Many of you were around and followed along (and donated!) when I trained for, and ran, the 2012 Chicago Marathon on behalf of the American Cancer Society.
But if you weren’t, in a nutshell, my motivation is this:
My late Uncle Tom (race bib #5232) was an endurance runner, and ran the Chicago Marathon quite a few times. (I have a manilla envelope full of his race photos, results, etc … I need to scan it all and/or put it into a scrapbook.) Sadly, I never got to run “with” Tom, as he lost his battle to cancer in 2003. It was not the first time cancer broke our hearts – we lost my grandma (Tom’s and my mom’s mom) in 1990. We can feel helpless and sad, or we can fight back and say “F you, cancer, you may have taken my loved ones, but I’ll be damned if I don’t put up a fight so you don’t take any more.”
I say I never ran “with” my uncle because when I reach a really challenging part of a race, I like to think he is running with me in spirit. My “running guardian angel,” if you will. Cheesy? Maybe. But it helps me power through.
I will admit, I am a sucker for the American Cancer Society. I got involved with them years ago, when my previous employer sponsored a local ACS event and needed someone to head up the company’s team. That was me. Then, the local ACS office reached out to my company to look for volunteers for their local Relay For Life event. I had no idea what Relay For Life was, but I quickly found myself assigned as their publicity chair. Then the following year, without an event chair, I found myself appointed event chair. I served in that role for two years. It was a lot of work, but incredibly rewarding. And so when I decided to run the marathon, it was a no brainer that I would do it on their charity team.
And then, they reached out to their past participants to recruit mentors for their DetermiNation (charity runner) team. Yet again, I find myself unable to say no, and I submitted my application this morning, and signed up for the team.
So, once again, I’ll be putting out the plea for fundraising. I’ll try to get creative through raffles, events, etc, and make donating worth your money. Although I’d like to think your donations will already go to a worthy cause.
Oh yeah, and I guess this means I’ll be running a marathon this year. Gulp.