A few more things to wrap up the 24 Hour Relay

>> Wednesday, December 17, 2014

7 final things:

• The "Plank Challenge:" Remember how I mentioned I'd do as many planks as I could during the 24 Hour Relay as a side fundraiser for Aaron's family? I got a lackluster start on my "best possible goal" of 60 minutes on Friday night: I totally forgot about the plank challenge for the first few hours as I was getting things underway at the relay, but then I did 17 minutes of planking from about 3 pm until about 9 pm Friday night. But then I was toast. I'm GLAD I didn't do any more on Saturday morning, because my core was already tight/sore during my mile repeats during the 11 a.m. hour. So in my one online pledge for $0.50 / minute, I made another $8.50 for Nora and Ralphie. That totally sucks, but I feel better knowing that in the 2 "in person" pledges on the track Friday night (as mentioned in my last post), I made an even $100 to add to the total. ($80 for that 5 minute plank, and then $20 an hour later for a 2 minute plank.)

• The "fast hour" with Dena: I mentioned in my "24 Hour Relay" race report that college buddy Dena and I covered the most ground (by 3 laps) during the final hour of the relay. Here's what our log sheet looked like when we were done:

I made pages like this for each hour.

3 things regarding that:

1. I had no idea Dena was that fast. She started with a 7:02 mile, and the rest were sub-7!

2. Our 1 mile intervals "moved" in a similar way: our first was our slowest, our 2nd was our fastest, and then we slowly slowed down over the remainder of the miles. (I put my half-mile splits next to my name after each mile just to keep track of them.)

3. My log sheet design worked well for tracking times, laps, and miles.

• Signs on the track: Here were the signs that we had posted on the 2 entrances to the track:

Thanks for the photobomb, Dena.

• Big THANKS to Hamline University for letting us use their track! I emailed the CC/track coaches (who's contact info I found online) about 6 weeks ago, and they pointed me in the right direction. I just took 1 email after that to Beth and Jim for them to say "yep, we're on board." Thanks to Hamline, Beth, Jim, and to the security staff who kept an eye on us all night long! (Also a big THANKS to Randy from FrontRunner events for letting us use his finish line clock, and to Nicole from the YWCA of Minneapolis for the orange cones - which we didn't end up using, but thanks anyway!)

• Funeral Photo: I don't think I shared this here... here's a photo I Instagrammed of Henry playing with Ralphie at his Dad's memorial service:

Caption: "Henry and I went into a back room at Aaron's memorial service tonight (because the
main room was packed with 800 people someone told me), and there we found his son.
Ralphie and Henry played. Henry shared his cookies. It was sweet. #RIPBigPurm"

The family friend who was watching Ralph found the photo on Instagram and commented: "You and Henry saved the day! Thanks for pal'ing around with #ralphiegrams. He loved it :)"

• A lot of runners shared their own cancer stories with me. I didn't get a chance to ask every runner why they were there, but many came out with family stories: fathers, siblings, and friends who were affected by cancer too young in life. At the relay, I spent about 60% of the time doing logistical things and "hosting," 35% sharing wacky stories of Aaron, about about 5% on the verge of tears discussing the unfair qualities of life. Take, for example, this message I got on Monday from one of the runners:

Just wanted to thank you again for organizing the relay. I didn't even know Aaron, but from all I've seen and heard, he must have been a truly amazing person. In addition to being lots of fun, it also made me quite sentimental. I think it was the Spiderman doll, as weird as that sounds. For some reason running around that track holding Spiderman, the thoughts going through my mind most of the time were about how lucky I am to be able to spend more time with my children and loved ones. I can only imagine what his wife is going through right now. Not sure if you plan to make this an annual event, but if so, count me in. Thanks again, Steve.

• This super sexy photo of Aaron and I recently resurfaced:

3 things regarding that photo:

1. I don't know why I thought a $3 hooker wig was a good "He-Man" wig. Whatever.

2. Yes, that's (my then fiancée, now wife) Pharmie behind me as She-Ra. That led to a lot of weird comments about how He-Man and She-Ra were siblings. Again, I say: whatever.

3. You know the green "Still Kickin" shirts that everyone's wearing in Aaron's memory? (My wife and I should be getting ours in the mail any day - I've heard that those shirts set a record on that shirt printing website as their most ordered shirt ever.) Well, there's another photo of Aaron at this Halloween party as Luigi, and you can tell that his green shirt is his "Still Kickin" shirt inside-out. I somehow liked finding that out. I'm not quite sure why... but it made me smile.

Well, that was a heck of an event. Thanks again, Hamline University, for letting us use your track. If you want to still donate to Nora and Ralphie, please CLICK HERE. It's super easy and just takes a minute.

- Initial post about Aaron and starting the 24 Hour Relay
- The 24 Hour Relay "race report" from Monday


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