Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 10: Mother’s Day in January

Parker, AZ to (just south of) Bouse, AZ
Today: 33 miles / Total: 336 miles

Guest Blogger: Mike Sheehy

Ok…if anyone thinks running to Phoenix is easy, today would have proved them wrong. It was one heck of a day. From the non-existent highway shoulder, the never ending Sunday traffic, the high temperatures and just the wear and tear on the Cures Rock! Team from 9 previous days of running, today was high adventure. But enough whining, we are on a mission! Yes, the Cures Rock! Team is now feeling the physical toll, but spirits continue to rise as we pass each highway sign that says either “South” which means we are getting closer to Hwy 10 or “Phoenix miles”.

I have spoken about a few of the team members and pacers with the Cures Rock! Tour, but one person I have not spoken much of is my mother. Yes, my mother has been with the Cures Rock! Tour since Day 1 in San Diego, CA. She has been waiting for her chance to run and low and behold, today was her lucky day. Before I talk about her leg, I need to share a little about her.

My mother is simply amazing. She raised five kids (four boys and one girl) and was a superb Army Wife! She saw her husband through two tours of Vietnam. When the Army assigned my dad to Liberia, Africa, she packed up the family (including three kids) and moved to Africa. She is a real trooper. As you have guessed I am not an easy son. Being the fourth boy, I have found it my responsibility to try to push every limit I could and to give her gray hair. Whether I am climbing mountains, running ultras, diving the coast or just being crazy, she has always encouraged me to stay strong, be positive and try to be nice (the last one I am still working on according to some of the Cures Rock! Team members).
Today, I felt it only right that the first leg of Day 10, the first mile in Arizona, that I needed to say “Thank You” to my mother and all the mother’s that have supported me in this epic run. The Cures Rock! Tour has had a ton of mother’s participate. We have had MaMa Briggs a mother of four run on Day 3. Deborah, ultramarathoner, ex-Marine, single mom of twin boys ran multiple days. Judy, single mom of two, ran multiple days with us. Jen R. now holds the woman’s record for Cures Rock! miles, and she is a mom of two boys. Ash, for being the mom of the greatest three year old in the world, Jackson, and for encouraging he and I to keep adventuring. Cyndy, representing all the A Team mom’s in TNT. Melissa, Stephanie and the many other mom’s who came out to support the Cures Rock! Tour (and making sure I had sun block on and I was eating my vegetables). Thank you ladies!!!

So at the break of dawn, my mother and I ran the first mile of Day 10 and the first mile in Arizona for the Cures Rock! Tour. So “Thank You” mom for making me a better person and I will try to give you less worrisome nights in the future (but no promises)! And “Thank You” to all the mom’s out there. Just remember, when you tuck your little, cute boy or girl into bed tonight, just think in 30 plus years he or she could be running across a part of America one day. Because, I can tell you this, my mom never saw this coming, but she is loving it!

The “Live Life to the Ultra” moment today came at mile 28ish today, when Colin, Suz and I finally found an ATV track that allowed us to move off the highway and do some fun running. “Fun” means just plain old fashion running. Since we were a safe distance from the road, we were able to stretch our legs, run on the soft dirt and just be free and enjoy running. It reminded us of a quote from Jesse Owens’, “I always loved running / it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.” Thank you Mr. Owens for inspiring us.

The song of the night is Jump by Van Halen. Today, while running eastbound on Highway 72, every time a truck or car would approach we would yell “Jump” and off the road we would go and onto the soft, slanted shoulder. After about the first mile or two, Judy tells me, “I had that single.” I said, “What are you talking about?” She says, “Every time you yell ‘jump’, I think of the Van Halen song. And it makes me smile and remember the good times, not dodging semi’s on the highway.” So night’s song is dedicated to all those who ran with me today: Bill M., Judy, Julie, Jen, Colin and Suz! Thanks for being safe and smart on the road today!

That is enough for tonight. Keep sending us your love and comments! Keep spreading the awareness of the Cures Rock! Tour and remind everyone you can still donate.

Tomorrow we head from Bouse, AZ to Vicksburg, AZ to Harcuvar, AZ to Salome, AZ and then end seven miles south of Salome.

Good night, Jackson!
1. Suzanne Ellard cheers as Mike Sheehy crosses the Day 10 finish line. Mike's mom, Marianne Sheehy, and Colin Eckelman the new relay runner that joined us today, hold the handmade banner.
2. Mike and his mom at dawn before the CRT Team starts their first day of Arizona running.
3. Mike and Marianne Sheehy, running the opening leg of our Arizona portion of the tour.
4. Mike explaining the "jump" concept (not hard to get) to the team of relay support runners. It was a day of focus for sure. If you wonder what goes on in all our heads while running, I can safely say that for today, NOTHING. We were focused on the cars.


  1. Running with a purpose is GREAT! I really enjoy reading your blog.

    Tom Bailey

  2. Mike & Team,

    We absolutely love what you are doing and are following your blog and your progress every day.

    I made a small donation this morning, and if you could, please dedicate/run mile 384 and 484 for Mama Sue:) 84 is Mom's lucky number:)

    As we prepare for another round of surgeries, seeing you run to kick Cancer means a lot to us!

    Amanda & Mama Sue

  3. Mike, it's a true honor to continue to support you! My boys think you ROCK and are a little insane as they told me when I returned to NEVER even think of running 500 miles cause I'd be gone too long... :-) Hee, hee... Love ya and will be there to support you on Day 16 and 17 if I can keep up with you!

  4. BTW - there is no ex-Marine, only Former!

  5. Hang in there Mike!! A good friend and I spent quite a bit of time in prayer for you yesterday. We will continue to do so! You are rockin' it!

  6. Hi Mike!!
    You are amazing. I can't even think of another word for it. I cannot believe you have already made it to AZ on your feet. They told us on Saturday that your team is having trouble slowing you down and that you're getting tired. I can't be there to run with you in person, but I want you to think of me as one of your virtual running partners. Remember how slow I am? Channel my vibe. We are all thinking of you and rooting for you and we seriously CANNOT WAIT to celebrate how awesome you are at the end of AZ RNR!

  7. Mike,
    What you are doing is AMAZING!!!!! I thought the 20 miles (walking) I did yesterday were hard.
    The words don't say what I feel.


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