Masters Running


Monster Dash Half Marathon...ran on 10/14/12 (Read 247 times)

MM #5615

    I wrote in the Sunday Daily about running the Monster Dash Half Marathon with my friend, Joe, who just found out he had testicular cancer.  Well, I thought I’d follow up with a little report.


    Like I said in the daily, Joe is actually the father of a teammate from Ryan’s Augustana cross country team.  They happen to live about 3 miles from us and we have gotten to know each other a little bit over the last couple years.  Joe had signed up and was training for the Monster Dash Half Marathon which was scheduled for the 27th of October.  After finding out he had cancer they immediately scheduled surgery and chemo treatments.  In fact, surgery was done today and, I saw though Facebook that things went well.  But, because he was going to be going through all of this, Joe decided he wanted to run his half marathon on Sunday…the 14th.


    Now, Joe really wasn’t looking for any attention.  He just wanted to run the race he had been training for and wanted to beat his time from last year of 1:43.  Of course, his family and his friends were not going to let this event go by without some hoopla.  His older son, John—who had also been planning on running it—decided to run it with him…and that’s about all that Joe knew about.  His middle son, Adam (Ryan’s teammate) drove home from South Dakota and surprised him Sunday morning by walking through the back door saying, “You weren’t planning on running this without me, were you?”  His wife got on the phone and rounded up a fan club to meet him at the finish line.  Somehow—I still don’t really know how they found out—the race organizers had a banner and his finisher’s medal waiting for him at the finish line, too. 


    I really didn’t know what I was going to do that morning.  I went prepared to run.  I went prepared to take pictures.  I went prepared to be a spectator.  I really did not know what they would want me to do or what they would not want me to be a part of.  I just knew I wanted to be there and, after everything I witnessed, I was so glad I did.  I feel so very lucky they allowed me to be a part of that whole experience.  Watching everything unfold the way it did was an experience I will never forget. 


    Anyway…here are some pictures that various people took during the day…


    Here we are at the “start”…from left to right…me, John, Joe, Adam


    "On your marks...."


    Here we come around mile 6.  I have to tell you--John (on the far right) had only decided to run this race a couple months ago and, only then, started running.  We were clipping along around a 6:55 pace those first 6 miles and I was shocked the kid was still with us.



    They even had a water stop for us.



    This is Joe's youngest son (holding the banner) waiting at the finish line...




    And here we come!



    Joe finished in 1:33:13--smashing his time from last year...






    Okay...grab the Kleenex...









    This is the one that gets me...





    This was taken after some people had already left...



    Anyway--I hope you don't mind that I put this on here.  It wasn't really my race, but it was a pretty special one.

    MM #5616

      Awesome.  Thanks for sharing - this is really special.  And all of you guys are darned fast!   Best of luck to Joe, and I hope he has a complete recovery.

      I hammered down the trail, passing rocks and trees like they were standing still.

      MM#209 / JapanJoyful#803

        I feel so very lucky they allowed me to be a part of that whole experience.

        Watching everything unfold the way it did was an experience I will never forget.

        and, thanks to you Mike for making us lucky ones too, neither will we

        I hope it's even better next year.

        Henry the Great: "I'm going to keep running as long as I can."  Me too, I hope.

        T. Igarashi (summiting Mt. Fuji at age 100): "Enjoy yourself. Your younger days never come again."


          This is one race report that brought tears to my eyes!!


          Best wishes to Joe. MikeE, you are one magnificent friend!

          "Champions are everywhereall you need is to train them properly..." ~Arthur Lydiard


            Very inspiring report! I also got a bit emotional while reading it, and seeing the pictures.


            Thanks for sharing it!




            aka FlyingFinn

              The best race report I've ever read.  Wishing Joe a speedy recovery! Thank you for sharing the story, Mike.

              Instructions for living a life:

              Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.   ~~~Mary Oliver

                I am so glad you shared this Mike! What a wonderful event and I'm so happy that many folks came out to support and cheer you guys on!


                what an amazing time too!  Congratulations to all you and please pass on my best wishes to your friend Joe!


                  Thanks for sharing this, Mike.  What a great display of caring for this family.  That's awesome that you all stayed together too and had a good time.

                    Thanks for sharing Joe's half with us.  What a special event it turned out to be.  Best of wishes to Joe in his recovery.



                      and, thanks to you Mike for making us lucky ones too, neither will we

                      I hope it's even better next year.

                       No kidding!! A very emotional Race Report. Thanks MikeE.



                      Rose Colored Glasses

                        Thank you for sharing this, Mike.


                        Great story. Best wishes to Joe.

                          One of the most moving race reports I've ever read.


                          It's certainly news worthy.

                          Marathon Maniac #957

                            This is so awesome, definitely making me a bit teary-eyed.  For all the meanness you hear about in the world, hearing this story of love and people coming together to support a family - this is wonderful! Thank you for sharing.  And please keep us posted on Joe's progress.

                            Life is a headlong rush into the unknown. We can hunker down and hope nothing hits us or we can stand tall, lean into the wind and say, "Bring it on, darlin', and don't be stingy with the jalapenos."