Tuna Run Thank You!

Tuna Run Thank You!

Saying thanks is not enough but I want to try and express how thankful I am feeling.  First, I am so thankful that we completed this event with no accidents or injuries to the crew who were on the course with me.  The conditions of this event are strenuous under the best circumstances with narrow road margins in areas not typically used by pedestrians.  There is a lot of wildlife throughout the course and I am thankful we did not have to encounter anything that was angry.  Ashby was bitten last year; I believe that I was only spared due to my odor.

Also, the course this year had new obstacles to negotiate like the mental challenges of course changes and roads that were completely washed out.  We weaved through a lot of closed road signs at night, in some cases I forded the obstacles but had to send the support crew onto alternative routes, risking missing turns (and missing them in some cases and having to double back), is an example of the adventure this event offered.  The road on the left was at mile 59.

I would like to thank my family for supporting my training and especially my wife, Liza who crewed from start to finish.

Thanks loads to the Crew including Crew Chief Ashby, Liza, Sarah, Chris and Mike.  These folks held it together for me to get as far as I did, which was 105 miles and a distance PR.  Also, I have to say thanks to Carlo and Mindy who committed to coming to crew on Friday night if needed.

Ashby-keeping-me-straightThanks to all the friends who have offered very inspiring support before and during the event.  It is difficult to describe how motivating kind words can be during an event like this.  AICPA where I work in NC which has helped me promote this event and its cause.  I cannot even measure the enormous amount of encouragement from my friends there.  I want to at least thank all my friends I work with in IT and mention that when Chris Almonte learned about the event and its cause responded by publishing the information internally which has led to a lot of additional support for me and donations that go directly to the Wounded Warriors Project (WWP).

Also thanks to the marketing team at Perficient, where my wife Liza works. Inspired by a blog post about the run that was extensively shared, they organized a donation pool that Perficient management then matched 1:1.  Perficient’s CEO was first to lead off the donations. This helped to more than double the amount we raised for WWP.

Thanks to Madison Iszler who’s article in the News & Observer was syndicated in USA Today. All of these efforts helped to raise funds and awareness of the run and for WWP.

Huge thanks to the WWP which provides free programs and services focused on the physical, mental, and long-term financial well-being of this generation of injured veterans, their families and caregivers.

TunaRun runningFinal thought: I think this event represents, in a very small way, how we face adversities and negotiate the obstacles of life by adapting.

We do a good job training our soldiers for combat.  But soldiering is not really a ‘job’ in the sense that we think about a job.  You don’t get to leave early to watch your kids participate in activities when you live in the desert and have to clear a mine fields.  This is not merely a job; it is a lifestyle that can go sideways for many reasons at any moment.

Historically, we expect soldiers to return from extended periods in such conditions and re-acclimate to civilian life effortlessly.  In the face of facts such as:

  • 75% of married soldiers return to divorce, and
  • more soldiers are lost to suicide after returning home than are lost in combat

It is clear there is work to be done helping soldiers readjust.

Returning soldiers are often stripped of their identities, frequently their limbs, and commonly their spouses and children.  The WWP recognizes this and is working to help soldiers to readjust.

checking my shoesEvery one of us can to help others somehow or another.  I am hopeful that my demonstration may connect some people who are prepared to help with some other people who have already demonstrated that they deserve a helping hand.

My goal was to run 200 miles. I failed to reach my goal but that does not matter. I went out and tried, and thanks to all of you, we raised over $5k for WWP. I pushed my body and mind further than ever before. Through this effort we became a community, pushing forward one step at a time, as we do in life, any time adversity raises its head. At the end of the day, the journey and the people involved in helping each other through it, are what matters.

For those that were kind enough to follow this event, there are updates on Facebook on the Road to 100 page.

Update since yesterday: We just received word that the $10,000 goal has been achieved!

crew on last foggy morningThanks to everyone is just not enough.

I learned my body has some limits; and that’s okay.  I know I was undertrained, but I am just a guy with obligations like everyone else and don’t believe that I could have trained harder without putting things that are very important to me in jeapordy.  I am just a guy that wanted to help a cause and I believe, thanks to all of the support on and off the course, that we have done so.

I feel we demonstrated that any human can set a big goal, work to achieve it, and accomplish wonderful things.  I have memories to cherish and learned about the WWP.   I also remain compelled to continue finding ways to help them somehow.


Running at night long exposureSunrise