It’s hard to believe that this year will be my 6th Nike Women’s Half Marathon, but it’s true. I signed up today to participate once again with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program in order to raise awareness and (hopefully) $3,000 this year for the cause. I can’t say how much I appreciate your support over the past six years in helping me to cross each finish line. The friends I’ve made and people I’ve met along the way are truly inspirations to me in my every day life.
Last year, I lost my friend John Kark to his second battle with Leukemia in April. In his honor, and with your help, I was able to complete my half marathon, even though I was in pain from a knee injury. It was the first year I didn’t have friends running the race with me in a few years, and I remember at one point being on the huge downhill stretch after mile 10 and just thinking of John and his fighting spirit. It was a really, really cold race this year and that part is where you come up onto the great highway and the sea breeze hits. I shivered in my arm warmers and I was generally pretty miserable. But something inside of me clicked when I thought of John and what he would say to me if he could coach me through that tough part of my race. I slowly picked up my pace and was able to finish strong. I truly felt like he was with me there at that finish line. It was a great day!
Looking back on last year, it was so bittersweet. Losing John was extremely heartbreaking, but it’s been amazing getting to know his friends and family and to see how each of them are continuing the fight in John’s name. I’m honored to stand with them again this year. And I thank you for coming along for the ride!
Last year, we smashed our goal of $5,000 for the cause, even though at times I really doubted that I’d be able to pull it off. This year, I’m asking your help to raise $3,000. If you can make a donation, big or small – it all adds up! – or if you’d like to participate by volunteering your time or helping with an event, please let me know.