Jill Raine cofounded Relay Iowa along with her husband, Bill. She was the behind-the-scenes master who held the event together, corralled all the details and focused tirelessly on its success. The hardest working person in the relay business, Jill did the work of three people. We know this to be true because there are now three people managing her vast list of relay-related tasks.
Relay Iowa bookended the last years of her life. Jill was diagnosed with cancer three days after the inaugural Relay Iowa held in 2010. She left us on June 8th just a few hours after the final team of 2015 crossed the finish line in Dubuque. From her bed at home, she and Bill were able to monitor the teams and she was aware when all had completed the journey. Bill says she smiled and said “good job” when it was done.
A selfless person with a radiant smile, Jill exuded a love that drew people to her. She felt most comfortable out of the spotlight, but she was a powerful force behind Relay Iowa. Her legacy includes two amazing daughters and a legion of family and friends who loved her to the core and miss her terribly. She also leaves behind this remarkable event. Well done, Jill. We will do our best to fill your impossible-to-fill shoes.
The following excerpt from her obituary has become our mantra. It captures the essence of Jill and the essence of the run.
“Relay Iowa has become a metaphor for a life well lived. It is not a race to the finish, but an extended relay of individuals journeying closely together, sustaining each other as they stretch the limits of their physical endurance, test their mental toughness and draw upon their emotional well in a place beyond their comfort zones, for the sole purpose of improving the life of another human being.”
We run for Jill.