2017 Rock 'N Race

Inspirational Stories


Original team name: Friends of Brian Robinson

Current team name: Lincoln Strong!

Captain: Barbara A. Meighan

1. How long have you participated in Rock ‘N Race? I have participated in the Rock ‘n Race since its inception in May 2003. I was on the planning committee and went to weekly morning meetings with Peter Ellinwood, Steve Duprey, and Claudia Walker, when all anyone knew was we wanted to raise money to finish the Payson Center and assist families who needed our help.

2. What or who was your inspiration to join? My dear friend, Brian Robinson, had just passed away from pancreatic cancer on Christmas Eve, 2002. I heard through the grapevine that Concord Hospital was putting the finishing touches on the Payson Center for Cancer Care and doing a run/walk fund raiser. I knew I had to organize a team of Brian’s co-workers, family members, and friends so that we could all honor his memory. He was an avid and beautiful runner, frequently seen in Bow and Dunbarton on his noontime lunch hour run. Brian compartmentalized his life between family, work, and his running. He was took impeccable care of himself, the last person you’d expect to get sick and die at the young age of 40. We started this quest in Brian’s memory and unfortunately, kept adding more names to the list of lost friends.In November, 2014, another dear friend, Mitch BonGiorno, also passed away from pancreatic cancer. Mitch also left behind his loving wife and children. There wasn’t enough room on the back of the customized team tee-shirt for Brian’s name and Mitch’s name and Judy and Paula and Joanna and recently Darlene and Tom and Marc, and all the others, so I had to change the name to something that represents us all and our connection, so we became Lincoln Strong!

3. What do you look forward to each year? I look forward to getting in touch with all the people who show up each year and join our team. So many have left the company over the past 15 years since we started this journey to raise money to find a cure and assist those families who need our help so that they can continue the fight. There’s a bond that was formed all those years ago by Brian’s family and friends. I look forward each year to seeing this community of people who care – who show up and fundraise and remember why we are doing this.

4. Share your story or your favorite memory from past races: I have memories from each year that we’ve had the Rock ‘n Race. My good friend, Jim Staples, is our team photographer, so I have team photos from every year from under the big tree across the street from St. Paul’s Church. Some years there were 30 or 40 hearty souls in the pouring rain and others there were over 100 team members enjoying a beautiful spring night in New England. It’s wonderful reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, all with a common purpose. 

 Lincoln Strong  



Hello my name is Kristin Oldenburg and I'm the captain of Booty Kickin Bill

1. How long have you participated in Rock ‘N Race? This is my 3rd year being the captain of my team. And my 4th year participating in the Rock N Race.

2. What or who was your inspiration to join? About 4 years ago my father was diagnosed with colon cancer and he received his treatment through the Payson Center. When I went there the nurses and doctors were amazing, and they made the best out of a bad situation. So I wanted to help. I originally started my team for my senior project. All of my friends and family either joined my team or donated money in honor of my dad. Since we had such good results I continued the team every year!

3. What do you look forward to each year? I look forward to my friends and family getting together and having great conversations during the walk.

4. Share your story or your favorite memory from past races: My favorite memory was from Booty Kickin Bill's first year. It was only less then a year after my dad had finished treatments he walked in the race for my team that I had made for him. Seeing his face when he crossed the finish line is something that I will never forget.

 Booty Kickin Bill  



 Kathy Schmitt Captain of Gayle's "Heaven's to Betsy on Toast!"

1. How long have you participated in Rock ‘N Race?  This will be my 3rd year as captain for Gayle's "Heaven's to Betsy on Toast!"

2. What or who was your inspiration to join?  My best and dearest friend Gayle Braley.  Gayle passed away from colorectal cancer in August 2014 at the young age of 48.

3. What do you look forward to each year?  I really love seeing everyone come together to share their love for that special person in their life who has been touched by cancer.  Many people who join my team didn't know Gayle personally, but they know someone who has been touched by cancer. 

4. Share your story or your favorite memory from past races: Gayle was my best friend and we did many things together, but the main thing was stamping and scrapbooking.  We had so much fun teaching stamp camps and scrapbooking together. The scrapbooks she made are a treasure she left for her family. She is the only person I know who was always totally current on her photos and anyone who scrapbooks knows that is pretty rare!  Her family, her husband Phil and daughters Laura and Cecily were the most important thing to Gayle. She was a beautiful person, full of laughter and love.  We all miss her terribly.

2015: the first year of the team, the weather was beautiful and the team was so happy to be there for Gayle's family.  Some of my favorite pictures are the the ones of the crowds.  seeing our sign being held high in the midst of the crowd with the sun signing down.  it was a good feeling.

2016: pouring rain for our team photo!  nobody seemed to mind though.  Just before the race began, a rainbow came out and you can see it over our sign.  Gayle's sister-in-law and niece (Angela and Grace) walk their own 5k in Virginia starting at exactly the same time as our race since they can't attend in person.



Heaven's to Betsy on Toast!  



Louann F. Lacourse captain of The Tierney's Devotion in Motion 

1. How long have you participated in Rock ‘N Race? I have participated in Rock N Race for it's entirety!     

2. What or who was your inspiration to join?  To raise $$ for those who could not otherwise afford treatment or care.My brother in law, Steven J. Tierney (also ran with the EI team that first year), was employed by Concord Litho developed Leukemia and ultimately lost his battle.  Steve was one of the nicest, hard working, fun loving, people you could ever meet.He was always there to lend a hand when needed, he loved the outdoors, was an avid sportsmen and generally healthy person...until theLeukemia.  We started this team to keep that devotion to help people alive.... Then my sister Tracey Tierney (my co-captain) lost her battle to breast cancer almost 2 years ago.  Tracey, although quiet, was alsovery generous, owned her own business and liked to help people in small but subtle ways.  Tracey was the type that would help but wouldalso show you how to help yourself... you know the old saying....Give a man a fish he'll eat for a day but teach a man to fish he'll eat for a lifetime.    

3. What do you look forward to each year? Honestly, I look forward to seeing the runners come in before I can even get around the block.  For health reasons I cannot do the whole walk, however, I always start out with the team and literally walk around the block and.... low and behold the first runners are coming in...incredible!

4. Share your story or your favorite memory from past races: My story.... shared above.  However, I would like to add that many on "my" team Including myself are cancer survivors as well...... we love to feel the support when we're there.