EVENT DATE: May 14, 2013
The Great American Run & Fuck Cancer
Ok so here's the deal. Some of you may or may not be aware, but over the last 5+ years, I’ve become quite an avid runner. While my intent has never been to run competitively or attempt a marathon, my core initiative has always been on performance, health, recreation, and solidarity.
At the beginning of last year, I decided I was going to legitimize my running efforts by tracking each workout in order to raise money for charity. What started as nothing more than a personal challenge to reach a mileage goal, turned into something extraordinary and personally rewarding. I managed to log 1,712 miles on 366 consecutive days for an average of 4.69 miles per day. It was a Leap Year. Just my luck.
Here's an excerpt from an email I sent to friends on January 6, 2012 that describes my earliest ambitions:
“This year I've decided to log all my workouts on a website called mapmyrun.com. Check it out. My target goal is 1,200 miles for the year which is exactly 3.75 miles per day for 320 days. If I do it (and I will barring any broken toe incidences), I've decided to donate $$ for each mile to charity. If anyone would like to contribute, I'll let you know once its all set up. It's a good cause. And I encourage participation. So if anyone wants to stop eating buffalo wings for a day and join me for a run in Chicago, that'd be super.
It's crazy to see that message and reflect back. So much has happened during that time. I’d be doing a disservice just to throw out lofty goals and numbers while highlighting my most memorable runs. Long story short, I eclipsed that mark. Over 12 months, I pressed through some pretty rough terrain - whether illness or injury, inclement weather or prolonged travel -- and kept the streak alive in the process. Now, I’m approaching my 500th consecutive day running. No rest, no break, no day off.
Throughout my journey, I stumbled upon a great charity called Fuck Cancer -- an organization dedicated to Gen Y's technologically advanced and socially relevant ability to educate and inform about early cancer detection. As the foundation claims, 90% of cancers are curable in stage one. We should be doing more to share that knowledge and affect positive change.
I'm passionate about this cause for its all-encompassing nature and deeply personal message. Everyone has a friend, colleague, or family member affected by cancer. And while cancer research is the primary focus performed by countless other organizations, very few center on the humanized experience of education, awareness, and prevention. Just like the digital media world that has defined my career, Fuck Cancer is about community building through shared experiences. Their mission prompts a call-to-action – a social component designed by Millennials that needs to be conveyed to past and future generations.
The unique parallel between Fuck Cancer's mission and my perpetual 'Great American Run' is undeniable. It helped me realize the importance of achieving unthinkable goals. I ask that you join me, donate, and/or contribute in any way possible to help spread the word and fight the cause. Together, we can eliminate fear and regret and provide a greater foundation for those that we love.
My 500th run is on the horizon. I will not slow down my efforts. I will not change direction. I will not stop running. Everyone always asks why. Because Fuck Cancer that’s why.