Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day 5: Who Picked This Route?

Palm Springs, CA to Yucca Valley, CA
Today: 31 miles / Total: 171 miles

Wow, I can tell you now that I am glad the Cures Rock! Tour is not an out and back run. Those hills between on Hwy 62 going toward Morongo Valley and Yucca Valley are big. I mean they really left an impression on the team today! But the good news is we survived the blind curves, the steep hills and the big trucks. [NOTE: I really appreciate everyone who drove on Hwy 62 for slowing down and sharing the road with the Cures Rock! Team! Again, thank you for keeping us safe!].

The legs are holding up fine, but slowly feeling the wear of running on the left side of the road for safety. So any doctors out there that have any cures for sore left Achilles, please let me know. [Other than run on the opposite side of the road or run backwards….the crew already offered those ideas. Yes, they are very funny….not!] For all my fellow Abbott co-works, my hoarse voice is slowly coming back, so no long term damage as many of you were hoping for to ensure a much quieter office in 2010.
The most popular question today from my crew was, “Who picked this route?” I believed there was a request to fire the race director for picking such an insane leg. But there is a very good reason for the route we picked. [If you want to see the complete route please visit the home page of http://www.curesrocktour.com/.]

There were two primary goals when the team selected the route. First and foremost, safety! If you have attended or have the opportunity to attend the daily kick-off brief (by either Boxer or Suz), you will hear several times, “Safety First”! Second, we wanted to reach out to as many communities along the way as possible. Why? Because blood cancers and all forms of cancers don’t care what you do, what age you are or where you live! Cancer does not discriminate. Julie taught me long ago, even after the treatments are done, there is remission, then after you are told “all clear” everyone has to deal with the fear of cancer coming back and finally you need to deal with the medical bills.

The route is running through as many communities as we can in our attempt to not let anyone be forgotten. As an ex-US Army Ranger (quick side note, 1/75 RGR BN is and always will be the superior Ranger Battalion….and Kevin Barry’s is the best bar in Savannah, GA), I was taught to “Never leave a fallen comrade behind”. Therefore, I had to ensure this mission included visiting all types of cities, towns and communities. We are going to continue our family and hospital visits along the way. The next two days we will be in Twentynine Palms, CA and then onto Parker, AZ where we hope to continue meeting with hospital staffs and families. Because we as community can and will beat cancer so no one has to fight it any more!

The “Live Life to the Ultra” moment today came when Julie and I were climbing a lovely steep hill in Morongo Valley today and we hear a car honking it’s horn and a person wearing purple and green jacket waving at us. We were so surprised we started running faster up the hill. Then at the top of the hill we realized it was a fellow San Diego North County Team In Training runner, Pamela. She drove all the way out from San Diego to cheer us on up the hills. It was amazing! She stayed with the Cures Rock! Tour caravan all the way until the end into Yucca Valley. We encourage any and all supporters to come on out (we have free t-shirts for you if you come out to support us at an aid station)! If you want to know where we are at, please e-mail julie@curesrock.org or mike@curesrock.org . [NOTE, Julie is a little better at responding since I am spending a few hours everyday running.]

All right, now keeping with the Cures Rock! tradition, we dedicate Long and Windy Road by The Beatles to Jen, Heidi and Jose at the G&M Food Mart on Twentynine Palms Highway. They let us set up our aid station in their parking lot and helped us get the Morongo Valley locals excited about the Cures Rock! Tour. And the location of their place along Highway 62, drive to it and you will understand the dedication. So if you every need outstanding service, stop in and see them. Thanks again Jen, Heidi and Jose for all the encouragement and support!

Tomorrow we head through Twentynine Palms and into the desert for a fun filled 32 miler. Keep spreading the good word and reminding everyone to donate!!!

Good night, Jackson!


  1. Mike, every night I read your blog and it just blows me away. You are an amazing man, friend, mentor and father! You are almost that "perfect" man (I know I am boosting your ego, but you like that!!).

    Keep up everything that you are doing and I will see you out there on Saturday! You are amazing!

  2. Mike,I have a walking boot you can use to help heal that achelles tendonitis !! Oh, i forgot, i am suppose to be still using it. Start some anti-imflamation medicine to simmer down the hot spot. Hope you do great today! thanks for all the wonderful updates. See you in a week!


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