Craig Julien never chose to run, running was always a means to an end. In junior high, he ran to stay in shape for soccer and swimming. After seeing his brother Brett fall in love with running in high school, Craig decided to try cross-country running. In his early adult years, Craig would joke with Brett about how the older men who run along the side of the road would be them one day. To Craig’s surprise, his brother began competing in marathons after college, becoming the very thing Craig would joke about. In 2011, Brett convinced Craig to run a half-marathon. After the race, Craig told himself that he would never run that far again, even though he had fun running with his brother.
Almost three years ago, Craig and his wife sat down as Craig’s parents told them that Brett had been diagnosed with ALS. Brett had been competing in Sprint Triathlons and some Marathon races, he was the poster child of health, and to this day Craig cannot believe that his brother of all people was diagnosed with ALS.
In 2021, Craig’s sister asked if he would be interested in participating in the Houston Marathon Run for a Reason to support his brother and the ALS Association in Texas.
“It’s a no-brainer. I was, again, not really in a condition to be running that far. But this was like early spring 2021, so the race was about nine months away. I said, yeah, perfect. Let’s see what we can do.” Said, Craig.
Craig was surprised to discover that lots of people contributed to their team, and the following year he signed up to run without his sister by his side. Although claiming to be a total introvert, that didn’t stop Craig from raising the most amount of money for the ALS Association for this year’s Houston Marathon.
Craig said, “It’s two things. I mean one, it’s for a great cause it’s a good fundraiser. But I think also it helps to feel like you’re having some impact. Or you know you can help in some way. I mean, there’s nothing medically I can do. I’m a math guy. I don’t do biology. So, it’s a struggle, I think, emotionally to try and figure out how to contribute. You get to get out and get some exercise and at the same time try and raise some money to help offset some stresses in people’s lives.”