This is how it works-
I love to run but there are times when I would rather not. This is when the voices start. Chants, name calling, guilt and reverse psychology is how they get me up and out the door. I don't really mind the voices and have actually started looking forward to their daily calls. Together we have formed a running club that supports, encourages and competes with each other. I love these peeps. They are much more experienced, talented and tougher than I am. Pushing me out the door, through the hard miles and up the monster hills when I am feeling lazy or want to give up. Some people have "real" training partners, coaches and support crews. My team is ALWAYS with me and helps me to keep my eye on the prize and not veer off the track. Sounds crazy- Yeah, probably is.........

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

We Are Fighters. We Never quit.

The 2nd Annual Turn the Trail Pink 50k...... I almost didn't ask. Almost skipped the part where we make it count. The ONLY part that matters. Why? Well, it's simple. I was a little scared that everyone was tired of the constant begging for donations and tired of the whole "dude in a pink tutu" act. Trust me, I'm kind of tired of that part too. But I did ask. And you responded. Again. Big time. Last year the total raised was $405. This year? $2,147. Yep. $2,147. Amazing.

I always say that this is a team effort and I am just a very small part of it. I believe this is 100% true. Without the awesome support from everyone involved- nothing happens. It means a lot to me that so many took a few minutes to share my blog with others. Big thanks to all that donated money. Contributions from $5 to an "anonymous" donation of $500 helped make this a success. Special thanks to a friend from the "Benton Park Gang" who organized a bake sale that raised $250 and to another friend that collected $200 from co-workers for the event. That was really awesome. In total, there were 76 names placed on ribbons and attached to the tutu to honor on this run.

On to the race....... There were a LOT of looks as I approached the starting area on Sunday morning. A few years ago this would have really bothered me. I'm not sure when I quit caring what people thought of me but it's fairly new..... whatever. There where plenty of friends there to support me, which is always nice. After a few pictures and a lengthy wait in line for the restroom (a few snickers & comments) it was time to get started.

Coming in to this race, my confidence wasn't real high that I would be very competitive, which sounds funny to some considering the 50 mile age group state record thing just a few weeks ago, but my self-expectations were low for this race. Whatever. The race started and everything else melted away, the adrenaline rush of running with pack took over and it was on. I ran with my friend Jon for the first few miles before the pack began to spread out.

This is a tough course with a LOT of steep hills. Last year I ran a very fast pace and finished in 4:26. I knew this year would not be as fast and soon figured out that the course had been changed to include a "less runnable" section of steep hills. This made the race a bit tougher and that is EXACTLY what we look for in an ultra. Regardless of the course change, my time would have been slower and I enjoyed the harder challenge.

Around mile 14 I hit the split between the 25k and 50k. I had no idea where I was in terms of placement but I guessed it was around 10th place. Not sure what I based this estimate on but it seemed reasonable and I told myself that 10th would be great. It was getting warm and I was wearing down. The whole "tutu" outfit is hot and uncomfortable in the best of conditions and I was slowing down. 3 people passed me between mile 16 and 18. This did not sit well with me but I let it happen anyway.

Things got very quiet and lonely as I pressed on through the next 10 or 12 miles. Occasionally I would run into another runner that was still making their way on the "out" portion. Other than that and the few aid station people it was pretty secluded giving me plenty of time to think about the 76 names I was fortunate enough to carry. I don't know all the stories, but I do know a few and they break my heart. Friends from high school to a 4 year old that many of us follow on facebook..... cancer is evil. Just thinking about the journeys of those this run represented was enough to push me through these hard and lonely miles.

I caught a glimpse of another runner around mile 29. Where did he come from? I wasn't going fast enough to catch anybody. This was the last thing I needed. A freakin' race down the stretch with this dude. The thought came to me to just let him go..... but then a voice said...."Really? Really? Are you saying that you can't put just a little effort? We are fighters. We never quit. We believe."

Sounds silly, but that was a powerful moment for me. I knew that that voice represented all the warriors that had dug deep and found strength when faced with much more painful and real situations than a stupid trail race. I pushed a little harder and eventually passed that runner. Now I was ready to cruise in the last mile with the knowledge that I had stepped up when asked and secure in the idea that I had represented well..... Uh-oh.... What the?? Where did this dude come from? Up ahead, another runner that had passed me earlier. There was no way that I could catch him..... "Really? Don't be such a....." Well, you get it. I pushed with all I had and passed him too.

Coming into the finish area of this race is always fun. Even more so when you have a lot of friends there to cheer you on. Not sure where the energy came from but for some reason I decided to do a "less than spectacular" cartwheel before hitting the finish line. You can watch it here......

Final result was 5:23, 5th place overall and 1st in the 35-39 age group. Not bad for a slacker. I would promise to hang up the tutu and not ask for your help again but that won't happen. I do, however, promise to keep begging and finding new ways to raise money and honor those touched by cancer until there is a cure. It is comforting to know that I am not alone in this fight. Thank you.

In times of great despair and uncertainty, it helps to know you’re not alone and that there is an answer–hope.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

2nd Annual Turn the Trail Pink 50k Run

Here we go again.......

On October 23, 2011 we will attempt to Turn The Trail Pink at the Dogwood Canyon 50k. I will run the course wearing a pink tutu in support of breast cancer awareness. I am asking (begging) for donations in the amount of $5. For each $5 donation a ribbon will be personalized and attached to the tutu. ALL of the money will go to the American Cancer Society through the Relay for Life.

The original idea for this event last year was to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It still is but after reflecting on the reasons why I got involved in the FIGHT, I decided it would be better to honor all people touched with ANY form of cancer. For those that do not know my reasons, I'll explain briefly. In December of 2009, my dad was diagnosed and underwent major surgery. A few months later, in March, my mom was hit with cancer and also had major surgery. Both of my parents are recuperating and both have had emergency surgeries due to complications of the prior ones.

This was an eye opening experience and life changing events for all of us but they are WARRIORS and that motivates me to do what I can to honor not only them but EVERYONE that has dealt with the BEAST that is cancer. In the past year, 4 people that I loved have been stolen from us. Many of my friends have had loved ones ripped from their lives too. WE must take a stand and fight back.

So, with that said, Turn The Trail Pink is in the spirit of Breast Cancer Awareness Month but will honor all those touched by any type of cancer. All donations are gladly accepted and to show support for breast cancer awareness, EVERY ribbon will be pink. All donations will benefit the Relay For Life. This is a great opportunity to show honor and fight back.

The donations are the ideal scenario but, as always, not required and any name received will be honored. I feel it is necessary to ask because it is so important but I understand that money can be tight at times and it is fine if you can't donate. You can still participate. You should still send the names of those you want to honor. DO NOT let finances keep you away from this. There are other ways to help and support the FIGHT. I urge you to get involved with this event and others like it. We all have something to offer.

If you do choose to donate, please click on the Relay for Life button on the right or send a check or cash to;

David Murphy
HC 72 Box 324-8
Wasola, MO

Make checks payable to the American Cancer Society. Contact me by email at for questions or to send names. Remember to ask your employer about matching contributions. Tell your friends at the local watering hole and see if they will help. Share this blog with others and spread the word. TOGETHER we can make it happen.

Thanks to those that have already supported this and my past Big/Dumb stunts, without you NOTHING happens.

‎~There's only one thing that can guarantee our failure, and that's if we quit.~