The generosity of others and the passion from people working together for a cause are just amazing things to be around.
Friday night and Saturday morning's Relay for Life was yet another great night in the fight against cancer -- I surpassed my $1,000 goal, my team hit its goal, and the Lynchburg Relay will likely pass $250,000 once all the money is counted. Early evening storms didn't deter the people who cared the most from sticking around.
As promised with my fundraising, I ran 13.1 miles around the track -- I can't say it wasn't a struggle this year though. After one segment of 4.1 miles, I helped our team raise more money by "pimping out" and showing off Miss Tina Ta-ta (aka my chiropractor, Dr. Wimmer, who dressed up like a woman). Pictures that I have yet to obtain will explain that better.
That time on my feet in dress shoes kind of wore me out to get the final 9 miles done. I took my time, took a few water breaks, and a couple of bathroom stops, but I ran 50-some laps -- mostly after midnight -- to complete 13.1 miles to fight cancer. Dr. Wimmer ran along side me for about 5 miles, much more than he had promised when the team hit its goal.
I do owe those who donated at the end a backward mile. After halfway, I was honestly so tired and already sore from the different surface that running backward was not safe. I will do a backward mile, or some sort of combination, soon. I promise.
Relay for Life is always hard to put into words -- it's such an emotional night early on with the survivors lap and the luminaria and bagpipe service. This year's festivities were literally a bit dampened with the severe storms early on -- two different times during set up we were ordered off the field; many tents suffered damage in the second storm.
Several teams didn't show up or stay as long this year, but those who remained through the 5 a.m. finish were definitely a passionate group of people.
Similar to Relay last year, I'm left with struggling with the right words. I think my post from a year ago sums it up best with how I feel today, nearly two days later:
While I figure out what's next, I highly encourage everyone to get involved in running to fight something. While I'm passionate about fighting cancer, there are so many other things you can do.
It's easy as a runner to get caught up in a self campaign – I'm doing this, or I'm doing that, or I have this problem. Question yourself whether or not that's the type of runner you want to be.
If you're running for a cause, you're running for thousands. And those people could care less about how fast or slow you are. They'll be happy that you're fighting for them and, very possibly, saving their lives in the process.