Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Big Thank You to My Friend Alan, and to his Friends

When I participated in the Anchorage Mayor’s Midnight Sun Marathon for TNT in 2005, my team assigned roommate was Alan Raflo, whom I had never met. Alan was a seasoned marathoner, and turned out to be a great guy. I really enjoyed meeting him and hanging out together. We both had a natural resources background from school, and Alan still works in that field. He also took one of my favorite photos of me at a race. In the photo, I am soaked to the skin, had put my windbreaker on to try to warm up, and am holding up my medal in one hand and my cap with my new TNT 26.2 pin in the other. And I have that big first-time marathoner’s smile.

Alan was (and still is) a lot faster than me. After he finished the Anchorage marathon, he went back to the hotel, showered, had lunch, and drank a couple of beers. Then he relaxed for a while and read the last half of “War and Peace.” He finished a course in conversational Japanese, took a scenic cruise of one of fjords, then came back to the hotel and baked a batch of from-scratch cookies. He then came back to the marathon finish area to bring a warm coat for Sarah, our LLS coordinator, who was soaked and cold. He got there in time to see me just after I finally finished my race, and snapped the photo I spoke about. And man, I am here to tell you, those fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies he brought sure hit the spot!

This past Saturday, Alan ran the Blue Ridge Marathon, which starts and ends in Roanoke, Virginia. This is a rather hilly section of the Old Dominion, and the marathon has more than 3,000 feet elevation gain along the way. Alan’s time was under 5:09, a time I could not currently attain if the marathon was all downhill and I was riding a Segway. Yes, I know that I will ultimately set a world record in the marathon, but that day is still more than a decade away.

The cool thing about this was that Alan decided to do some fundraising for me in conjunction with his race, so he put a note out on Facebook about what he was doing and asked friends to donate to my LLS efforts so that his race was about more than just running. So through my fundraising and his running, Alan turned a tough run in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains into a race for a cure. So I wanted to thank and acknowledge his contribution, and the resulting donations of his friends Janie, Suri, Sue, Anne, Helen, and Katrina. These friends of his, thanks to Alan making them aware of what I was doing, contributed $300 to my 2010 Cancer Kickin’ Campaign, and it is very much appreciated.

1 comment:

SusieQ said...

Wow - that's so cool!