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Run for Justin

His Passion, His Vision, Our Mission...

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About Justin

His Passion...


Justin always had a passion for athletics - enjoying soccer, basketball, football, and running as he grew up.He liked to play most of these sports with friends and family - for the camaraderie and fun.Running became his true passion.Justin, at first took up running to help improve his endurance for soccer and other activities.It turned out he was pretty decent at running longer distances.Justin ran cross country all four years in high school and was a varsity letter winner his junior and senior years at V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic High School, helping his team qualify for the State Cross Country meet both years.


After high school, Justin put the running shoes away for a while until May 2003 when the running bug bit him again.On his own intitiative, Justin set a goal of preparing himself to run the Chicago Marathon in October 2003 – a very ambitious goal for a kid who had taken a few years off from running and had never run a race longer than a 10K.Justin did all his own research on how to train, set up his own training schedule, learned all he could about nutrition and maintained a detailed running journal.What was impressive is that he did most of his running on his own and stuck to his schedule while juggling school and work.Justin was well prepared for the race in October, exceeding his goal time of 4:00 hours, finishing in a very respectable time of


Sadly, Justin plans were not realized after suffering traumatic injuries in an accident while walking home from his friend's home on February 22, 2004. Justin passed away on February 29, 2004 but his legacy lives on.


His Vision...


During his training for the 2003 Chicago Marathon, Justin spoke often to the family and friends about his passion for running and wanting to do something more to help others through his running. One of his last running journal entries dated January 13, 2004 expresses his vision:


"Went to a Team In Training meeting today, was very impressed with the staff, they seem very dedicated to the cause. Kathy Coates spoke of her son Jacob who had just been rediagnosed with leukemia - she was a great motivator! Her heart wrenching story brought the whole group to the verge of tears. Team In Training is a very worth while cause. The fundraising goals are high ... but I plan on supporting the cause in whatever way I can."

In Loving Memory of Jacob Coates
May 10, 2000-August 24, 2004
Our Mission...
Shortly after Justin's passing, our family came across his running journal. Justin's passion and vision...his love for running and desire to help others... clearly came through!
The Run for Justin was born as a way for our family to celebrate Justin’s life and avid interest in running, as well as support a cause he felt deeply about - The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training ProgramWhile Justin’s running career was cut short at age 22, his dream of helping others through his running was not.In commemoration of Justin, and on behalf of all touched by his life, the Run for Justin Foundation continues to fulfill his wishes and provide important funding for promising blood cancer research.

Favorite Quote - From Justin's Journal

November 4, 2003 - "That Guy"


"For a while I've been "that guy". "That guy" is the outsider because he's off doing his own thing, while the whole gang is out kidding and carrying on. In my case, it only took a few weekends of skipping dinner and drinks before I became " the runner". In quick succession that label morphed to the "marathoner".


People will ask him “you’ve done the marathon…now what?”To that he calmly replies, “rest up and train for the next one”.To “that guy” simply finishing the race is not enough.There's always that next goal, that elusive personal record he’s hunting down."



Justin crossing finish line at 2003 Chicago Marathon

Official Time - 3:06:17 - Not Bad for "That Guy"!