Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day 13: The Six Musketeers

(one mile onto) Courthouse Road to (three miles onto) West Baseline
Today: 31 miles / Total: 429 miles

Guest Blogger: Mike Sheehy

We knew it was coming. You knew it was coming. Everyone knew it was coming. But no one really knew when. Well it was today…today was “that day”. “That day," the one that tests a team. “That day” that asks you, “How much do you want this?” It was “that day." For many runners it is “that mile," but for the Cures Rock! Team it is “that day."

We knew the day was going to be a tough one when my mother informed us she was not feeling well and was going to have to stay behind. During Suz’s safety brief you could see the wear and tear of the previous 12 days. The team was not their usual rowdy or silly bunch. On the convoy to the start line, our lead vehicle was caught in a camera speed trap (sorry, Aimee, I will pay for the ticket). Then the start line was at the base of a hill that provided seven miles of long, grinding fun.

During the first five miles, my right Achilles decided it was tired of my left one getting all the love and attention, and it decided to flare up and begin to swell. My right knee has also been a burden for the last few days so I was just not in the mood to deal with my right Achilles. So the team had to do emergency “wheel” repair in about ten minutes. A little K-Tape, and little massage and back on my feet. The next ten miles with Colin were nothing but trying to loosen up and shake off the first five miles.

When we arrived in Tonopah, AZ, I was done for. Sitting on the bed of the truck, I just stared at the ground wishing the wind would die down, the sun would just break through the clouds and the pain in my joints would just go away. (Humorous note: Colin recommended he “pee” on my ankle to make it feel better. He said, if it works for jelly fish it might work my issue. If we had a quote of the tour contest, this might be the winner by a landslide.) But Suz, told me to get up and keep moving.

Then I had a huge mental mistake. Before each leg Suz or Steve tells me the distance of the next leg, a quick course description and any landmarks. What I heard and what they told me were two different things. I thought the aid station and a landmark were only .5 miles apart, when in reality they were 1.5 miles apart. When I passed the landmark and saw no aid station, I began to hear that voice of doubt. That evil voice that creeps into every runner’s head and tells you to “stop." I mentally began to break. Sally then just ran next to me telling me my pace, “8:40….8:45….8:40," trying to keep me moving.

At last, I was three miles from the finish for the day. Just three miles, but it seemed like it was going to be another 30. I was done. Colin then gathered the team together for one final moment before taking on the last few miles. I pulled out his Nokia phone and read a quick message. He read, “Cures Rock! Team, this is Red. You met me on Day 1 of your run. I just wanted to let you know I am having my port removed tomorrow, meaning I am almost done with all my treatments. Thank you for the visit. And remember to keep running.”

At that moment, the Five Musketeers (Sally, Suz, Colin, Steve and I), who endured a day that made every effort to break us, added one more Musketeer…Red. So “Thank You” Red for being there for us when we needed that extra push. You are an inspiration to all of us. I am glad to have a friend like you and am glad to hear you are doing so well.

As the sun set on Day 13….well, the Cures Rock! Tour is still on track. Our mettle was tested and we were victorious. Onto Day 14….and no speeding tickets I hope.

The “Live Life to the Ultra” moment today was the message from Red. Nothing more to say, than you don’t know where you will get that gentle push forward. For me it came from the simple words from a five year old.

The song of the night is Willin by Little Feat. It references Tonopah, which was a place I just had to visit. When I did my first map reconnaissance I saw Tonopah, AZ on the map and said, “I have to run through there.” Well, I did that today! The song is dedicated to the Six Musketeers who made Day 13 one to remember.

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 East on West Baseline for a few miles then onto the 85. We stop at the intersection of 85 and 51st . See you out there!

Good night, Jackson! Happy Birthday LHZ!
1. Cures Rock! relay runners & Mike outside of the Tonopah, AZ Post Office
2. Mike's Achilles getting some "love and attention" at a checkpoint
3. Red, a 5 year old leukemia survivor, and a true Cures Rock! Star


  1. Hi Mike! Great blog today ... what an inspiration you are! Sometimes when I'm having a tough run (nothing compared to what you're doing, of course), I remind myself that I can quit any time I want. After all, this is a hobby, something I do for the fun of it. But every time that thought even crosses my mind, another one jumps right in: Sure, we can quit but the people we're running for can't. They can't just quit chemo, quit radiation, quit cancer. So I suppose you could quit if you wanted to, but I know you won't. Because it's not a hobby, and it's not just for fun. You run because you care with all your heart. Your heart got you through today and it will get you to the finish line. Sending great big hugs, from my heart to yours! XOXO, Gail

  2. Mike,

    I started "running" about a month ago as one part of a long journey to get into shape and lose about 90 lbs. After a month I can run 30 to 40 minutes straight and am loving it. What an inspiration you are to me, and everyone who hears the story of what you are doing! Thank you for your huge heart of commitment to your vision and mission.

    I want you to know that when I work out every day I am thinking about what you are doing, in awe of you and your team. I pray for you every day, and especially when I am running. I live on the other side of the world from you, but your courage and fighting spirit burns just as bright from this distance as it does in the eyes of all the people who are privileged to see you every day, and especially those you visit along the way.

    I have heard that you often say, "Let the finish line come to you." I remember that advice every time I run. You are almost there, Mike! Let it come to you, "nice and easy." Enjoy the moments, for you have done a magnificent thing to get where you are, and NOTHING is going to stop you from a fantastic finish!

    an ardent admirer and fan from afar,


  3. Wow, Mike! You just brought me to tears! I should have read this at home. I am amazed each day at your strength and committment to the cause, to the bigger picture. You know it's not all about you and that is the BEST part! You know you are out ther fighting for those who can't. It's amazing and your strength is amazing. Each day when I check in on you or send you a silly message I am reminded each day is for someone else no matter how tough my day was. There is someone else battling something greater. Keep your chin up, your smile on and just keep focused. With the crew you have, there is no doubt you will be successful on completing your trek! You are someone I'd love to be like and you are a model of greatness and true passion for the cause.

  4. Wow! Keep it up, Mike (as well as everyone supporting him)! You are very very close.

    As a side note, would have loved to hear what the result of peeing on the achilles would have done. Way to think outside the box, Colin! ;)

  5. Mike,

    Sorry to hear about the rough day. It's hard to believe that you've been running now for fourteen days! I'm so impressed by the strength of your body and mind.

    Thank you for your incredible toughness and perseverance. Thanks for making a difference and helping all of the people who are affected by blood cancers. As a family that was affected by leukemia, we greatly appreciate your efforts. I have been following your progress each day. You are an inspiration!

    Keep going strong - You're almost at the finish line!


Please leave your comments!

Lance Armstrong's "Tour de France" Dedication to Julie

A great reminder that I had armies of support beside me in my fight. (Thanks, Lance!) Even with the recent media, this video isn't about the bike...but the fight against cancer. LIVESTRONG!

Stage 2 Dedication: Julie Westcott -- powered by

Guinness World Record Broken to Fight Cancer

We *Heart* Our Fans

Cures Rock! on Facebook

Donate & fight to kick cancer to the curb!

500 Miles. 17 days. 2 States. 1 Mission to Cure Cancer.

500 Miles. 17 days. 2 States. 1 Mission to Cure Cancer.
January 1 - 17, 2010
All Content and Images (unless specified otherwise), Copyright Cures Rock! 2007-2012.