Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 15: Welcome to Phoenix!

West Buckeye (at the intersection of 51st) to the Phoenix Convention Center
Today: 32 miles / Total: 494 miles

Today was an amazing day! The Cures Rock! Team did so much today, and I will attempt to capture the feelings of the day. So please bear with me if I ramble.

We started the day very early. Up at 4:00 am, safety brief at 5:00 am and then running at 6:00 am. Greg, the Cures Rock! Team PR lead, started the day off with a strong and fun filled five miles. He lived in Arizona as a kid and really enjoyed having his first leg of the Cures Rock! Tour in his childhood town. He shared with me a bunch of historical facts and before we knew it the aid station was in front of us. After his leg, he had to rush off to the marathon expo to prepare for our interview with the Fox Morning Show.

Then Bill M. helped me through the next 12 miles of the run. After we finished his portion of the run, we had to quickly hurry over to the marathon expo for our interview. The Fox Morning Show interviewed both Julie and me. Julie did an outstanding job spreading the message of Cures Rock! and our goal to raise funds for blood cancer cure research.

My brother Steve guided me up East McDowell Road, where had a great view of Phoenix. We stopped at the summit for just a moment to enjoy the view and reflect on our journey. He then handed me off to Suz. She took me the last six miles to the convention center. Suz is really an amazing runner and passionate about Team In Training. She is also the only other person who participated in every day of the Cures Rock! Tour. She made sure the logistics of the run were conducted flawlessly. If you ever are planning to run across America, give her a call and she can tell you how your support needs to be executed for a successful trip.

When we headed to the entrance of the Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon Expo, Suz and I were greeted by a large crowd of supporters from all over. Colin and Heather had gathered up a large contingent of Team In Training runners to cheer us in the last few meters. There were so many friends there. Even the doctors from the Mayo Clinic we visited were there to greet us. It was truly amazing. I never expected something so wonderful….thanks Heather and Colin! (And yes, my brother Steve greeted me at the finish line with a beer.) It was an amazing journey and one that is not yet complete (we still have a 50K left on Sunday). Tomorrow, I have the opportunity to join TNT members in their marathon prep runs. And then we have the Pasta Party tomorrow night.

Thank you to everyone for all the kind messages and support over the past 15 days. We have some fun and rest tomorrow and then our last 50K on Sunday that will push us over 500 miles in total.

The “Live Life to the Ultra” moment can about 2 ½ hours after my finish at the Expo. The Cures Rock! Team went to the Banner Health Cardon Children’s Medical Center (in Mesa, AZ) for an amazing experience. We were treated to a celebration better than any celebration I have ever attended. There were so many children and families cheering for us when we walked in! Each and every one of them were telling us how great the Cures Rock! Tour was for accomplishing our mission! Seeing all these children was overwhelming. Here I am a runner being welcomed as a hero, by true cancer fighters! Everyday they fight! Everyday they make every effort to beat cancer! They are my inspiration!

We handed out gift bags to all the children and dropped of boxes of toys to fill their toy closet. The staff said the toys we dropped off will last them through the year! We also took a tour of the children’s facility, it is amazing. The staff at Cardon’s has done so much to make the facility a place for comfort and treatment. It is warm and definitely a place full love and care. The trip was incredible! Oh, Julie had me donate a pair of my running shoes to them for their trophy case. I was so touched, but I think they will need to be cleaned a few million times before they can go on display.

Then we took a trip over to the adult oncology floor. We had the chance to say “Thank You” to all the staff. The nurses up there were so much fun. They loved our stories. But I told them the Cures Rock! Tour had a goal to put all oncology nurses out of a job. If we help find a cure for cancer, then they all need to find a new career. Sorry ladies, you are amazing, but we really hate cancer! In the meantime, keep doing what you are doing…the families truly appreciate everything you do for them.

The song of the night is Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen. I know it has nothing to do with running is used at time like these. But I love the Boss and I am wicked tired. So I will request your forgiveness for the lack of creativity. After 15 days, I really think I was born to run…..for charity!

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 have a crazy fun day. Early in the morning we run with all the TNT Teams and then we will be hanging around the Expo. And later tomorrow, we will be doing a ten miler. No watches, no pressure, just friends taking a run (and laughing about the last 15 days).

Good night, Jackson!


  1. Rest well, Mike and Team. You are amazing people that I am blessed to call friends. Have a fabulous race tomorrow!! Wish I could be there to cheer you on!

  2. Well done Mike and TNT, San Diego is seriously proud of you today and everyday!

  3. enjoy the final leg of the race tomorrow! cheering you on from Carlsbad. much love to you all!

  4. Very happy to see you today and in great spirits. You are an amazing runner and I have had the pleasure of running with you for part of your journey!!! Here's to tomorrow and another 50K!

  5. It was sooo great to meet all of you in person at Cardon yesterday! While you were visiting us to thank us for the work that we do, we thank YOU for helping us in the fight that we are so commited to. Thank you, thank you! Great work - Can't wait to meet again in San Diego!

    - @kidcancernurse - Tiffany

  6. I am cheering from afar for all of you in the Arizona Marathon today. GO TNT, and GO CURES ROCK TEAM! Art


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