"You will regret this" is the warning from Andy Weinberg on the registration page for the Endurance Society's Infinitus 888k trail race. The race is 20 + loops of a 27 mile infinity ∞ shaped course through the Green Mountains of Vermont with a 240 hour cut-off time. Lots of elevation, river and stream crossings, and rugged terrain. Only four people have finished the distance, under the cut-off, in the history of the race.
To back up a few months, I was fortunate enough to take 1st place in the Endurance Society's Deca-Marathon this year (2018). As the name implies, I ran a marathon a day (the 27 mile infinity loop) for 10 days straight, May 24th - June 3rd. You can see my joy, from the picture above, not to be first, but to be finished! When I got home on June 3rd from that race, I told myself that it was "once and done", "never again"! However, on August 23rd, I ignored Andy's appeal to logic and signed up for double the mileage, the 888k, for 2019. On that same day, I sent an e-mail to the Cure4Cam Childhood Cancer Foundation.
Why connect with C4C? In 2012 I was diagnosed with melanoma. As cancer goes, I was very fortunate. I had surgery @ University of Penn. The surgeon created a large enough margin around the melanoma and I was cancer free (and have been for the last 6 years). However, when I returned to work, after about 2 weeks off for the surgery, I came back to find that a young man named Cameron Evans had passed away during that time, at just 14 years of age, due to cancer. I didn't know Cameron, his mother, Regina, or his two sisters, but I had worked with his father, Doug, for almost 20 years. As a father of 3 myself, it was difficult to process losing a child. (Cameron, I have learned, was an all-around inspiring kid who loved to run cross-country. The Cure4Cam Childhood Cancer Foundation was started that same year in Cameron's memory. This organization "seeks to raise community awareness about childhood cancers, and supports the development of new and more humane therapies for children with these diseases." I also learned that, due to a donor covering their expenses, 100% of donations to Cure4Cam go to fund childhood cancer research!)
Here we are 6 1/2 years later. On August 23rd I asked myself two "What If's". First, "what if" I can pull off completing the 888k in 240 hours. And second, "what if" ALL of us can use this to make a difference and help children with cancer, and their parents.
In all humility, I realize that my trying to run 888k in 240 hours is absolutely nothing compared to the battle against cancer. However, I make a sincere promise to all of you that I will show up fully trained for the 888k. At that point we'll see if the 888k takes down another contender or if "the old guy" can pull it off. I will dedicate that race to Cameron Gray Evans and all of you that are helping support Cure4Cam through me to make a difference. One final thought...On November 27th of this year, this touching reality was posted on the Cure4Cam FB site, "A child is waiting...waiting for a cure, waiting for a chance to be a child." Please help me help them have a fighting chance.
That's it for now. I will be in touch with training updates, pics, maybe some videos, why I love "ultras", and probably some ridiculous stuff too!
And in case you were wondering...The symbol for infinity (∞) is a double loop that looks like a sideways "8", hence all the 8s!