It has been said that nothing great is ever accomplished alone. I believe that. Dr. Richard Deming, the founder of Above and Beyond Cancer has a saying I love. “None of Us is as good as ALL of Us.”
It was somewhere around the end of January that The Million Dollar Marathon was announced. A dream hatched up while running across Iowa had become a reality. The MDM had been brought to life because of others, not me. The Above and Beyond Family (which I am finding out is way bigger than the Brady Bunch), believed in the concept and gave it life. Even then, were it not for the efforts of others, The Million Dollar Marathon would be hanging out like Frosty the Snowman without his magic hat…lifeless.
Over 100 incredible cancer fighters and those who love them became The Million Dollar Marathon’s magic hat. They gave our event life, in so many ways. These people, many of whom have never run near a marathon, some not even a 5k stepped up and said, “I CAN do this…I WILL do this”. They show us that the only thing that limits us is, well….US. They show us that we are all capable of so much more than we know. You put one foot in front of the other and when things get tough you find a way to stay in the game, to take one more step and then another and another until the goal is reached.
I have heard Cancer Survivors say that if given the choice to go back and not have Cancer that they would not. They speak of the “gift” of Cancer and that they live a different life now. They laugh louder, hug stronger and live each day to the best of their ability. It is a gift that they share with us all. My life is better because of these people and what they have taught me. They will always be my “Magic” hat.
Go Team Million Dollar Marathon!!!
Filed under: above and beyond cancer, american cancer society, cancer, Inspiration, Lance Armstrong, Livestrong, marathon, Running | Tagged: Lance Armstrong, running, inspirational, adventure, cancer, ashton kutcher, michelle obama, YMCA, Ellen Degeneres, oprah, above and beyond cancer, stuart scott, robin roberts, coast to coast for cancer, runners world | 1 Comment »
Running is the Universal sport. It is the sport that no matter who you are or where you are you can do. You can’t play hockey in the desert. You can’t surf in the mountains. Anyplace, anytime, you can always run. Running is in our DNA. Centuries ago it is how we survived. Groups of “runners” would work together and literally run their prey to death. They ran to live. Times change, and the vast majority of us no longer hunt our food on foot but for many of us we still run to live. Running bonds us together. Most will never know what it feels like to FLY like Michael Jordan. We probably will never understand how Pavarotti’s voice did what it did. Running however is something we all understand. Will you ever break the 4 minute mile? Will you ever break the tape at the Boston Marathon? Probably not. But you can understand it. You have felt the rush and still remember in great detail what it felt like to finish that first 5k. Your 5 am wake up to run is no different than Roger Bannister’s 5 am wake up was. You lace up your running shoes the same way Joan Benoit Samuelson does. It is not the race clock that defines us or bonds us, it is the running. It is the fact that regardless of the distance we are taking on, the process is the same. We wake up early or go to bed late so we can run. We pack our gear so we can steal a run over the lunch hour. We head out into the fresh air to lose ourselves and at the same time to find ourselves. Words like fast or slow, long or short are just vocabulary. Random words that hold no real definition. If you have ever laced ‘em up and headed out you are a runner. You are part of the family.
The marathon, for many is a bucket list event. A game changer. A life changer. Cover the 26.2 and you will, at the finish line be a different person than you were at the start line. Most will wear their finisher medals all day long and as you pass one another, no words need be exchanged.There are no thoughts of who was faster or slower. It is understood that you did what it took to get the job done. Time is of no consequence. Your journey was of the exact same distance as the winner and the both of you and all of those who shared the road that day faced their fear, their pain and won. If you are fortunate enough to find your way to Boston on Patriots day than it means you are at the Super Bowl of distance running. The Boston Marathon began in April of 1897 and is the world’s oldest annual marathon. There are really only two ways to get to the starting line in Hopkinton MA. You either run your way in, which is no small accomplishment or your in as a charity runner. The run allocates spots to about two dozen charities who in turn raise millions of dollars. It is around the 4 hour mark that the majority of these people are nearing the finish line. All told, the event has around 20,000 runners and more impressively, attracts 500,000 spectators each year.
At 3 pm Monday, at about the 4 hour mark of the Boston Marathon 2 bombs exploded 10 seconds apart. It is this time that friends are running hand in hand to soak up the moment as the finish line approaches. It is at this time that those watching are catching their first glimpse of their hero coming down the homestretch. It is a magical time and place. To try and understand the why of what happened that day is a worthless exercise. One can only imagine the intent of those responsible. Wherever that person or person(s) sits today, they surely must be quite disappointed. It must be a bit like it was for the grinch attempting to stop Christmas by stealing the presents. Imagine his dismay hearing the sounds of joy ringing from the village. Young and old, hand in hand, singing at the top of their lungs, celebrating the wonder of Christmas. The Grinch had missed the point all together. Christmas is not about the presents and it cannot be stopped. The result of these acts stops nothing. It does not tear us apart, it brings us together. More will run as a result of this senseless act, not less.
The 2014 Boston Marathon has now become a goal for so many more. Runners everywhere having never wanted to run the event are now dedicating themselves to getting to Hopkinton next year. They do so not for themselves, but to show those who ran and those who would inflict terror that we will not be deterred. We are runners. We are family. The London Marathon did not hesitate. It will go on as planned. Memorial runs are popping up everywhere. Within hours of the blasts the Red Cross had to put out notice saying we can handle no more blood, the turnout to help was so high. Immediately after the bombings, runners and non runners alike in the Boston area made their homes available to anyone affected by the event with no where to stay. Many did not run from the blasts, they ran TO the blasts. The pictures and accounts from that day are beyond words or description. 3 are dead and well over 150 have been injured. Thousands more were directly affected and nearly all of us held our collective breath knowing that we knew of someone in the race. Running knows nothing of skin color or sex. There are no running borders, no running religions. Running does not really have anything to do with time or distance. Somewhere in each of us is a runner. Tomorrow, and for days to come, more and more of us will lace up our shoes and head out to run in honor of all those who ran and those who stood innocently cheering them near the finish line Monday. I doubt that was the intent of this horrific act. Sorry, you lose. We are runners. We run.
Sometimes it’s better to let others do the talking. The following blog is from one of the participants in this summer’s Million Dollar Marathon. You can still apply to join the team here.
Well said Brady!!!
Training “officially” started on Saturday and I was dodging so many puddles that I felt like a contestant on American Ninja Warrior. Within the first few minutes my feet were soaked and I was feeling pretty underwhelmed by my inaugural run. That was, until I got to Lake Harriet and came upon hundreds of runners partaking in the 100% Irish for A Day 5K and 10 mile run. Conveniently, I needed to run 10 miles anyway and it is much more entertaining to do it amongst packs of runners in kilts, green tights and Lucky Charm-style hats and sunglasses. I normally do not condone “race-crashing,” but I was able to justify it on this special occasion.
It struck me as I ran in these less than preferable conditions that this summer when the MDM team runs across the country, chances are we will encounter adverse conditions like these, or perhaps worse. My mind was spinning as I contemplated the implications of this for the first time. Most of us are following Hal Higdon’s marathon training guide, (which, I agree that it is the best out there), but even Hal can’t prepare us for driving rain in the Pacific Northwest, snow in the Rocky Mountains, or gale-force winds across the Great Plains. You can’t train for these conditions…it takes courage, heart, dedication. Then I remembered who I was running with…CANCER SURVIVORS AND SUPPORTERS. My teammates have been through far worse obstacles in life, and it would be tough to assemble a team better prepared for this challenge.
I then realized that during my state of panic, I had increased my pace considerably without a noticeable increase in effort. I had gone to a place mentally that took me to a different level on my training run. I remember this “runners high” from past long runs and races I have run, and every time I wish I could bottle it up. The closest I can get is to recreate the formula that got me to this place on Saturday: 1) listen to good music, 2) envision yourself in the Rocky Mountains in a rainstorm; and lastly, picture running into the Atlantic Ocean with 159 friends and teammates. If you aren’t overcome with emotion at least once during your run, try again.
Now let’s get out there and become American Ninja Warriors.
Filed under: above and beyond cancer, cancer, Inspiration, Livestrong, marathon, Running | Tagged: above and beyond cancer, adventure, ashton kutcher, cancer, coast to coast for cancer, dan patrick, Ellen Degeneres, Hawkeyes, inspirational, livestrong, love, marathon, michelle obama, oprah, oprah winfrey, president obama, robin roberts, runners world, stuart scott, ultrarunning, YMCA | Leave a Comment »
Filed under: cancer, Inspiration, Livestrong, marathon, Running, Uncategorized | Tagged: above and beyond cancer, american cancer society, ashton kutcher, cancer, coast to coast for cancer, dan patrick, Ellen Degeneres, huffington post, livestrong, michelle obama, million dollar marathon, oprah, robin roberts, runners world, running, stuart scott, training | Leave a Comment »
IN JUST ONE WEEK, 37 AMAZING RUNNERS HAVE RAISED OVER $20,000 TO FIGHT CANCER. WE MAY HAVE TO RENAME THE EVENT “THE TWO MILLION DOLLAR MARATHON”. 145 SPOTS ARE NOW AVAILABLE. YOU CAN JOIN THE TEAM.
PLEASE SHARE WITH ALL YOUR PEEPS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. CHANCES ARE THE ROUTE WILL PASS CLOSE BY. THIS IS GONNA BE A BIG ONE!!
READ ABOUT IT HERE!!
Filed under: cancer, Inspiration, Livestrong, marathon, Running | Tagged: ashton kutcher, cancer, colorado, dan patrick, Ellen Degeneres, Hawkeyes, inspirational, Iowa, livestrong, michelle obama, million dollar marathon, oprah winfrey, president obama, robin roberts, stuart scott | Leave a Comment »
Today at 8 am we began accepting APPLICATIONS for runners into The Million Dollar Marathon . We have only 145 spots still available. On June 21st, the first of 160 marathoners will take the baton, run their marathon and pass it to their teammate. 40 days and 160 marathons later, they will have crossed the United States covering nearly 4,000 miles. The team will be made up of every sort of Cancer fighter. There will be those still in Treatment, Survivors and Those who run because of the effect it has had on their own lives and those they love.
Those accepted to run will use their marathon to raise money and awareness for both Cancer research and Advocacy. All fundraisers will have a chance to qualify for some incredible trips as well. Want to be a part of what just might be the largest running fundraiser ever?? I’ll be keeping an eye out for your application.
Filed under: cancer, Livestrong, marathon, Running, Uncategorized | Tagged: Ellen Degeneres, michelle obama, million dollar marathon, oprah, oprah winfrey, robin roberts, running, stuart scott | Leave a Comment »
I am not good at keeping a secret!!! Those of you closest to me know that for the last two months I have been working with Above and Beyond Cancer on a TOP SECRET PROJECT!! Above and Beyond Cancer is a Des Moines Based foundation doing incredible Advocacy and inspirational work for the Cancer community. Founded by Dr, Richard Deming and with Charlie Wittmack as Exec. Director they have done great things over the past year. (see link above).
Today was the day. At 10 am we announced “The Million Dollar Marathon“
June 21st, The first runner of a team of 160 Cancer Survivors and Supporters will run an entire marathon. When finished, that person will hand the baton to their teammate and so on until they have ran a 3850 mile marathon relay across the United States in an effort to raise One Million Dollars for Cancer Research and Advocacy Programs.
Has Cancer touched your life? Want to join the Team? You can apply to do just that at The Million Dollar Marathon link above.
Man am I glad to have that off my chest….I told you, I’m not good at keeping secrets.