Really Long Run To End MS

 

Really Long Run to End MS

 

Really Long Run To End MS 2015

On May 23rd, 2015, the first annual “Really Long Run to End MS” took place. The event was conceived with Andrea (my wife) while in the pool during a vacation to Mexico. I don’t know if it was the heat or the tequila, but at the time it seemed like a great idea to run over 70 kilometres (from Leduc to Camrose, Alberta) in a single day to raise money for the MS Society. Initially, I hoped the event would raise $5,000 and was completely blown away when we managed to raise over $23,000!

Sunlight and Multiple Sclerosis

Other than being diagnosed with MS, the reason why I wanted to do the run was to raise money for my MS Bike Tour Team (the “Battered Piles”). I’m a fairly competitive person and every year I ride the Bike Tour and I would see individuals raise $2,000, $5,000, and even $10,000 or more! My best year I was able to raise just over $2,000; I was bewildered at what more I could to do to raise more money. So I thought, “what if I run the Tour to raise money for my bike team?” That was how it started and it will become an annual event starting in 2016 and continue yearly (as long as I am able to run that far)..

There were many things about the run I couldn’t have foreseen. I couldn’t have predicted 28 degree weather at the end of May (in Northern Alberta!). I would have never imagined we would have raised $23,000. I certainly would have never guessed that there would be people crazy enough to run with me; I think that really amazed me the most.

Leaving Nisku at 5:05am w/ first group of support runners. It was cold, too bad that didn't last

Leaving Nisku at 5:05am

Prior to committing to the run, I went to go see my neurologist Dr. Stewart. I explained to him what I was planning and asked if it could cause any complications with my MS. He said “no” and I believe his exact quote was, “if you’re actually going to do this big guy, I’m coming with you.” I was pleasantly surprised by the response; a response which became a theme in the coming months.

Later that year, in August of 2014, I had my 20 year high school reunion in Kamloops, BC. After catching up with old friends, I mentioned what I was planning. I was again stunned as a few volunteered to come to Alberta and to run part of the way (four Kam-Hi alumni in total ended up running). As the months marched closer to the run, more and more people volunteered to run 5km, 10km, 20km, etc. I ran for 12 hours and along the way people joined and then switched off with others as I inched further down the road. It was an unbelievably empowering experience. By the end, I had almost 30 different people run various stages, including aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and people I had never met before the day of the run.

If you want to know if there are good people in the world, there are. Trust me, I’ve seen their faces.

I spotted my daughter and then the rest of my family.....

Arriving at the finish line in Camrose around 6-630pm

The incredible support team of runners that grew around this event carried the torch for me even after I had to stop at the 70 kilometre mark due to fairly severe dehydration (can you imagine? 7km to go and I had to stop. I’m just using it as motivation for next year). They ran the final 7kms and I met up with them again with about 500 metres to go so that I could run to the finish line in Camrose. The support team was amazing and I couldn’t have done it without them.

Amazing Aunts and Cousin. From left to Right: Aunt Verna, Jonah (shoulders) and Me, Auntie Janice, and Cousin Brenda. These three all ran longer than planned and wouldn't leave me. Words can't express, so I won't try.

It may surprise you, but I’m really looking forward to the run in May of 2016. When you are part of something like the run, which is both rewarding and fulfilling, it is hard to not want to do it again. I’ve already started training in preparation as I’m not stopping next year with 7km to go.

 

Really Long Run to End MS 2016

Really Long Run to End MS

 

In May of 2016 I ran the second, “Really Long Run to End MS.” The event was a huge success and welcomed Adidas of Canada as a sponsor. I was joined for the entire 80km by Chris Tse (owner of Blitz Conditioning), Jen Ference (of the November Project), and Andre Lessard (Community Manager for SportChek). The run took just under 9 hours and I was able to finish the entire distance in fine form.

Really Long Run to End MS!

My custom shoes provided by Adidas Canada!

 

A special, “shout-out,” goes to Chris Tse who volunteered to train me for this event. With Chris’ help I was not only able to finish but I was in much better condition the days following the run. Thank you Chris!!

Also a hugs thank you goes to Production 71 for donating this awesome promotional video for the event!

 

All proceeds raised by the run go to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

Really Long Relay to End MS 2017

There will be no, “Really Long Run in 2017,” as I have my sites set on something bigger for 2018. Instead the run will be replaced with a relay through the Edmonton River Valley. The goal is to promote participation from as many Msers as possible. IT IS NOT A RACE! Participant’s teams can have as many members as they desire and individual runners can run as far as they are able before handing off. Teams can be comprised of both regular people and Msers alike as well as people with limited mobility. The intent is for this to be an inclusive event! The details are still being worked out but if you are interested in being involved email me at sean”AT”ownmultiplesclerosis”DOT”com (replace the “AT” with an “@” and the “DOT” with a “.” ; I do this to limit spam).

All proceeds raised by the relay go to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

Really Long Run to End MS 2018

In 2018 I will be running from Jasper to Banff to raise money (roughly 240 kms). The details are still being worked out but I already have approval from Parks Canada! If you are interested in learning more email me at sean”AT”ownmultiplesclerosis”DOT”com (replace the “AT” with an “@” and the “DOT” with a “.” ; I do this to limit spam).

All proceeds raised by the run go to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

To Donate to the Really Long Run to End MS

Donations can be made online to the ReallyLongRunToEndMs.ca webpage which is part of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada’s website.

 

Social Media

Really Long Run To End MS

 

Twitter: @OwnMsDotCom1

 

 

Really Long Run To End MS

 

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Really Long Run to End MS

 

Podcast (YEG MS): iTunes (or if you have an iPad or iPhone, subscribe using he Podcast app)

                                                         Stitcher Radio (iOS and Android Apps available)  

                                                                               Sound Cloud (iOS and Android Apps available) 

 

 

 

The Podcast is now available as a video version on YouTube! You can check out my Youtube channel here!

 

 

Really Long Run to End MS Media and Links

Really Long Run to End MS webpage on the Multiple Sclerosis Society’s website

Really Long Run Live on Global Weekend News

Appeared on the Ryan Jespersen Show on 630 CHED on April 27th, 2015

Really Long Run on Global News Edmonton

Article in St. Albert Gazette

Article in Metro Edmonton News

Really Long Run on CTV News

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