April Cure Champions

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This month we are excited to feature our Boston Marathon Team and coaches as our April Cure Champions. This driven group of runners will be racing 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston on Monday, April 18. Learn more about each member of Team JDRF below!

Benjamin Jones | Seaport, Boston
I couldn’t be more proud to represent JDRF. Thank you to the team for letting me be a part of this and thank you to my friends and family for all your support.
Hometown: Wayland, MA
Occupation: Blockchain startup
What is your connection to JDRF and T1D? My cousin Kevin Jones
Is this your first marathon? This is my third marathon: NYC in 2018 and (virtual) Boston in 2020.
Favorite running route: The Boston Marathon course
Longest (or favorite) training run: 26.2 miles on the Boston Marathon course! Practice makes perfect.
Do you have any race day traditions or superstitions (favorite food, lucky socks, etc.)? Tiny Dancer by Elton John for the finish line. No better way to do it.
What are you most looking forward to at the Boston Marathon? Representing JDRF, seeing friends and family during the race, and crossing the finish line.
Favorite fuel:
Before: Water, Coffee, English Muffin with Almond Butter
During: Water, Gatorade, Gu
After: Water, Steak, Eggs
Do you run with music?
Miles 1-18: Podcasts: My First Million, Joe Rogan, Bankless
Miles 19-22: Music: Kanye, Lil Wayne, Avicii
Miles 23-24: Podcasts:  How to Take Over the World, Web3 Breakdowns
Miles 25-26.2: Music: Kanye, Lil Wayne, Avicii, Elton John

Julianna Kurtz | Boston, MA
Thank you to everyone who has supported me during my Boston Marathon training! Anna, Neil, Lisa, Mary – you are the best coaches! I cannot wait to meet my teammates who are out of state over the marathon weekend. Let’s get these 26.2!
: Franklin, MA
What is your connection to JDRF and T1D? My brother Greg was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1994 while in high school. He had to navigate a new world with testing his blood sugar and insulin injections, long before the pumps there are today. Greg and the rest of my family relied on JDRF’s resources on how Greg’s new life would affect him, and how we would need to be a team in helping Greg. In 2004, my brother Greg passed away suddenly from complications with T1D at 24 years old. I have made it a goal for any charity race I participate in that I will run with Team JDRF. We need to find a cure for this disease that affects about 1.6 million Americans.
Is this your first marathon? This will be my third marathon. In 2018 I ran the Chicago Marathon and in 2019 I ran the NYC Marathon both with Team JDRF! In September 2022, I will be traveling to Berlin, Germany to run the Berlin Marathon with Team JDRF again. I will continue to spread Greg’s story and raise T1D awareness through the races I run.
Favorite running route: I enjoy running in South Boston beside the beach and throughout the city when I have short runs.
Longest (or favorite) training run: I was never an outdoor winter runner until this training season. I am so fortunate to train my long runs along the Boston Marathon route with some of my fellow teammates. Getting the feel of the course is helping me prep for Marathon Monday and ease my nerves (a little).
Do you have any race day traditions or superstitions (favorite food, lucky socks, etc.)? My brother Greg owned and played an electric guitar, and at the Chicago Marathon expo my mom found a lace charm of an electric guitar for me to put on my sneakers. I make sure to have that on my right sneaker for every race regardless of distance.
What are you most looking forward to at the Boston Marathon? I am looking forward to seeing my friends and family throughout the course! They have all supported me during this training season and I cannot thank them all enough.
What are you most nervous about: Prerace jitters are real. I am a nervous wreck race weekend until I am at the starting line. I need to remind myself that everyone is in the same boat, and I will be ok.
Do you run with music? I get frustrated listening to music! I like to listen to The Office Ladies podcast or reruns of The Matty in the Morning radio show. Having a story to focus on helps distract me from the distance.

Kendyl Murtaugh | Boston, MA
I’m so excited to see all my friends and family along the route. Everyone has been so supportive and I’m so lucky to have them cheering me on in Boston and virtually around the country.
: Boston, Massachusetts
Occupation: TV News Producer, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
What is your connection to JDRF and T1D? I’m a T1D warrior! I was diagnosed in 2007.
Is this your first marathon? This is my first ever marathon, I’m so excited! Growing up, I was a competitive figure skater. I competed all over the country including at the Junior National Championships and New England Regional competitions.
Favorite running route: I really love running the Charles River loop. It’s so picturesque and on a sunny day it reminds me why I love Boston so much.
Longest (or favorite) training run: My favorite training run so far has been my 20-mile-long run. I went from Framingham to the finish line along the marathon route. The weather was perfect, and it was motivating to see so many other runners out training too. It helped that this also happened to be a really good running day for me, especially running heartbreak hill. The feeling after getting to the top of the hill on Comm Ave is almost indescribable. I was so proud of myself!
Do you have any race day traditions or superstitions (favorite food, lucky socks, etc.)? I ate chicken parm and pasta the night before my longest training run and had a great run so I will definitely be eating that the night before the marathon.
What are you most looking forward to at the Boston Marathon? The crowds! I’ve cheered on Boston Marathon runners my whole life and now to be able to run by the cheering crowds is something I’m very much looking forward to. That … and also crossing the finish line 🙂
What are you most nervous about: Not going to lie – really hoping my blood sugars cooperate on race day. I’ve learned some things to do and not do on long runs through training so really hoping that pays off.
Favorite fuel:
Before: toast, banana and peanut butter plus some pre workout caffeine
During: usually a Gu every 4-6 miles depending on my sugar levels (the fruit flavors are by far the best)
After: turkey club (or a burger!) and a protein shake
Do you run with music? definitely music – don’t love listening to myself breathe. Right now, I’ve been jamming out to a lot of Kygo.

Chris Ronzio | Scottsdale, AZ
Can’t wait! Really excited for my two young kids to be able to see me cross the finish line too. 
Hometown: Franklin, MA
Occupation: CEO of Trainual.com
What is your connection to JDRF and T1D? I’ve had T1D since I was 8 years old. Shortly after getting diagnosed, I found JDRF and the Walk to Cure Diabetes, and was encouraged to see a community built around helping people navigate diabetes. Year after year, the technological advancements and lifestyle improvements keep coming, and it gives me hope that this disease will be cured very soon!
Is this your first marathon? Yes! I’ve competed in two Ironman 70.3s, two half marathons, a 25k trail race, and various spartan races and sprint triathlons, but this is my first full marathon! I’m so excited to be doing it in Boston, where I grew up watching the race, and in support of JDRF, which has had such a positive influence on my life.
Favorite running route: I love running through the mountains on the trails near my current home in Scottsdale, Arizona. Except in the summers when it’s 120 degrees 🙂
What are you most looking forward to at the Boston Marathon? I am looking forward to running through the streets of Downtown Boston, surrounded by family and friends and thousands of other supporters! Living in Arizona, I also haven’t gotten a chance to run alongside my teammates, so I can’t wait to meet all of them and celebrate together.
What are you most nervous about: This is a nerdy diabetic answer, but I’m nervous about making sure I don’t have a high blood sugar overnight leading up to the race, because I don’t want to have a bunch of insulin on board on my pump that morning. And then non diabetes related, I’m thinking about where there are bathrooms along the route haha.
Favorite fuel:
Before: Clif bars
During: Maple Syrup! Clean and gives me a good boost.
After: A club sandwich. Bacon and turkey bring me back to life.
Do you run with music? Usually podcasts, then music late in the run if I need a boost.
What do you like to listen to?: Masters of Scale, The Gary Vee Audio Experience, SaaStr, VC20. Music – I usually pick a song on Spotify and make a radio station!

Scott Wegrzyn | Weymouth, MA 
It is such an honor and a privilege to be a part of this experience. I would recommend it to anyone, no matter their running background.
Hometown: North Weymouth, MA for 20 years but I grew up in Brookfield, CT (which is why I don’t have a Boston accent)
Occupation: Investment Risk Oversight Analyst
What is your connection to JDRF and T1D? My wife’s sister was diagnosed at a young age with T1D.  I run to honor her memory and to help create a world without T1D.
Is this your first marathon? This is my fourth consecutive Boston Marathon and fourth marathon overall. I have run two half-marathons and numerous 10K and 5K races.  These accomplishments are ironic as I was a 3-year varsity sprinter in High School and ran one season of indoor track as a sprinter for the University of Connecticut.
Favorite running route: I have a 5 mile out-and-back route that goes from my home to the ocean – quite scenic and relaxing.
Longest (or favorite) training run: I enjoy speed work on the track; being on the track allows me to recognize how far I have run without looking at my Garmin watch
Do you have any race day traditions or superstitions?  My wife and daughter decorate my marathon bibs, that way they are with me every step of the race.
What are you most looking forward to at the Boston Marathon?  You just cannot beat the crowds along the course. They all offer so much positive energy and support, as well as great music.
Favorite fuel:
Before:  Toasted egg bagel with peanut butter (creamy, not crunchy <ick>)
During:  Honey Stinger Vanilla or Cinnamon Waffles
After:  Anything that I can get my hands on, but definitely chocolate donuts
Do you run with music?  I rarely run listening to  music. My training runs allow me to clear my mind and relax. During races I find the cheers of the crowd more energizing than any song.

Andrew J. Winter | North Potomac, MD
One of my training runs on Friday, March 25 was Maryland Day and we are did a Metric Marathon (16.3 miles) at my school! We had a student relay, parent/staff relay, high school track team running, and I did the entirety of it. I am also just very excited to be running Boston again after 6 years and looking forward to an amazing event!
Hometown: Spring Valley, New York
Occupation: Elementary School Principal at Ritchie Park Elementary School in Rockville, Maryland which is part of Montgomery County Public Schools
What is your connection to JDRF and T1D? My connection is that my daughter, Amelia, was diagnosed at the age of 4. She is now 17 and I am running in honor of her and all who have Type 1.
Is this your first marathon? No, I have run 17 marathons. My first was as an original member of Team JDRF Boston Marathon in 2012. I returned with Team JDRF for Boston in 2013 and 2014. I then qualified for Boston twice after and ran Boston again in 2016. I have also run Disney, New York City, Marine Corps (4 times), Richmond, Wineglass, Harrisburg, Grandma’s, Rehoboth Beach and Chicago. At Chicago I ran as part of Team JDRF too! My fastest time was at Grandma’s in 2015 when I ran 3:20:45. I have also run 14 half marathons and many 5ks, 10ks, 5 and 10 milers too!
Favorite running race: Boston because it’s so incredible and Grandma’s because it was my fastest and such a pretty course!
Longest (or favorite) training run: TBD (lol)
Do you have any race day traditions or superstitions (favorite food, lucky socks, etc.)? I always try to eat pasta and chicken parm the night before my marathons.
What are you most looking forward to at the Boston Marathon? Being back after 6 years! The crowds, the atmosphere, our team!
What are you most nervous about: I haven’t run a marathon since Chicago 2018, so it’s been a while!
Favorite fuel:
Before: Bagel, pure protein bar, Gatorade
During: Gu, sports jellybeans, water, and Gatorade
After: Pretty much anything!
Do you run with music? What do you like to listen to? I listen to podcasts, sports talk, and sometimes classic rock.




Addie Lucas





Mary Tolland, Coach

Honestly, I grew into long distance running at the age of 40 years young. Marathoning for me coincidentally started at approximately the same time my nephew, Brien was diagnosed with T1D. Running had yet another purpose for me besides inviting the fitness, clarity and solitude the sport lends to one’s well-being. It became running for a CURE! And so it went….for many pre-team years, independently fundraising for JDRF with the help of family, friends and colleagues. I had the pleasure of meeting Neil, during these early years, who became a kindred spirit, running for the same thing on behalf of his son! Until we had the promise of a team, we ran our own races in order to qualify for the Boston Marathon! Over the years, I have transitioned from runner to coach for Team JDRF.  The journey since then has been wonderful, as these teams have become family. As a coach, I will be the wind at your backs and the horn you hear on the sidelines. Our team is small, but mighty! Toot-Toot!!


Neil Wallack, Coach

I am once again excited to return to Team JDRF not only as a runner, but also a coach. JDRF has always been a family affair with my wife, Lisa, now playing an even more important role in our quest for a cure as she serves as the Vice Chair of the JDRF’s International Board. Lisa’s father, Dr. Gerald Fishbone, was the Chair of JDRF International in the 1980’s and Lisa’s mother, Marilyn Fishbone, founded the New Haven Chapter, after Lisa’s brother Scott was diagnosed with T1D in 1970. My father, Dr. Milton Wallack, served more recently as the New Haven Chapter President and, with the tireless support and counsel of my mother Joan Wallack, he has helped secure tens of millions of dollars for diabetes-related research from the State of Connecticut.

I run in honor of my son, Harris, a first year MBA student at Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim Business School, who just marked the 20th anniversary of his T1D diagnosis.

Together we are doing whatever we can to find a cure for T1D. In Lisa’s role as Vice Chair, she is truly on the frontline and sees firsthand the opportunity in front of us. And I run…and run…and run and will keep running until there is a cure. I’m not proud…or bored…or even tired. Rather, I’m inspired. I am inspired by Harris, Scott and so many like them, who calmly face the disease every day despite the ever-present threat of the short-term and long-term repercussions and complications. I am inspired by the scientists and researchers who have devoted their careers to finding ever better treatments and a cure.