Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Sorry for the late blog, but my middle name beside Andrew is procrastination. On Saturday July 17th, team 100 miles 4 Owen met at the Waterfront Grille to celebrate what we had accomplished. Present for the dinner were Magda, Heather and Andy, Claudia, Gillian, David aka Buck Nasty, Greg, Chief Teachman, and Pam Sousa. Tons of laughs, amazing friendship, and a special presentation were in store for the evening.
We settled in for a great evening and the fun began. For those of you who know me and my friends, you know that we have no problem making fun of each other, which we did in abundance. Good thing for thick skin! We talked about what a wonderful experience the Western States had been and the amazing work my friends had done to make this journey so special. I am so thankful for their help and support. We were able to raise close to $12000 for the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, which is an amazing foundation. Victoria, Bill and their beautiful baby girl Gwendolyn are doing amazing work raising money and awareness to help end this dreaded disease. I am lucky and fortunate to have made their acquaintance and to have become their friend.
It was a great evening of terrific food, great friends, and for one other reason. Sometime during my run of the Western States, my mind had time enough to wander just a bit. Thats what happens when your on your feet running for 27 hours. My SMA angels were along with me along the way and I got a bit of inspiration from my friend, the Oman(once again). I knew I would not be denied and that I was going to finish this race, come hell or high water. All finishers of the Western States 100 get a coveted belt buckle. A silver for sub 24hrs or the bronze for sub 30 hours. It is probably the most coveted symbol or award in ultra running. During the race I made the decision that I would give the buckle to Andy, Heather, and Adyn. That buckle didn't belong to me, it really didn't. It belonged to Owen, it's as simple as that. I would never have thought about running a race like that if it wasn't for his inspiration. Myself and Magda had the buckle framed on the beautiful poster we had made of Owen. It came out beautiful. It felt so special to give this gift to Heather and Andy, if only to repay them for the gift that had been given to me. When Adyn gets a bit older, i want him to know what a special little brother he has, how he helped change a mans life!
This whole experience has been surreal, a life changing event. I cant wait to do it again and to continue to run in honor of Owen and for the Gwendolyn Strong . We are not done, not by a long shot and we will to continue to raise money and awareness to end this dreaded disease.