After some confusion on Twitter over the date (evidently, neither my Mom or I are very proficient at reading a calendar), the Really Long Run to End MS will be held on Saturday, May 14th, 2016. I’ll be kicking off the run at 5am in Nisku and hopefully reach Camrose 12 hours later. I’ve already put some feelers out to the support team/runners from this past May and most have already said they will be running again. There are also some crazy people (Chris Tse, @ChrisTse_ on Twitter, of Blitz Conditioning and Jen Ference, @FerenceJen, of the November Project) who are planning on running the whole 80 kms with me.
Apparently, I’m not the only one who is completely off his rocker.
Last year the run raised just under $24,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. The fundraising was unbelievable as I was hoping to raise $5,000. In fact, the whole event was incredible and beyond anything that I had pictured in the mind’s eye. As Chris and I were running yesterday I mentioned to him that my initial thought was the run would simply be myself running and my father following behind on his bike. I never imagined other people volunteering to run, team shirts, being on TV, etc. I even had the opportunity to be interviewed on one of my favourite radio programs, the Jason Gregor Show, on TSN 1260 the evening before the run; that was pretty surreal.
The greatest unexpected side effect of the run was the interaction with other MS Warriors. Since I am a naturally introverted person, it never occurred to me that other MSers would get motivated and find inspiration in what I was doing. I know that may sound odd, but I have a tendency to be overly simple in the way I think. In my head my reasons for doing the run were twofold: I wanted to raise more money for my MS Bike team and I felt that since I could do something more, I probably should. As the day of the run drew closer, I had more and more contact with other people who, like me, struggle with Multiple Sclerosis. The realization that people found inspiration in the run is what I am most proud of.
Sandra, another MS Warrior, ran last year and will hopefully run again this year. Neil, who was featured in the last two YEG MS podcasts, is training to run this year. Patricia (@Jahoofka), the spokesperson for the Johnson MS Bike Leduc to Camrose, (@MSBikeLedCam), has also said she would like to run this year as has Dave (@RustyKnuckler ). If we had 5 (including myself) MS Warriors running in this year’s event it would be amazing!
My personal goals for the 2016 run are pretty straightforward. I would like to raise at least $30,000. I want to start the run under 200lbs (last year I started the day at 215lbs after losing 30 while training). I want to finish. I’m also going to come up with a better race day fuel plan (last year I wasn’t taking in enough water).
The fundraising is going to be a little different this year. The MS Society has offered to give each support runner their own individual page so people can sponsor each runner. I will update once it is setup. The event webpage on the Multiple Sclerosis Society’s website will remain at www.reallylongruntoendms.ca. You can also find and follow the run on Facebook by searching “The Really Long Run to End MS.” You can also find me and updates on the run on Twitter at @OwnMsDotCom1.
If you are thinking about running, do it! You don’t have to run the entire 80kms; you can run 5km, 10km, 20km, whatever your fitness level will allow. If these distances still seem out of reach, you can run the final 500 metres as we come into the finish line. I want this to be an inclusive event, so if you want to be a part, be a part!
Not a runner? Volunteer! We’ll need support vehicle drivers and other support staff. So if you want to be involved, be involved!
For information on this event, to volunteer, or to signup as a runner, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.