Running with Cystic Fibrosis

Running with Cystic Fibrosis

Running on Thin Air 

Interview with cystic fibrosis warrior, van life, traveling runner. 

Running with Cystic Fibrosis wasn’t always an option until modern medicine intervened and gave Stephi a new lease on life. 

running on thin air, blog banner, blue blog banner, idaph events, frostbite 5k, Cystic Fibrosis

Stephi spent her entire life holding back but not by choice.  Her lungs functioning at only 30-40% had been slowly failing her due to cystic fibrosis. 

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited disorder that causes severe damage to the lungs, digestive system and other organs in the body. Instead of the secretions acting as lubricants, they become sticky and plug up tubes, ducts and passageways, especially in the lungs and pancreas. 

Stephi had already lost her mom to cancer, who also carried the CF gene…the road has been anything but easy. So how did she find the hope or motivation to keep going despite living with something that can be as life-threatening as CF? With the help of modern medicine and the power of a resilient spirit. 

After years of enduring IV antibiotics and barely being able to breathe or talk, by the time she was 26 years old there was finally a drug released for CF which has allowed her to run free. Read her story below and find hope through her words. 

When did you first think about doing a 5k?

SL: I first thought about doing a 5k after following another girl, Katie, with CF on Instagram, and seeing her post about running 5k’s and marathons. Her posts were very motivating and inspired me to give it a try. 

Why did you think it was possible to actually do a 5k given your lifelong CF diagnosis?

SL: I thought it would be possible to do a 5k now because of how much my health has improved in the last couple years, thanks to a new CF drug called Trikafta. Prior to the drug, my lung function was around 40%. Today, it’s in the mid-80% range! I wanted to try a 5k to push my own limits and see what my new healthy lungs were capable of.

I am capable quote, Stephi Lee, Running with cystic fibrosis

What did you learn the most when doing your first 5k?

SL: I learned that I am capable of much more than I ever thought possible. My physical body was finally strong enough to run, for once in my life, but my mind gave me the biggest challenge. I had to push through my doubts and ignore the negative voices in my head telling me to give up. Making it across the finish line showed me that I CAN do it, and inspired me to keep doing as much as I can.

What did you do differently prepping for the Frostbite 5k than the Turkey Trot?

SL: I prepared for the Turkey Trot and the Frostbite 5k in exactly the same way… by not practicing running at all. Haha. Both were a bit of a last minute decision. I’ve been doing daily exercise on my Peloton bike since the summer, which I’m sure helped with the cardio parts of it.

frostbite 5k, stephi lee, penguin medal, cystic fibrosis, running with cystic fibrosis

What goal do you have for yourself this year with running?

SL: This year I would really like to practice running, so I can do better in 5k’s going forward. I’m trying to get into a routine of running every day, even if it’s just a short distance. Eventually I would love to do a half-marathon or full marathon! I love 5k’s but I am the type of person that loves to push my limits. So I’m sure there will be many 10k’s, half-marathons, and full marathons in the future! To avoid injuring myself, I will be slowly working up to longer distances.

What do you feel like is the best part of running for you?

SL: The best part of running for me is the endorphins I feel after. The “runner’s high” –  it makes me feel like I can accomplish anything, and exercising has helped my mental health tremendously. I lived my whole life not being able to do all the things so now I want to do all the things. 

Why running? Why not another sport to race in?

SL: I love running because you don’t need any equipment, other than some running shoes. It’s accessible anywhere. I also really enjoy cycling, weight lifting, and yoga.

for the people who can't quote, Stephi Lee, Running with cystic fibrosis

If you could give someone advice to keep them going, what would that be?

SL: Do it because you love yourself. And do it for the people who can’t. When I was at my sickest, I would have given the world to be able to run. Now that I can breathe, exercise is all I ever want to do. Simply because I can and it makes me feel strong and happy.

What running shoe do you run in?

SL: I run in some old Nikes I bought probably 8 years ago. I couldn’t tell you the exact name of them, but they’re comfortable and have lasted me a long time!

I hope Stephi’s story brings you an extra dose of motivation like it did me. What some people may see as an everyday norm, like breathing in oxygen without thinking twice, can be a daily challenge or source of worry for others. So, get out there and run on my friends. Use your gifts and talents with the world. Especially for those who can not. The world needs your smile. 

Find Stephi on Instagram here.


CCRM Love Run 5k

CCRM Love Run 5k

Join us at the gorgeous Hanna Park for this inaugural event! Run with your friends and family, run to connect with your community, and run for LOVE!


Race Details:

Course Type: Paved Road & Sidewalk
Stroller friendly? Yes
Dogs allowed? Yes


What is included with your race entry:

• A first-class running experience in downtown Asheville!
• An in-person, socially-distanced race with rolling, wave starts.
• Chip-timing for accurate results.
• A totally set up and well-marked course.
• Spectator friendly course.
• One-of-a-kind Prizes and Race Swag.


Asheville Marathon and Half

Asheville Marathon and Half

Saturday, March 20, 2021



Relocated to Downtown Asheville for 2021


RUN 13.1 x 3

We are thrilled to launch the new 13.1 x 3 series for 2021, the Appalachian Trilogy! 
Sign up for the Asheville Half Marathon (March 20), Jump off Rock Half Marathon (May 8) & Black Bear Half Marathon (Oct. 9), and receive a gorgeous gold commemorative, Appalachian Trilogy medal. We will also have some super, cool swag to go along with this new challenge to keep you motivated to train all year long!

The 9th Annual Asheville Marathon and Half typically held at Biltmore Estate, will take place as a Half Marathon only on Saturday, March 20, 2021 in downtown Asheville. The Special Edition, 2021 Asheville Half Marathon is relocated for one year only to downtown Asheville, North Carolina. The Asheville Marathon & Half will plan to return to Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC for the 10th Annual event in 2022. Participants will help bring the economy roaring back with a safe, organized, fun and city-style running event in downtown Asheville, NC.

 Due to COVID-19, guidelines are being put in place to provide a safe and socially distanced event for our runners, volunteers, and staff, which is why the Marathon and Challenge events will not take place at the 2021 event. The event is capped at 800 participants and will include wave starts. We expect this event to sell out before race day. 

Registration will open on Thursday, January 27th for the 2020 participants and then will open on January 28th to the general public.

Start your 2021 Asheville Half Marathon in downtown Asheville Pack Square and run through the best parts of the city. Including downtown city streets, River Arts District, along the French Broad river and through the park for this city-style, 13.1 race. This fast, half marathon is a dream come true for runners looking to get a personal best in the mountains of Western North Carolina. With only 477 feet of elevation gain and 487 feet of elevation loss, runners will get a short sampling of downtown hills at the beginning and end of the race, but the majority of the miles are ‘flat’ running along the river on the greenway and through the city parks. 

Endurance runners will have an opportunity to ‘break in’ the brand new section of the newly completed greenway section of the French Broad River Greenway on Riverside Drive and Lyman Street.This is the first race in downtown Asheville to explore these new greenways during a race. 

Runners will be on mostly paved surfaces throughout the entirety event with a few dirt sections within the French Broad River Park. 

  Race Details:

Course time limit is 12:30pm.

Start Times:

Half Marathon
Rolling wave starts 7:30 am until 9:10 am. 

Runners will sign up for a wave start time when registering. We highly encourage runners/walkers that want to enjoy the scenery and take their time during the race to start in the first or second wave to make the time cutoff.

Half Marathon is capped at 800 runners.

Course Type: Half Marathon, majority is paved, the scenic downtown course weaves through downtown into the River Arts District and along the French Broad River and back into downtown Asheville. 

Stroller friendly? Yes
Dogs allowed? Yes

Registration Periods & Pricing
Regular: January 27- March 13
Late: March 14 -March 19

Virtual Race

For runners not able to attend in person, the virtual race is a good option to achieve a goal, and run the miles on your own, wherever and whenever you want. All virtual runners will receive a commemorative race shirt and finisher medal. 


What is included with your race entry:

• A first-class running experience in the late spring in Western North Carolina!
• An in person, safe and socially-distanced race with rolling, wave starts
• A scenic, (mostly) flat course in Downtown Asheville.
• Course fully-marked with route signs and course markings on the road. 
• Course preview video and course maps to get you prepped for race day. 
• Chip-timing for accurate results
• Access to our community of runners in our Strava Group. 
• Spectator friendly courses

• One-of-a-kind Prizes 

Super-cool swag including:
• Unique Special Edition Finisher Medal
• Super comfy, custom-designed t-shirt
• Asheville Half Marathon Buff
• Goody Bag
Awesome post event food and treats:
• More info coming soon!


“Everything about this race was top-notch. The information sent out, the organization, and the fantastic demeanor of the staff and volunteers all exceeded expectations. The course is tough, but it is a gorgeous run that’ll have your head on a swivel. This is definitely a must-run race!”

– Crystal Roger Owens, Asheville Marathon & Half Participant

New Years Resolution Run

New Years Resolution Run

The 7th Annual Resolution Run 5K and 10K races through the streets of Downtown Asheville, NC on New Year’s Day, at a reasonable 10:00 am. Leave 2020 behind (like for REALZ) and let’s start 2021 off with a nice refreshing “leave it all behind” experience through downtown Asheville. This race welcomes families and participants of all ages to come run or crawl their way to completing their FIRST New Year’s Resolution! Bring warm layers of clothes, tie up your running shoes, and get ready to ‘run into’ 2021!

2021 Resolution Shirt
resolution run medal

Race Details:
Start Times: 10 am-10:30 AM with 10-minute wave intervals of 50 participants max
Start Times: 10:30-11 AM - 10 MINUTE waves
Start Times: 10am-10:19 AM. Run both courses for a 15K. Special prizes for overall winners!

Each event is capped at 150 participants. 

Course Type: Paved Road & Sidewalk
Stroller friendly? Yes
Dogs allowed? Yes

Course time limit is 12 pm (noon).

What is included with your race entry:

• A first-class running experience in downtown Asheville!
• An in-person, socially-distanced race with rolling, wave starts.
• Chip-timing for accurate results.
• A totally set up and well-marked course.
• Spectator friendly course.
• One-of-a-kind Prizes, Race Swag and Commemorative Finisher Medal.
• A free custom t-shirt to commemorate your first fitness goal of the year!

Free T-shirt deadline:
Participants who sign up before December 13th at midnight receive a free custom New Year’s Resolution t-shirt! Switch it out for a long-sleeve for an additional $10.

New Years Resolution Run

Registration is now open for the New Year’s Resolution Run in downtown Asheville

Kiss 2020 goodbye!

Join iDaph Event’s 2021 New Year’s Resolution Run in downtown Asheville

Celebrate the love of running, fitness, and the new year with iDaph Events 7th Annual Resolution Run, set for New Year’s Day on Friday, January 1st, 2021 in downtown Asheville, NC.

This annual in-person running event has assigned wave start times beginning at 10 am, so you can watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve and still get up in time to kick off the first day of the year on the right foot.

The race starts and ends in Pack Square, Asheville’s historic public square and the heart of Asheville. The New Year’s Resolution Run is a great way to stick to your fitness goals and stay active throughout the winter months while exploring the streets of downtown Asheville and its surrounding neighborhoods. The 10 Mile distance will not take place this year; instead, a 10K has been put in its place, along with the traditional 5K route. There is also a challenge option for endurance runners, which allows runners to run both the 5k and 10k distances for a total of 9.3 miles.

“After what we have been through as a community over the past year, I cannot imagine a better way to start off the new 2021 year,” says Race Director Daphne Kirkwood. “The New Year’s Resolution Run is an opportunity to let go of the last year together, safely and in-person.”

Changes due to COVID-19

As all of iDaph Events running events since the pandemic, this event will have major changes implemented to allow for a safe and socially distanced event. When runners register they must choose a wave start time and stick to that time when they start the race. The assigned wave start times are to ensure that runners stay socially distanced throughout the race from start to finish, and it eliminates a mass start. Each event has been capped at 150 participants.

A conditional permit has been approved by the City of Asheville on November 9, 2020 for this annual event to take place in downtown Asheville.

Runners are encouraged to bring their own water and nutrition for this event. In order to provide a safe experience for all runners, there will be no water stations or fuel stations on the race course.

For more changes due to COVID-19, please visit the Resolution Run website.

New for 2021! Virtual Option

Runners not ready to attend an in-person event or if from out of town are still able to be part of this annual Resolution Run. A virtual option for this event is also available, and runners can run the same course or a course anywhere to commemorate the start of a brand new year. Virtual participants will have access to the course information and receive all the cool swag mailed directly to their home. Top finishers are also eligible for prizes.

In-person event

5K and 10k runners participating in the in-person event will receive a race t-shirt, a commemorative finisher medal, a chip-timed race, a fully-marked course and a goody bag with their registration fee. Challenge runners will also receive an additional swag item. These swag items are a fun way to commemorate the first run of the year, and a reminder to runners that they have stuck to their fitness goals.

“For many, the t-shirt and commemorative medal will be a reminder to leave 2020 behind and provide a token of hope as together we look forward to a more healthy future in 2021,” says Kirkwood.

No after-party: But we can still have fun!

To commemorate the new year, a fresh start and the Resolution Run accomplishment, all finishers will receive a custom-designed finisher medal after they cross the finish line.

To discourage the gathering of crowds, there will not be any post-event celebrations for the in-person New Year’s Resolution Run. However, runners and spectators can check out Baires Food Truck, which will be on-site at the event serving up their delicious breakfast empanadas and special New Year’s empanadas, along with hot drinks such as hot chocolate and coffee.

There is plenty of space at Pack Square for spectators to come and cheer on their favorite runner during this event. We do ask that spectators wear masks and stay socially distanced from others while attending.

The awards ceremony will be held via Zoom the week following the event to announce overall finishers.

Sign up: Spots are limited!

It is time to say goodbye and good riddance to 2020 and HELLO 2021! For more details about this event, click the button below. 

Please note: If the permit conditions change due to COVID-19 event gathering restrictions, this event will be moved to a different location. There are no deferrals or refunds for this event.

New Year's Resolution Runners in downtown Asheville

Past iDaph Blogs

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