I am always nervous before races. Always. Always always always.
I’m going to be even worse before this race, though, cuz they’ve asked me to give a little speech at the starting line, before the American Fork Half Marathon Race begins.
So here’s what I plan to say.
I’m incredibly excited about doing this race today, for a lot of reasons. One of the big ones is that — like a lot of you — I absolutely love this beautiful canyon. I love mountain biking here, I love road biking here. I even love running here. Which is a good thing today, I guess.
I love this place so much, in fact, I got married here. Just a couple miles into this run, if you look to the left you’ll see the Mile Rock picnic spot, where my beautiful wife Lisa and I got married a little more than a year ago.
Another reason I’m excited for today’s run is that I think we’re all going to be fast today. There’s the early morning canyon wind that’ll be at our backs, and then there’s the elevation profile. If you’ve got a pair of those sneakers that have retractable rollerblade wheels, today’s the day to break them out.
The reason I’m most excited about this race, though, is what it means to some people I don’t even know. Back when my first wife, Susan, started treatment for cancer, we at least had the financial part figured out. That was one thing we didn’t have to deal with.
But it occurred to me dozens of times during Susan’s treatment what a horrible position it would be to be facing cancer and not having a way to pay for it. To be facing a fight like that and to be wondering how we were going to be able to afford treatment would have been the straw that broke my back.
Horribly, there are people living close by — people who are our neighbors — in that situation. Right now.
But here’s the awesome thing: you are doing something about it. Right now. Every penny you spent on your race registration is going to help someone as they fight cancer. By being here today, you are doing something practical to make someone’s life better, as they fight for their life. Together, in fact, we’ve raised $55,000 to help local people who are fighting cancer.
This is a beautiful place, it’s downhill, you’ve got the wind at your back, and you’re doing something great for someone who needs your help.
You are all awesome. Good luck in your race!
The race starts at 6:00am. Chances are most of you won’t see this before I finish the run, but wish The Hammer and me (and RabidRunner) luck anyways.