THE LARGEST MARATHON RELAY EVER ATTEMPTED…..AND WHY

Registration is now open!! You can Join Us and the 550 Marathon Relay (http://bit.ly/1inphwq )
Team today!

In 2009, after months of contemplation and trepidation I decided to run across my home state of Iowa. The event would cover 292 and average a marathon a day for 11 straight days. I wanted to attempt the run for two reasons: first, to see if I could do it and secondly, to raise money while doing so. My Aunt had died of breast cancer when I was 12 and my Grandmother from lung cancer more recently. Both were incredible women who touched my life more deeply than most. I was not sure what charity to choose as this was new territory for me. My extensive research consisted of the following. “That LIVESTRONG yellow bracelet thing is pretty cool. I think I’ll choose them.” At the time I believed I was
choosing LIVESTRONG. I now know that was not the case. The Universe placed LIVESTRONG in my path and it would change the course of my life. I completed that run, raising nearly $5,000.

In 2012 I averaged a marathon a day for 40 days and became the first person to run around Lake Michigan, raising over $30,000. This past summer I organized a 3700 mile marathon relay which crossed the United States in 42 days and raised over $500,000. We are now planning the 550 Relay, which will take place this summer. If successful it will be the largest marathon relay ever – 5 Days, 50 States, 550 runners. We invite you all to join us (http://bit.ly/1inphwq). We are currently accepting applications to be one of the chosen 11 in each state. Our goal? $2.5 million dollars for cancer survivors and their families.

Why? Because the people I have met during this journey have taught me the value of a hug, the value of friends and family and that each moment is a gift to be treasured. Why? Because the day before embarking around Lake Michigan, scared out of my wits, I received a video from the entire LIVESTRONG staff sending me their love, gratitude and well wishes. Why? Because last summer it was MY sister who heard those words, “You have Cancer” and she is cancer free today because of people like you. Why? Because running to help others has changed me and I want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to take that journey as well. The 550 Relay does that very thing.

Sign up for the 550 Relay (http://bit.ly/1inphwq) today and help LIVESTRONG and Camp Kesem support cancer survivors and their families.

THE TOP OF EACH MOUNTAIN ALLOWS US TO SEE EVEN MORE

What is the beauty of achieving a goal? Of course there are many, however my favorite is the view. Each time we set a goal for ourselves we begin a journey. We are attempting to go somewhere we have yet to ever be. This journey involves many things,. Fear, courage, and discovery are just a few. Today begins a new journey. A new company, One Race Events has been created. It’s mission is to raise money thru local and national events that will support Cancer Survivors everywhere. This past summer, in conjunction with Above and Beyond Cancer, we crossed the entire United States one marathoner at a time. Amazing people all took that journey of self discovery and now can see a view of what is possible that was unavailable to them prior. So to it is for myself and this new company, One Race Events. It will be our goal to climb another even higher mountain. We look forward to sharing these events with you and our lofty  goals soon. The view is great from right here. We know from past journeys that although the view is great, this is not a place to stay. We can now see possibilities that were obscured from our view. Time to go see what the view is like on that next peak. Hope you will join us.

Love,

Steve

Coast to Coast for Cancer COMPLETED!!!!!

Hello all,

it’s been quite some time since we’ve spoke. WOW what a summer. Well over 200 incredible souls carried the Cancer baton from Washington state to Delaware….nearly 4000 miles. The run has raised well over $500,000 to this point and fundraising continues for the next couple of months. Now that I have woke up from my three week nap I will begin to piece it all together. I look forward to sharing with all of you the inspirational stories and pictures from this historical run.

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THE MAGIC HAT

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!!!

 

 

Runners Will Not Be Stopped – Now More Than Ever

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.

BOSTON BRUINS NATIONAL ANTHEM – UNITY AT ITS BEST

AMERICAN NINJA WARRIORS

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.

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