Running races and raising money for good causes go hand in hand. In fact, you can find large charitable organizations around the US that were founded to combine both of these activities. So, it is nothing new to do a running event and try to raise money for some cause at the same time. I have done this several times and it really helps to give some extra meaning to the race. This time, it is one of the most personal causes I have run for.
Running the Badwater 267 VR Elite and Raising Money
I get it – talking about raising money for something is uncomfortable and I really never enjoy doing it! But, whenever someone is running a difficult event, having something extra to run for can always be a help to the runner and an encouragement to others. So, here we go!
The Charity – Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation
Our Story with Our Children with Crohn’s Disease
First Child with Crohn’s
I mentioned this is the most personal cause I have run for yet and I want to explain why that is. About 30 months ago, our oldest son (under the age of 10 at the time) began to have some various issues. He began to lose weight, experience discomfort and exhaustion and some other symptoms. After several tests, it was determined that he had Crohn’s disease. This is not something that is really common with children this young but it was something he now had.
At the direction of his doctor, we tried a couple of different things to get the inflammation under control and into remission. At first, it really helped and great progress was made. He was able to start eating semi-normal again and no longer experienced all the symptoms that he had. He now had more energy and was not dealing with the inflammation in his intestine.
This worked for a while but eventually, the inflammation was such that his doctor prescribed for him to start Remicade treatments to address the issue. So, this is what we have been doing every two months for a while now.
Second Child with Crohn’s
Last year, our oldest daughter, a little older than our son, began to experience similar symptoms. After some tests, it was confirmed that she, too, had Crohn’s. We followed the same treatment regime and recently, she, too, started Remicade treatments.
In fact, as I write this, I am sitting at the hospital with both of them as they do their treatments together. They have both been champs with all the needles and tests that have been done throughout all this time as well as the treatment process itself.
It is kind of funny but something that we had never really knew much about before, we feel as if we have become semi-experts because we have had to learn so much as we helped our kids through this. Of course, no one ever wants to have to learn about something like this for a reason like this! But, we have seen first-hand the different kinds of treatment available as well as what happens to a very healthy child’s day-to-day life and activity level when Crohn’s begins to affect them. As parents, it was certainly not easy watching as we tried to figure it out but we are very thankful that they are doing so well on the Remicade.
So, the charity I have chosen for this event is the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation (read more about them here). New research is being done all the time in this area to help and it is possible that, eventually, they could simply pop a pill that would take care of the inflammation and promote good gut health. Remicade treatments are not cheap and it is possible that future treatments could be less frequent and even cheaper.
The Event – Badwater 267 VR Elite
Starting tomorrow (April 3), I will be doing a first-of-its-kind virtual event. Put on by the amazing people behind the Badwater 135 (one of the most difficult races in the world, that I have helped pace for in the past), it is a combination of the three events that Badwater puts on for a total of 267 miles which must be run in 16 days.
This comes out to just under 17 miles per day on an average. It is an event that will have a good amount of oversight as it is a race. The winners will be the ones with the shortest elapsed time for all the runs. The maximum time allowed for the entire event is 90 hours.
This does not need to be done all at once, in fact, doing so will pretty much guarantee that you won’t win as it is total elapsed time and not the time done all at once. With almost 200 participants, I certainly am not going to win but I would like to have a good placing overall.
I will be running a minimum of 15 miles each day and cap each day off with a 2 mile walk with my whole family to do this together. I have had a decent (though short) training cycle for this so I am pretty sure I can finish it all (as long as there is no injury) but would like to get a decent overall time as well.
From April 3 – 18, I will be running each day. If you want to donate to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation during this time, this would be a huge boost of support for me and our children! Of course, we are not getting any of this money – it goes straight to the Foundation to aid in helping with research for better ways to treat and help patients with Crohn’s disease.
I will be doing some race updates along the way. It should be interesting to be sure as well as tiring!
Thanks for reading all the way through to this point, if you are seeing this! I appreciate the time and the support!