The cosmos seem to be sending me lots of messages about marathons recently. I’ve heard so many stories about people who have managed to regain their health and celebrate the success of whatever (weight loss, being off medication, recovery from surgery) by training for and completing a marathon. Despite the fact that so many people do this thing – it still seems about as possible and likely to me as….performing brain surgery? Walking on the moon? Having all of my closets clean at once? I have the utmost admiration and respect for those who have the discipline and physical ability to conquer the 26.2 – as I know that this conquest is not a possibility for everybody. It certainly will not be a recommendation for my daughter Caitlin if she wants to keep that titanium hip from wearing out too soon!
But I have to say, my admiration is reaching new heights for a young man I just learned about who is going to conquer not one marathon – not two marathons – but how about 94!!!!!!!! I’m sorry, there aren’t enough exclamation points in the world for that sentence… but it’s true. Patrick McGlade is going to run what amounts to a marathon a day (or more miles, up to as high as 39) for 94 days. Beginning on January 2 in Huntington Beach, California and running over 2400 miles over 106 days (with 12 rest days dispersed on the agenda), Patrick will run to Tybee Island Georgia. What would make a person do such a crazy thing? To attempt such a monumental feat? Patrick, an avid runner and adventurist, is running to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation. He is particularly inspired by children suffering from the disease, especially his 15 year old cousin Mia, from Alabama. “I like the solitude of the long run, and I like pushing my body past what I once thought was its limit,” said McGlade. “I realized that there are too many young people that will never know what that’s like, because of their arthritis. Whatever we can do for kids today will improve the outlook for future generations, and having them cheering me on from the sidelines is a great honor and reward.”
It’s hard for me to get my mind around this idea of a young man running through eight states – literally by himself – for the sake of my daughter, and everyone who suffers from arthritis. Most days, Patrick will be pushing a baby stroller with his gear – a tent, sleeping bag, clothing, food and supplies. This daring superhero had made the small request that he would like to be able to sleep inside at least once a week. If I ran one marathon, I’d need a jacuzzi tub for a week solid.
Obviously, this quest has the purpose of raising money for arthritis research. But if anybody reads my blog, I imagine that is probably already something they are dedicated to. And times are tough. But – the great thing about this story is that there are other ways to help Patrick. The easiest thing and what I hope most people will take a moment to do – is to offer Patrick some emotional support. He has a web site:
You can visit the web site and sign the guest book. Also on the web site, you can see his actual planned route for his journey through CA, AZ, NM, TX, AR, MS, AL and GA. Perhaps you can support Patrick along the way by offering him a place to stay, or a meal… or by going out to cheer him on! Maybe you are superhuman too and would like to run a leg with him!
If you have a child with arthritis, Patrick’s mom Susie also tells me that he would love to have your stories as an inspiration. Patrick is hoping to run in honor of a different child every day… so if you could send an e-mail with a photo and a short description about your child’s story with arthritis (no specific details such as last names or location are needed) she knows Patrick would be very grateful. He would like to wear a different child’s name on his shirt every day. Unfortunately, we should be able to give him enough to cover every shirt every day!
In addition to seeking support for the foundation, Patrick has a small wish list of items that he needs for the journey. Anybody interested in kicking in some jars of peanut butter? He’ll need 6000 calories a day. How about some wheels for the jogging stroller? You can check out his needs on the web page under the contributions tab.
Patrick will also be blogging about his trip. http://www.patricksrunblog.blogspot.com/
Right now, Patrick’s blog is about his intimate affair with running. Unfortunately for me, as a non-runner, I’m lost in translation. But I hope that we can fill Patrick’s run blog with great stories about how the people involved in this cause are truly passionate. That we support the warriors out to fight for the cause. That people really cared about him as he cared about us. Imagine if at every stop, Patrick just got 30 seconds of news coverage… or one small mention in a local paper. Imagine how much awareness that translates into. And imagine how much more support and donations that might mean. Imagine how many people in future generations might get to choose running, if they wanted to… because of Patrick… and because of you.
Thank you Patrick. and….Run Patrick, Run!!!!!