24 Hour Runner: Rodney Russen

Beer Runners tend to roll deep. It’s not unusual to have 90 people show up on a regular Thursday to run with Fishtown Beer Runners (FBR), the original chapter of the now worldwide movement. The Beer Runners will even be fielding a 24-hour relay team for PHL24 2019.

One Beer Runner, Rodney Russen, has gone above and beyond: he’ll be tackling the full 24-hour challenge himself.

“FBR’s founder, David April, is a hero of mine,” says Rodney. “We talked about it and I said I’d be honored to represent the Beer Runners in the 24-hour runner category.”

The admiration certainly is not one sided.

“Rodney is a tenacious runner who runs with purpose and humility. Given all his accomplishments, his many Boston Marathons, ultras, and endurance runs, helping others is what truly drives him,” says David April. “I’ve long admired Rodney for his commitment to running for good causes and am especially grateful and touched he chose to represent Beer Runners and to draw attention to cancer research and patient support through Legacy of Hope.”

Rodney is an experienced endurance athlete, having competed in events ranging from your standard marathon distance to ultras, hundred-mile races, and a few 24-hour events. He’ll rely on his usual mantra to carry him through: “Run the mile you’re in.”

“My strategy is to be consistent, almost robotic. I’ll go on autopilot for most of the race,” Rodney says. “I’ll get out of my head now and then to have some fun, but then it’s back to work.”

When asked why he’s climbing, he said he’s doing it for too many people to count. “This event in particular, I’ll be doing it for David and my friend Nora, two strong people who are still fighting.”

Rodney will rely on his competitive side for motivation, but he knows that it will come and go throughout the night. When his self-motivation might not be enough, he’ll focus on why Legacy of Hope is hosting this event and the people that will benefit from the money raised.

“What’s another flight of stairs compared to another round of chemo?”

To support Rodney’s 24-hour climb, visit his fundraising page! You can also join the Beer Runners Ultra team. For more information about the event, visit PHL24.life.

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Nia Andrews

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Rebecca Blinn

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Carol Sollenberger

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Maree Lavo

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Bryan Lathrop

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Kimberly S. Reed

An award winning international speaker, author, corporate trainer and diversity, equality and inclusion executive, nationally recognized thought leader, expert, strategist and advisor to some of the world’s most influential organizations in global professional services, health care, financial services, consumer products and pharmaceutical industries.

Kimberly is a seasoned leader in transforming organizations into high-performing enterprises and challenging leaders to live without limits, with more than 20 years of HR, talent acquisition, and diversity & inclusion experience; successfully turning around troubled diversity practices by designing, building, leading, and shaping high-performing cultures at global organizations with robust strategies, global employee development programs and enterprise-wide initiatives that have increased revenue growth and organizational brand eminence.

Michele Redrow

Michele is a Director on the Legacy of Hope board and also serves on the Executive Committee.

mary chicorelli

Professional:  Mary is a certified city planner for Philadelphia, a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association as well as the Philadelphia Bar Association, and the Pro Bono Honor Roll First Judicial District of Philadelphia.

Bio: Mary’s insight into the legal world is invaluable to Legacy of Hope, both in keeping our daily operations moving fluidly as well as making connections for our patients and their families when needed.

“Michael reached out to me about 2 years ago through mutual friends. We worked together to help a woman with stage 4 cancer get her electricity turned back on after it was shut off during the winter. I’ve been 100% supportive of Mike’s vision since then.”

joseph ruggieri, jr

Education: Bachelor’s of Science from West Chester University in Management and Finance

Bio: As a member of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.’s upper management team, Joseph brings a wealth of knowledge regarding finances, management, team-building and planning to the Legacy of Hope board. Joseph linked up with Michael, our President, and Wells Fargo began supporting Legacy of Hope annually.

“My father passed away from what started as Colon Cancer in 2015. Cancer is horrible and if there is something I can do to help others impacted I would want to be a part of it.”

David April

David is the founder of the Fishtown Beer Runners, an organization with chapters all over the world based here in Philadelphia.

dr. kevin kelly

Dr. Kevin Kelly leads Legacy of Hope’s Scientific Review Board to seek out and support the most promising cancer research in Philadelphia using a merit-based system.  He is Jefferson’s Director of Solid Tumor Oncology.

greg garber

Greg Garber is the director of Oncology Support Services at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.

Gina Mancuso

Gina’s experience as the very successful co-owner of CoreFitness, LLC coupled with her expertise in planning special events makes her the perfect Vice President for Legacy of Hope. With energy, passion, and drive that makes her seem superhuman, Gina’s connection to our mission is a personal one.

“Both my father and my dear childhood friend were diagnosed with cancer within 3 months of one another. They were surrounded and supported by friends and family throughout their battle and until their passing. No one should suffer through a diagnosis alone and, without Legacy of Hope, some people would do just that.”

Michael Rowe


Volatile Media Management’s Mover, Shaker, Changemaker Award – February 2017

Miles Mack Community Services & Leadership Honorable Mention – 2016 TJUH Emergency Department Technician of the Year, Physicians Choice Award – 2015

TJUH Emergency Department Technician of the Year, Physicians Choice Award – 2014


With his free time so limited, Michael manages to fuse his work with his other passion: running. Whether it is with the Fishtown Beer Runners, our own Team Relentless Hope, or his closest friends, Michael can often be spotted on the streets of Philadelphia keeping himself fit and active.