163 miles. 6 days. Running from Steamboat Springs to Denver, Colorado. Up and over 2 mountain passes. Fundraising $10,000 for MS Run The US. You probably already questioned my sanity (running 4 marathons, including back-to-back races, does make someone slightly off-kilter), but this task is on a whole different level. I've accepted the Segment 7 Relay Runner position of the MS Run the US and pledged to raise $10,000.
This is a really big, daunting task, but I knew when I began following the relay several years ago that I had to try to sign-up and do it. It didn't matter that I would need to run an average of 26 miles everyday, for 6 days straight. The cause behind MS Run The US was why I began running in the first place and continue to put one leg in front of the other (besides the fact that I now actually enjoy running). Their main focus is to raise awareness and funds to support multiple sclerosis (MS) research, while also promoting a healthy lifestyle and inspire others to become active in helping others in need.
My grandfather was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis over 15 years ago. Before MS, he was an extremely active man and loved to do anything and everything with his hands. From woodworking to car repairs to everyday household chores, he did it all. I was pretty young when he was diagnosed, but I still remember the small changes that the disease caused. He slowly began having trouble moving and while lifestyle changes helped curb the disease, his 6' 4" body had endured a lot. He began to need a wheelchair and while my family tried endlessly to help him do the things he loved (putting in an elevator in the household and wheelchair ramps), we slowly had to begin transitioning him to a life with MS.
MS forced him to retire early from his job.
MS prevented him from doing hobbies that he loved to do.
MS eventually moved him to a nursing home because care for him at home became too expensive.
MS took a toll on our entire family.
But, MS did not take away his spirit, love of a great debate, old cars, and the best bear hugs a guy could give.
My grandfather passed away August 2017 and MS Run The US applications for their 2018 Relay Team opened a week later. I knew that the timing was not a coincidence. This was the perfect time for me to commit to a crazy fitness and fundraising goal for something that I am so passionate about.
I will be running 163 miles in May 2018 not just for my grandfather, but for those who suffer or have suffered from MS. Research is the gateway to finding a cure for the disease and I am so beyond honored to have the opportunity to help the fight to stop MS.