About 2 ½ years ago I had the good fortune to participate in an amazing project called Burning River for Ben. Ben O’Daniel was diagnosed with Lymphoblastic Leukemia type B and in his third year of chemo, we put together a team to raise money to help families that were having to deal with childhood cancer. The plan was for me to run the 100 mile Burning River 100 race and Ben, even though still going through chemo, would run the last mile with me through the finish line. Ben trained all summer and instead of one mile he ran the last five miles to the finish! It was incredible, and in the end, we raised over $10,000 to help families with costs such as parking, meal tickets, lodging, and other needs not covered by insurance. This was Ben's idea by the way. The generosity and outpouring of support was incredible.
|Ben (on my left) and Friends - Finish Line Burning River 100|
During this experience I had the privilege to meet some of the staff that dedicate their lives to caring for these kids. I was humbled. The doctors, nurses, and volunteers are so dedicated and will do anything for these kids. Their whole mission is to save these kids lives and make their ordeal as pleasant as humanly possible. Unfortunately, they are not always successful and it is truly devastating. But they drive on. These people are true life heroes.
Ben, by the way, is doing awesome these days, attending Kent State University as a math major.
That brings us to Tour Divide and Children’s National. The Tour Divide Race is going to be an incredible adventure. I’m quite sure it will be the most challenging undertaking I’ve ever attempted. However, as with Burning River I would like to use this adventure to help a positive cause. I’ve partnered with my employer to use this race to raise money for the Children’s National program which will help families going through childhood cancer and cardiac birth defects. The program is supported 100% through donations. My employer, Plus3 ITSystems, will generously contribute a matching donation for the first $2,500. We have set up a donation page and the ball is rolling. I was blown away, when within 48 hours after posting on Face Book, over $1,000 was donated. But we’ve just begun. And any donation will be matched and will help so many kids and families. Thank-you so much.
As far as training goes, this past week has been a recovery, or I like to call it “recharge” week. I essentially cut my training down to about half and slept in till 5:00 or so to recover from the previous three-week build-up. This week, the three-week cycle starts all over. Although training was reduced, there were still some highlights:
- After a morning run in 4 degrees Fahrenheit, I got to work and there was no hot water. The shower was much more challenging than the run!
- It was incredibly windy this week. Sunday’s ride was 5+ hours of battling side winds than forced me to put my foot down several times to keep from being blown over. Head winds that had me pedaling forever and going nowhere. And of course, tail winds that were effortless. Through it all I just told myself “this is good training, there will be entire days like this on the Divide”.
- The highlight of the week however, was when I stopped to piss, dropped my glove, and peed all over it.
I think all this kind of stuff is good prep for the Divide. Anything can and will happen, except hopefully, peeing on gloves.
Thanks for reading & thanks for your support of Children’sNational