Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"Catskill 155 - Journey For A Cure" Part 1


Me and Anita at the finish
And so the “Journey For A Cure” continues with yet another annual run complete. I have been struggling to translate my thoughts to accurately portray this adventure, which has grown beyond anything I could have imagined.  Not only have we raised over $27,000 this year, we continue to spread the word with articles in The Wall Street Journal, The Journal News, The New York Observer, Bisnow, and an interview on a local radio station in upstate New York. There are also a couple more great publicity opportunities in the works. I am so thankful for all the support and attention as we continue to raise awareness and funds for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

On just my second run this weekend, since completing the Catskill 155 two weeks ago, I have realized two things.  First, it is highly unlikely I will ever be able to accurately communicate the details of this story. Although I think the video posted previously says it all. Second, there is no way I could have done this with out the incredible support of my family and friends. The Catskill 155 came about quite simply as a charity run with a little twist.  Friends of mine often joke about me running to see them in upstate NY some 140 miles away by car.  We thought it would be funny to actually do that and so it was originally conceived to run from our house to their's. As my wife and I began to go over the logistics and other benefits to changing the direction we decided it best to finish the run closer to NYC.  So there it was, I announced (which is the best way to commit) that I would be running from their house to mine (actually my parents), somewhere between 140 and 160 miles.

After months of discussions regarding everything from the route, timing, pace, nutrition, fundraising, crew, safety and so on, at 7pm on August 11th, the running part of this journey began. Over the next couple of weeks I will post my memories of this extremely difficult challenge, as well as the thoughts and memories of my crew as shared by them, including I believe a guest post from my good friend and crew member Matt.

There are many people to thank:
  • My wife Tani, who is my inspiration and always by my side. Without her support I could not fathom having the courage to conceive taking on such challenges.  
  • My crew, Cheryl, Cori, Matt, Rich, Sean, Tani and Tony.  These seven people supported me in every way before during and after and I will never forget them for it.  I must also give a little honorary crew mention to Jeff who showed up and paced me (although in his car) for a couple hours in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the first night, and Greg and Donna who spent the entire second day out there with us.
  • Drymax Socks for supplying me and my entire crew with the best running sock out there.
  • Alicia and Jane from the MMRF Endurance Program for their relentless support of me, and the hundreds of other runners giving it their all to help find a cure.
  • My parents for their support and hosting the finishing BBQ.
  • All those who follow the Catskill 155 for MMRF Facebook page.  I thought of the many stories, kind words and encouragement often when I was struggling.  You sincerely helped to keep me going.
  • All those who contributed and the many who continue to donate.
  • My children for believing (and convincing me) that I could run around the world if I wanted.
  • And of course, Anita.  She has taught all those who know her that every day is a good day.  Ask her any time how she is doing and even when things are tough she will finish with, "but I am here and its a great day!"
Cheryl, Tani, Me, Cori, Matt, Sean, Rich and Tony.
I want to leave you with these words, as the next will be pieces of this adventure which are only a small part of The Journey.

Tani and I believe that anything is possible. Those who know me well, know I am not preaching, I just prefer to say it like I see it. We have sincerely come to believe that if you commit, work hard and work together the unthinkable can be done. Run a mile, run a marathon, run an ultra-marathon, CURE CANCER. The Catskill 155 was our commitment to the impossible. Tani and I want to do more, push perceived limits, challenge ourselves and hopefully inspire others to challenge themselves. We wanted to do our part and show that together we can set goals no matter how crazy or unattainable they seem, and achieve them. More importantly we wanted this effort to once again raise as much money as possible to help fund the research needed to meaningfully prolong and eventually save the lives of all the heroes in this world who battle cancer every day.

Commit to the impossible! Be thankful to those who make it possible!

Peace

3 comments:

  1. Eric, About to head out to the doctor. Smoldering Multiple Myeloma. Every visit nervous as hell. Been a year. Numbers not changing much, which is good in my case. For most part, in good health. Have done 60 miles+ each week for past few weeks. But... always waiting for shoe to drop, so to speak. But, in meantime... I'll keep running and glad you will too.

    Just wanted to say thank you.

    Andy

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  2. Andy, I hope for a good report. I can't imagine how nerve wracking it is every time. I know how I feel waiting for the news from my friend Anita each visit. So glad to hear numbers have not been changing much. And you are unbelievable still logging those miles. Keep it up. Thanks for sharing and please stay in touch. Peace E

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