The past month or so has been a pretty humbling experience for me. When the initial idea for the Really Long Run to End MS was hatched, the picture I had in my head was of running down the side of the highway interspersed with possibly a few friends along the way. Initially, I was nervous about trying to raise $5,000 and I didn’t really think the event would resonate with many; I’m often wrong and I am forever thankful I was wrong yet again.
There are now almost 30 runners who will participate in the run alongside me for various distances. Many others who have volunteered to be support crew. What really strikes me is that I haven’t actually met some of these people yet. Again, very unexpected but definitely very welcome.
The generosity that has been shown also has been unbelievable. To everyone who has donated, a very sincere and heartfelt thank you is extended to you. The generosity hasn’t just come in the form of donations to the website. Just over two weeks ago, I had burned through yet another pair of $200 running shoes. At the same time, coincidentally, I received an email from my doctor who is friends with Jason Stanton of the Running Room. Mr. Stanton (whom I do not know), donated two pairs of top-end Asics running shoes to help with the training and the run. Just last night, my wife and I were informed that we would be receiving a very generous donation towards training supplies from the Edmonton Clinic of Naturopathic Medicine. It doesn’t end there, I have two groups of extended family members working on their own bottle drives to raise money for the event. I could go on and I’m probably forgetting to mention someone (if I did, I am sorry!).
The other thing that has taken me by surprise is the reaction of the media. About a month ago, I started searching the internet for contacts in the local media. My idea was to email them in hopes that I could get them to mention the event on the air or in print. My thought was something like a mention on the community bulletin board- I never expected a TV crew to come to our house or to be live in a radio studio. A very big thank you to both Dez Melenka of CTV and Ryan Jespersen of 630 CHED for featuring me. I would also like to thank CISN Country, Metro Edmonton, and Paul Brown Show on the Bear for getting the word out.
I also have to mention the runners who have been joining me for parts of my training runs. Annie, Andrea, Brendan, and Paul thank you for joining me. Having someone to talk to and break up the monotony of running for 4-7 hours is a huge help!
I also can’t forget to mention my mother and my wife Andrea. My Mom has taken on the role of team manager/organizer. Neither of us has ever attempted to organize anything like this before and thankfully my Mom is a superstar! My wife is my rock and she is the person who keeps the house standing with our two young kids while I am off training. Words can’t express the support she has given me.
This whole journey has been amazing and I can’t say thank you enough to everyone who has played a role. I only hope I don’t let anyone down of the 23rd.