The moment of truth is almost here. Well, the first of many moments of truth. Tomorrow Moira and I are going to Grand Rapids for the weekend for a brief getaway, and I am running in the Komen 5k Race for the Cure while I am there. The race is held at the big mall in Grandville, Great Lakes Crossings (or something like that). It heads up a big hill and into an adjoining neighborhood, circles the high school, and cruises back down into the mall parking lot. Miami Beach it isn’t but you take what you can get when it is for a good cause.
I am looking forward to the race, though. If I can keep it in the 28 minute range I’ll be pleased as all get out. I even bought some new socks…some high tech Smartwool super socks that I am told will shave 5% off my personal best. Maybe not, but it feels that way when you run a lot. Good socks = happy feet. The best part of all this is that the race is just about a mile from Moira’s family home, and I can use it as a base of operations, jog to the race for a proper warm up, and have a shower right afterward.
I am told there are about 6,000 runners registering this year for this particular event. Along with the run at the Big House (in which I am running for the Wellness Community) it really is cool to do something fun for your health and raise money for a good cause at the same time. I am always impressed by how amateur athletics and charity go hand in hand. Is it because running is inspiring to those who don’t? Is it because those of us who have done this kind of thing just get on people’s nerves? I don’t know, but the runners in the Chicago Marathon this year are bringing over $12 million in charitable donations to the table alone. And that is just one marathon. I think people really are just good at heart, you know?
I raised a lot of cash in 2004 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and rode about 1,000 miles over a summer on my road bike to “earn” it. I will never forget the generosity everyone I know showed me when they supported that effort, and now I have an autographed plaque thing from the LAF to remind me of what all my friends and family did for me back then.
Those of you who knew me in 2004 might remember that I crashed wildly in Canada at about mile 967 and had a series of titanium pins put in my hand and wrist as a result. Good times, but I like to think it was putting money in the cancer karma bank that we were able to cash in for Moira this year as she has faced cancer so bravely.
I don’t know why I gravitated towards the LAF and cancer survivorship before our family was really touched by it in this way, but I am glad I did. Not only has Moira faced cancer this year, but my mom beat the hell out of breast cancer in late 2008, early 2009 as well. We have all been wearing yellow bands around town ever since. I’m proud of her (and my dad for supporting her so well) too. After all, Leo needs a Grandma Branigan to grow up with just like I had, and it is the good work of foundations like the LAF, the Susan Komen Foundation, and organizations like the Wellness Community that keep hope alive for millions of people every year. Please, support them in their efforts so families like ours can rely on their work!
If you are interested in supporting my fundraising personally, just shoot me an email.