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April Hartsook Competing For A Cure for ALS

April Hartsook ALS Fight
ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease is a slow and silent killer that attacks the muscles in the body. First, it robs people of the ability to walk, then their ability to talk and finally their ability to breathe.

Piedmont resident April Hartsook is trying to fight ALS by using her muscles with the goal of competing in one of the most demanding sporting events in the world: The Ironman Triathlon!

You can vote for April at

There is a walk to defeat ALS in Winston-Salem on Saturday at BB&T Field. Registration is at 9 a.m. and the walk begins at 10 a.m.

by Kevin Connolly, FOX8

KONA for Karen and ALS

KONA for Karen and ALS

Tracey McCain and April Hartsook Lead A Group of Women Trying To Reach Fitness Goals

WFMY – 2 A New You

Greensboro, NC – We all want to look and feel great.  The problem is, we want fast results and that never gets us anywhere.  It’s a process.  That’s why over the next six months, WFMY News 2’s Tracey McCain will be spearheading a new series called 2 A New You.

Tracey and Fitness Philanthropist April Hartsook will lead and train a group of women who all want to reach their fitness goals.

The women in the group are Jessica Culler, Angie Hinshaw, Tammy Sullivan, Mitra Higgins, Heather Waddell and Kelli Carpenter.  For the next six months April Hartsook will work with them on the four key areas of life:

Mental ( in our capacity to control what we think )

Emotional ( in our capacity to control how we allow events and others to determine how we feel)

Physical ( in our capacity to change the condition of our bodies through healthier choices and exercise)

Spiritual ( in our capacity to find love and support in each other and surround ourselves with those who wish to see us succeed and who are willing to help get us there)

“My goal is to teach the world that we are responsible for the condition we find ourselves in and when we place expectations upon ourselves to get results.  When we are willing to do something different, the cycle never ends,” said Hartsook.


Wednesday on the Good Morning Show we took the first steps by throwing out the scale, recording measurements and taking pictures instead.  This way the women could set realistic and obtainable goals.

Each participant in the group has a different goal.  “I want to be there for my 20-month-old son,” said Angie Hinshaw.  “I want to keep up with him and do things with him.

Watch with us as these women transform their attitudes and bodies over the next six months.  We’ll continue to update you on WFMY News 2’s the Good Morning Show and on facebook.  You can also visit for more information.


WFMY News 2

Move It and Lose It – It Takes Two to Tango

Move It Challenge – It Takes Two to Tango

Winston-Salem woman ran more than 200 miles to help raise money for the homeless

Michael Hewlett/Winston-Salem Journal

As a personal fitness trainer and an ultra endurance athlete, April Hartsook runs a lot – sometimes as much as 30 miles a day. And over 26 days in December, she ran more than 200 miles to help raise money for the homeless.

The running was part of a national project called 26X26, an effort started by her friends, Dave Carlsson and Jason Lester, ultra endurance athletes who live in Hawaii. The two each ran 26.2 miles a day for 26 days, starting Dec. 1. Lester contacted Hartsook and asked her to organize teams across the country and around the world to raise money through running.

And that’s what Hartsook did.

“I wanted to inspire my community, inspire Winston-Salem and High-Point (and Greensboro),” said Hartsook, who lives in Winston-Salem.

With that goal in mind, she used social media, her contacts in the ultra endurance athletic world, and her clients to form 10 teams. On each team were 10 people. Each person would be responsible for running a total of 26 miles in 26 days and raising at least $26.

That’s far less than the endurance athletes ran, but it still provided a way for people to get involved.

The teams included Winston-Salem residents as well as people in other states and from other countries, she said. Some were runners from the Nike Elite Camp, and others were on the USA Cycling team, she said. Others were just people who wanted to help.

Hartsook also was a team all by herself, and she ran 217 miles in 26 days. Hartsook ran in Salem Park and other places in Winston-Salem.

She said she took pledges and donations from people on each day she ran. She raised $1,800 that way.

The donations are still coming in, so it’s unclear how much was raised overall, she said.

Hartsook said that the money raised went through a PayPal account to Harvest Food Bank in Hawaii. The money was used to buy food and feed the homeless.

Lester said on his website that they were able to feed 1,000 homeless people through the 26X26 project.

“The truth is this: The 681 miles was the easiest part of it all,” Lester said on his website. “It’s not easy preparing food, serving and being on your feet for 10 hours a day. God is good.”

According to Lester’s website, he and Carlsson would meet up at 4 p.m. each day at Magic Island in Honolulu. They would feed the homeless and then run 10 loops around Ala Moana Beach Park and Magic Island, finishing around 10 p.m.

Though it might seem insane to most people to run that much in 26 days, it’s not unusual among ultra endurance athletes, Hartsook said.

“In the ultra (endurance) running community, it’s not unheard of to run 200 to 300 miles a week,” she said.

Many of those athletes are preparing to run marathons, and part of the training is laying a foundation so that the body can get used to running long distances, she said.

Hartsook said she, Lester and Carlsson all have different movements and organizations. And what they try to do is pool their resources to help others.

“The point is that as ultra endurance (athletes), we utilize the gifts we’ve been given to motivate and inspire people to do great things,” she said.

(336) 727-7326

Winston-Salem Journal Article

Asphalt Assault

Exercising Outdoors

The Nation’s Triathlon – To Benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Nation's Triathlon 2012

Nation's Triathlon 2012

Since the inception of this partnership in 2008, The Nation’s Triathlon to Benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has raised more than $11 million to help find new and better cancer treatments.

The 2012 Nation’s Triathlon course is one of the most spectacular and athlete friendly courses in the world winding past monuments, memorials and history through the Nation’s Capital.

The swim takes place in the scenic and calm Potomac River where you will swim past Arlington Cemetery and under the Memorial Bridge twice. The swim start is next to the transition area and the finish line so family and friends can watch more of your race.

The bike route is flat and fast winding past the Potomac River, the White House, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, WWII Memorial, United States Peace Institute, and Kennedy Center. There is no bike course like it in the world.

The run route is a challenging and beautiful single-loop that takes competitors past the Tidal Basin, Jefferson Memorial, National Holocaust Memorial, US Mint, Haines Point and more.

The finish line is adjacent to the transition area and swim start making it ideal for family and friends. The Finish Line Festival has live music, free food for athletes, free post-race athlete services and instant results printed for you right when you finish!

Success Story: Suzanne

I have lost 17 lbs and I think about 10 inches. I am buying lots of new & smaller clothes! I feel great !!

I had a physical for my 50th birthday in June and last year my cholesterol was 180. This year it was 145! The Dr asked me what I was doing!

He said you are at the lowest weight you’ve been since you have been a patient here & your cholesterol is down & your blood pressure is perfect!

— Susan S.

Making A Change for the Better

Monica never thought she would be registered to participate in the upcoming Ramblin’ Rose Women’s Triathlon. She was a self-proclaimed “coach potato” over-eating to cope with a painful past. Her beauty pageant title in high school was a distant memory.

When she looked in the mirror before work one morning last March, she didn’t like what she saw. Tipping the scales at more than 260 pounds, she was miserable. Out of breath when she wanted to play with her grandchildren, struggling to have a positive attitude at work and at home, she knew she needed a change. The first step was changing her outlook. The next step was a weight loss program* that helped her build healthier habits.

A long-time member and occasional visitor of the Yadkin Family YMCA, Monica began to use her membership to its fullest capacity. “The trainers at the Y were just so helpful and encouraging,” she shared. “The people believing in me helped me believe in myself.”

Pushing herself just a bit farther each workout, embracing healthier eating habits, and trying new exercises was what she needed to change. Today, she is down 42 pounds and armed with a sunnier outlook. “Even my coworkers notice my attitude is a total change from this time last year.”

“The [Y trainers] told me I was stronger than I thought I was,” Monica said. That encouragement helped her feel confident enough to start training with Fleet Feet Sports for the Ramblin’ Rose Women’s Triathlon, which trains for the swimming portion of the event at the William G. White, Jr. Family YMCA.

“If I can do this, anyone can do it,” Monica says of her transformation. She wants other women who may be feeling the same sense of hopelessness she did just a few short months ago that change truly is possible and the Y can help you get there.

*Note, Monica’s journey first began with the Move it Lose It Challenge with Forsyth Woman Magazine and her trainer April Hartsook.

Making a Change