That’s me there running in the 2009 Boston Marathon and yup, I said that. In fact, it was the very last thing I posted on my 2009 Boston Marathon blog. Truth be told, I’ve probably said this after each and every Boston Marathon I’ve run. So, what was I thinking? Why did I subject myself to training in the freezing cold and commit to raising a minimum of $4000 to participate in the 2014 Boston Marathon? Simply put, I met Ezra Caldwell:
I’ve been following Ezra’s blog, Teaching Cancer to Cry since 2008, right about the time he was diagnosed with rectal cancer. Ezra is a talented bicycle framebuilder/designer, woodworker, photographer and all-around fabricator of some pretty cool stuff. We started a dialogue regarding one of his bike projects in 2012 and finally got the pleasure to meet in 2013 at the Bike Cult Show over Labor Day weekend (hand-built bicycle show in Brooklyn). Soon after we met I made the decision to run the 2014 Boston Marathon with the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team.
As it states as the end of the video, Ezra was diagnosed with recurrent (terminal) Stage IV metastatic cancer in November of 2012 and was given six to eight months to live. The good news is that I am happy to report that he’s still busy at his home & workshop in Harlem, where he recently celebrated his 40th birthday. Unfortunately there is bad news, of which he posted on his blog earlier this month. Ezra mentioned there was a good indication that the cancer is metastasizing pretty quickly. I encourage you to check out his blog as he eloquently details the trails and tribulations of having this disease. His postings make you want to laugh and cry all at the same.
It’s a privilege to run the Boston Marathon and I’m glad to be a part of the 2014 Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge (DFMC), an official Boston Athletic Association (BAA) charitable program. 100% of your donation goes directly to research for the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research. Every dollar the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge raises supports the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research, which funds the brightest, most creative scientists making basic research discoveries. All administrative costs are covered by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, not the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research program. If you’d like to donate, select the huge DONATE! link at the top of the page to navigate to my DFMC 2014 Fundraising Page. My goal is to raise more than $10,000 this year. Lofty aspirations I know.
I had a wonderful video of the Boston Marathon route that I created back in 2007 but it was lost when my had drive crashed a few years back. I’ll make one again this year. In the interim, here’s a description of the Boston Marathon course from Hal Higdon, the famed running writer:
“The course starts at a height of 462 feet above sea level in Hopkinton, drops precipitously, particularly in the first mile and a half, rolls, descends again through about 4 miles, then flattens somewhat with an occasional hill before bottoming out at 49 feet above sea level at Lower Newton Falls (16 miles). Then begin a series of four hills–what Coach Bill Squires calls the Killer Chain–culminating in the infamous Heartbreak Hill (21 miles). It is not so much the height of the hills (Heartbreak is only 236 feet above sea level), but where they come in the race that poses difficulty for marathoners who have failed to prepare for them.
The final 5 miles to the finish line on Boylston Street present a steady, if sometimes unnoticed, descent to 10 feet above sea level, and it is here where the legs of unprepared runners take a beating. If you enter this stretch fatigued and unable to maintain running form–particularly if forced back onto your heels–you will pound the muscles of your lower legs to pulp. This is why you see runners heading home at Logan Airport late on a Monday walking with the stiff legs of the Frankenstein Monster. It is also why their strategy descending stairs for a week after the race will consist of walking down those stairs backwards.”
Hmmm, walking with stiff legs like that of the Frankenstein monster? What, maybe something like this:
Finally, if you’re curious about the title of my blog, watch this:
And yes, I’m running the Boston Marathon in Adidas shoes!
* Note: For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Sherman and Wayback Machine reference, here you go (navigate to 2:57 to specifically see the Wayback Machine):