race organization was fantastic, possibly one of the best organized marathons I’ve been involved with to date.

Tower Bridge and other landmarks on the sky line of London.

The course was fantastic, running around landmarks like the Cutty Sark, over Tower Bridge, Westminster Abby and finishing out front of Buckingham Palace in the Mall. (Picture left: Tower Bridge and other landmarks on the sky line of London.) With 35,000 other runners, I set off at 10:10 a.m.

11193233_10153364478212625_426188953081429861_nThe flow of runners was steady and consistent and at times I would have liked to have run faster, but couldn’t get out of the pack. I had to let go of trying to obtain a PR and just concentrate on running with like-minded people who were all there to help others as well as themselves. Keeping that thought in mind helped me just carry on at a consistent 8:30 pace. (Pictured right: Best feeling, seeing friends Katie Wall, David Wall and their daughters Flo and Ruby at mile 25 of the run!)11096611_10206099762990075_1531728327144033367_n

(Pictured left: Angela Coulombe at the finish line of the Virgin Money London Marathon, April 26, 2015.) Of course, the best feeling, though, is when you finish the run, you cross that finish line, you achieve something you’ve been dreaming about, training religiously for, aiming for, and DOING IT; doing it for yourself, doing it for others, making a difference, being someone’s hope, hero and wonderwall, even if just for a day!

(Pictured below: Final finish time, with Worldwide Cancer Research team mate, Michael Harrison, with my VMLM 2015 medal out front of Westminster Abby, London.)





Thank you WCSH6’s 207 for telling the story of “The Big 5 for Lyme”

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 10-05-2015-05-2008


Four down, one to go… a quest that started in 2010….

In October 2007 I was diagnosed  with Lyme Disease. After month’s  of being ill, and knowing nothing about the disease, when I got the diagnosis my first word was, “Hallelujah!” I said that because I believed with a positive diagnosis, an Infectious Disease doctor telling me that with 3 weeks of doxycycline I’d be fine, that I would be fine in 3 weeks time. Again, I knew nothing about Lyme… I had all the symptoms and displayed the symptoms 3 months prior to the diagnosis. Again, I knew NOTHING about Lyme Disease and was just ecstatic to think I could / would once again feel like my old self prior!

Three weeks later, I was anything but fine. Unable to turn my head, lift my arms up over my head, lift my legs, dress myself, climb stairs, get in and out of bed unassisted, well… living fell very, very, very short of the sort of miracle I’d been hoping for or was told would happen.

Okay, I won’t go into all the details, but from that moment on, I was somewhat forced to face the disease on my own and figure it out. I was alone in my search for answers and treatments to get better. Angered, frustrated and feeling betrayed by the medical establishment, I was determined to get well. I spent two years in alternative treatment,  thinking about how much I wanted to play with my children (3 and 8 at the time) again, run again, work out again, and wondered if if would ever happen. Then I thought about what would be a great thing to do to help others with Lyme have hope. I thought about recovering enough to run a marathon, something I had never done before and considered to be quite a crazy thing to do (after all, people sometimes end up, well, dying from running marathons, right?!?). But, I had this goal in mind and by golly, I wasn’t going to rest until I at least did what I could to accomplish it, or discovered I was just never going to be physically fit enough to do it. I’m kind of like that; put the word “challenge” out front of almost anything and I can’t resist!

I’ll let WCSH6 tell the rest of the story. Watch the video below, or click here for the details:

#NYCMarathon2010, #ChicagoMarathon2013, #BostonMarathon2014 #LondonMarathon2015, #IneedToGetIntoBerlin2016!


You never know where your run will take you… or who will notice

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 09-05-2015-05-2008


Being named one of 15 of the most inspirational women who have run the Boston Marathon in Self Magazine

Back in 2012 my friend Karen Fortier and I had the chance to run with Joan Benoit Samuelson around Back Cove in Portland, ME. During the run, Joan told us a story about how people would notice first her running around the neighbourhood, which then others told her inspired them to run. When they started running, she in turn noticed. And so it goes. I first met Karen when I saw her running around our neighbourhood and I couldn’t help but think, when seeing her, how strong, confident, and fast she was. I wanted to train to run the NYC marathon post Lyme Disease. I had no idea how to run a marathon, but somehow thought Karen would know; she looked the type and looked like she had runner’s knowledge. I eventually plucked up the courage to ask her if she would run with me, and surprisingly to me, she said yes! And so started a running relationship that has lasted over the years and still endures; all based off what I noticed in my neighbourhood and what inspired me.

BostonStrong1MY Heroes – the women who bravely paved the way for me and made the world take notice

All along my journey to recover from Lyme Disease, a disease that left me a near invalid for 2 years,  there were heroes I looked up to along the way. There were runners such as Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run officially enter and finish the Boston Marathon in 1967, or Bobbi Gibb who ran the whole route, sin number, in 1966. Along with “Saint Joan” (okay, that’s just my name for Joan Benoit Samuelson), these were people I looked up to, not just for being female runners, but for being runners who laid the way for me to do what I so enjoy and what brought me back to health.

Honoured alongside my heroes

So, here I was in London, England, on Saturday, April 25, 2015, the day before I was set to run the 35th Annual Virgin Money London Marathon as part of my mission to run the “Big 5 for Lyme Disease”, getting ready for bed and just checking my phone for messages, when a Tweet came in from Lynn Crisci telling me I was included in an article titled “#BostonStrong: The Most Inspirational Women Who Have Run the Boston Marathon

BostonStrong2To say I was gobsmacked to make this discovery was putting it mildly. I didn’t know this article had come out,  yet the honour of being included with such amazing women was, and still is, nothing short of humbling. My recovery from Lyme was hard, but of course, my desire to recover was aided by a strong belief that I needed to give hope to others who had the disease, my desire to advocate for those still battling,  and by my wonderful family and friends. If I can inspire just one person, help one person, reach out to one person or make one positive change in someone’s life, what greater joy and sense of accomplishment could I gain from life?

As Joan Benoit said, people notice…

All the women featured in the article published by Self Magazine have inspired ME. I don’t really feel worthy of being listed along side them; they all really seem to have done something incredible, something that moved mountains, something that paved the way for others, something that made people stand up and take notice. But, in the fight against Lyme Disease and in the battle to fund research into it, find to find reliable Lyme tests, to find preventive measures and treatment for long-term, chronic Lyme, the Lyme community needs the world to take notice. And in that fight, I’m happy to have Self Magazine notice!


Finding Inspiration During the Longest Winter on Record

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 26-02-2015-05-2008


Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but only a really teeny tiny bit. As anyone who has been training in New England for a spring marathon will tell you, this has been a brutal winter to train in. When Bangor, Maine has received 117 inches of snow and the city I live in over 100 inches, when it snows every other day, when you have 7-8 foot snow banks lining your street, when it’s -11F the morning of your long run, it truly does feel like a never-ending winter. I’m even starting to wonder if I’ll be able to get in any long runs outdoors before April 26, 2015, the day of the London Marathon, (so far I’ve done most week day runs indoors on the treadmill and a few of my longer runs, not easy at all). However, there are people supporting me and companies supporting me who are keeping me in the game and inspired to train wherever and however necessary to ensure I have a successful marathon. I want to give a special shout out to these two businesses who we, as a family, have done business with and who I am very grateful to for their support.

My sincerest thanks go to the businesses listed below:

Biddeford Saco Dental Associates:
323 Main St, Saco Maine 04072
Tel: (207) 282-9962


Lisa Howard Orthodontic

306 Us Route 1, Ste D-1, Scarborough, ME 04074
Tel: (207) 885-1005


Inspiring Me to Work Hard – London Marathon 2015

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-01-2015-05-2008


It’s never easy to wake up at 4:30am during the cold days of a Maine winter to do the prescribed training workout to get marathon ready. It’s dark, no one else is up, and you have to wonder why you’re doing what you’re doing. And then your community gets behind you and backs you and gives you that extra motivation you need to get out there and get it done. This week I’ve been really blessed to have the support of the Saco Veterinary Clinic and TD Bank generously sponsoring me, getting me much closer to my fundraising goal for Worldwide Cancer Research ( I also had an anonymous giver who rounded out my fundraising with another substantial contribution, was it coincidence they donated after my strong performance at the Jimmy the Greek Frozen 4 Miler (took first place for my age group and ran in 28:29 or 7:08 pace)? I guess I’ll never know, but one thing is for certain, when you have the support of local businesses behind you, and you have your family and friends believing in you and supporting you, it becomes a whole lot easier to get up at 4:30am to get it done!

My sincerest thanks go to the businesses listed below:

Saco Veterinary Clinic:
331 North Street, Saco Maine 04072
Tel: (207) 571-9580


TD Bank

4 Scammon St, #6, Saco ME 04072
Tel: (207) 284-4711


Thank you to the Saco, Maine Community!

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 08-01-2015-05-2008


Giving thanks where thanks is due

As I recovered from Lyme disease in 2010 and ran my first marathon to raise awareness about the disease (NYC Marathon, Nov. 2010), I sort of caught the marathon bug. When you go from not being able to walk properly to being able to run a full marathon, you develop a sense of empowerment like no other. When I trained to run my second marathon, it was with the specific goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. It seemed like a lofty goal at the time, but with the help of some amazing friends and a very, very supportive family, the dream became a reality. It also fostered in me a desire to do what I now call “The Big 5 For Lyme”*, meaning, to run the 5 major marathons on the planet to raise awareness about Lyme disease whilst also supporting others along the way. I’ve worked hard, run three of the 5 and now am planning on running my fourth, the London Marathon, on April 26, 2015. But for this marathon, I’m really sticking my neck out by running for a charity, Worldwide Cancer Research, and vowing to raise $3200.00 for the charity. I’m doing this for many reasons, but mainly because my life has been hugely impacted by cancer; I’ve lost loved ones, watched my sister battle Lymphoma and tried as best as I could support a dear friend go through breast cancer treatment this summer/ autumn. Cancer truly touches all our lives and realizing how lucky I am to have recovered my health, I want to use it to help others in the same way that has been the most beneficial to me helping myself – by running.

I’ve never put myself in a position to directly ask for so many donations and sponsorships, and to be honest, the thought frightened me more than I dare say. But when you put yourself out there, when you ask, it is surprising how people and organizations will help. I’m am COMPLETELY HONOURED & HUMBLED  that several local, community businesses and organizations in Saco, Maine, where I reside, have sponsored me via a donation to Worldwide Cancer Research.

My sincerest thanks go to the businesses and organizations listed below:

Traditions Italian Family Restaurant:
162 Main Street, Saco, ME
Tel: (207) 282-6661


Run of the Mill Public House and Brewery

100 Main Street, Saco, ME 04072
Tel: (207) 571-9648


Norway Savings Bank

569 Main St, Saco, ME 04072
Tel: (207) 282-6121


Bangor Savings Bank
270 Main St, Saco, ME 04072
Tel: (207) 282-9210


Biddeford Saco Rotary Club
100 Main St, Saco, ME 04072


Saco Biddeford Savings Bank
252 Main Street, Saco, ME 04072
Tel: (207) 284-4591

Hannaford Supermarkets
532 Main St, Saco, ME 04072
Tel: (207) 282-4152

Diversified Communications

121 Free St, Portland, ME 04101
Tel: (207) 842-5400


* There were only 5 major marathons when I began this quest back in 2010. Those were New York City, Boston, Chicago, London and Berlin. Tokyo was added in 2013.

London Here I Come

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 21-11-2014-05-2008


I’m so excited to be so close to completing a dream come true, running the fourth out of my “The Big 5 for Lyme” marathons, the London Marathon on April 26, 2015. Already I have completed NYC, Chicago, Boston and cannot wait for London (I hope to be fortunate enough to get into Berlin in 2016). However, London will be a bit different for me as I’ll be running for a charity, something I have not run a major marathon for in the past. I’ll be running for Worldwide Cancer Research, the ONLY cancer charity that will give money to any cancer research anywhere in the world.

( aicr-logo-new_sm

They fund cancer projects in the best research laboratories around the world, firmly believing, as I do, that the answers will not come solely from one scientist in one lab in one country, but rather in collaboration with others. Though this charity is based in the UK, it is presently funding seven projects in the United States including one at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. (

My personal connection with cancer


Valerie Coulombe

My beloved sister-in-law lost her battle with stage 4 ovarian cancer 4 years ago. She spent the last six months of her life in Maine Medical Center. I would run there during my lunch break and spend time with her, a much needed distraction for her to break up the long, monotonous days, while she knew her life was slipping away. Her last wish was to go home. On April 16, her birthday, my brother took her home. She passed away at 2am April 17. During the time she was in hospital, you would never have known how much she was suffering. She always had a smile on her face and a kind word for everyone. I sadly miss her and all she taught me about being stoic in the face of adversity.

10462443_4359085232949_6164659427782476570_nAnnette Coulombe 

That same year, my sister was diagnosed with Lymphoma. She endured a year of traveling back and forth to Boston for treatment and chemo, going into remission 2 years ago. She too fights with tenacity, courage and determination.  She will never be “cured” and will always live with this as part of her life, but she never lets it slow her down or stop her. I’m so proud of all she has done and accomplished and how she helps others go through the struggles she has been through. (pictured left, l-r; me, my sister Annette, Joanna Hoye Connor, on the finishers podium at 2014 Tri for a Cure)

R. C. H.

In May of this year, out of the blue, one of my best friends was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. Three weeks after her diagnosis she underwent a double mastectomy. She underwent 8 weeks aggressive chemo followed by 8 more weeks of aggressive radiation treatment (Thursday November 13, 2014 was her LAST radiation treatment). This has all been so sudden and she, like me, is the mother of two small boys, one aged 10, the other 12.

Cancer touches all of our lives. We live in a world where we need to find answers via research, treatment and early diagnosis. To make this a reality for those you love please make a donation to my personal fundraising page for Worldwide Cancer Research here:

Remember, I’ll be doing the hard work, training through what promises to be a brutal Maine winter, all you need to do, is give!

Other Lyme Runners Stories

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 15-09-2014-05-2008


After being featured in the July 2014 issue of Runner’s World as a runner who has Lyme Disease, I’ve been contacted by many other “Lyme Runners” who’s stories I’d like to feature for several reasons yet mostly because there needs to be awareness about the disease and those who live with it. For me, when I trained for my first marathon post Lyme, in 2010, I only knew of two other runners who had Lyme; Perry Field, a professional athlete and Bart Yasso, another extremely talented and gifted runner. However,  both of these persons seemed to be out of my ordinary runner league and I really wanted to find someone like me, a non-professional runner who just enjoyed the sport. Seven years later, thanks to social media and other outlets, I’m meeting others who are like me; Lyme warriors who refuse to give up and who are pushing their bodies, finding health through running and exercise. In order to bring attention to this Lyme runner community, I now share their stories.

Eliot Rogers’ Story

Eliot RogersLemon or Lyme

To begin, I intend to pay homage to everyone suffering from this disease.  After reading Runner’s World article I personally consider myself truly blessed, reading other’s struggles with this insidious disease and the crippling effects it can carry. To anyone that asks I describe the effects that LD has on my body as the “Tin Man Syndrome”, suffering from chronic pain and extreme joint stiffness. For us runner’s this makes our way of life more complicated, but not impossible to carry on. To cope, I personally incorporate an almost religious recovery regimen.  Mornings have been my worst, waking up completely rigid and stiff, so my solution has to begin each day with a rigorous calisthenics session, followed by a run. The soreness and stiffness seem to leave when I start stretching and moving, the so called “oil” to the joints.

Eliot RogersGrowing up I was very much into athletics, everything except running. During high school I was a member of the football, golf, basketball, and tennis teams. Running became a later post high school hobby.  My actual experience contracting the disease and the believed diagnosis  was very deceiving. The story is still fresh in my mind, at the time I was in an inpatient rehab facility recovering from opiate addiction, a nice summer day out and our group decided to have an outdoor therapy session. I remember finding the tick on the backside of my knee, pulling it off and making no big deal of it. Growing up in a smaller, spot on the map town in rural WV, I’ve grown accustomed to them. Pulling/burning them off myself and k9’s on numerous occasions. No big deal right, or so I thought, the symptoms occurred within a few days after the bite. Hot/cold chills, fever, general weakness, general flu like symptoms. The deceiving part is that opiate withdraw symptoms and Lyme disease symptoms nearly mimic one another, a pair of twins that are hard to tell apart. My impression was the opiate withdraw was causing these symptoms. It wasn’t until a month or so after the initial tick bite that the classic red bulls eyes circles developed. At first one, then another, until my entire body was littered with them. It was a scary thing, finding 10+ red crop circles scattered over my body, believing God was punishing me for taking Craig’s lunch money in the 3rd grade.  Fortunately this indicator brought forth the real culprit, I was given a 3 week course of antibiotics, and that was the song and dance.

Now you can say I chase a different high with running, I’ve been running consistently for the past 3-4 years. Gradually working up my mileage, from 5K’s to ½ marathons. The training for my first ½ marathon was very cautious and I focused much on the recovery aspect of it while also gradually increasing mileage, and at the same time not over doing it. The months preceding the race my biggest expenses were icy hot patchs/gels and Epson salts. Every chance that presented itself I would do something beneficial to my recovery. Icing my feet while at work, stretch while waiting on the trolley, heck I’d be at the bar massaging my calves.  My training ended up paying off; I completed Pittsburgh’s Half Marathon 5 mins under PR. My mantra for the last bit was a piece of a poem from Rudyard Kipling’s “If”, and so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

Thank you all for your time and reading my running with LD story.



Runner’s World Magazine take on the issue of Lyme Disease

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 01-08-2014-05-2008


Angela Coulombe, aka Lymerunner, in Runner's World Magazine, July 2014Back in February of this year (2014) I was surprised to discover an email from Gretchen Voss, a writer for Runner’s World Magazine, in my inbox. She was working on a piece for RW magazine about runners who have Lyme Disease and she wondered if I would mind being interviewed for the article. Since becoming ill with the disease in 2007, and having my health decline to the extent that after 3 months with the disease I was left a near invalid, I’ve made it my mission to do what I can to raise awareness about the disease.

The road to “recovery” has been a long and bumpy road. But I feel that I am more fortunate than most with Lyme and therefore, feel the extra burden of raising awareness about the disease knowing so many who cannot function let alone lead this charge. It is for them I do what I do and for those out there who DON’T have the disease so that they may never get it, never experience how debilitating it can be, how devastating it can be.  Raising awareness about the disease is the key to preventing it and fighting for those who have yet found treatment that will restore their health.

When you’ve reached a point in your life where you think dying is preferable to carrying on in excruciating pain, you know what it is like to have Lyme. I was there seven years ago and I am fortunate and blessed that I recovered to the extent that I can now run marathons. Yet I realize that there are so many out there who are not as fortunate as myself , and I run for them, I advocate for them, I raise awareness for them (together with Amie Levasseur started Lymebuddies –, organize the Jimmy the Greeks Maine Mall 5K for Lyme Disease Awareness and the autumn music festival, Lyme-Aid – well, really Amie does all the work on this one, I just enjoy the great music she puts on!). I cannot thank Runner’s World enough for publishing this article. The day it came out there was so much conversation about it on social media sites that I knew the article achieved it’s purpose and I was only too happy to be a part of it.

However those of us with Lyme chose to raise awareness; local, grass-roots, via media outlets such as TV, magazines, YouTube, or even by running marathons with the disease,  I believe we all share the common goal of preventing others from becoming ill and keeping Lyme in the forefront of peoples minds so that slowly, over time, Lyme will receive the recognition it deserves as being one of the most prevalent and debilitating diseases world wide. Again, can’t thank Runner’s World enough to reaching out to me and sharing my Lyme journey with their readers and beyond.

The full article can be found here: