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Race Week: Runners in Their Own Words [Part 3 of 5]

One runner runs hoping to kick his cancer down the road ahead of him. Another runner runs in a pack that spans three generations. Here are their stories for the Half Moon Bay International Marathon.

Race Week: Runners in Their Own Words [Part 3 of 5] Race Week: Runners in Their Own Words [Part 3 of 5] Race Week: Runners in Their Own Words [Part 3 of 5]
Half Moon Bay is currently in "Race Week" with only three more days to go before the  Half Moon Bay International Marathon welcomes 1,200 runners from 39 states and six countries, set to run 26.2 miles starting from Pillar Point Harbor along the Pacific coastline.

For the next few days leading up to race day on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013, Half Moon Bay Patch will feature stories in the runner’s own words about why they are participating in the race. Some of their stories are quite emotional and insightful and will inspire you and maybe even bring tears to your eyes. 

Don Wright

Ten years ago, I ran my first marathon at age 62. Two weeks later, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer. At that time, the median survival was five years. So I added the Boston Marathon to my bucket list. By the time I finished Boston, we had run marathons in three states. It was fun, so we just kept going. Soon we were up to several marathons a year, and had run well past that five-year prognosis from my doctors!

Last year, I completed my goal of running a marathon in each of the 50 states in Honolulu, which was my 70th marathon—right before I turned 72! And I just keep on running, which I can do because I can manage the cancer with an oral drug called Pomalyst. It’s just a little pill that I take every night. It doesn’t cure the myeloma, but keeps it stable, and frees me to run around the country as I please.

Now my goal is to run 100 marathons. Half Moon Bay will be marathon 74!

I run with my wife and daughter, who are also marathoners and have all 50 states as well. I do it because, even with cancer, I can. And I do it for all the people I’ve known who’ve died of myeloma, and those who are struggling with cancer.

At the start of each marathon, I marvel at how lucky I am, not only to be alive but to be able to run, let alone finish, a marathon. I dedicate each race to someone who has recently died or is struggling, and then I visualize myself carrying that person with me for the entire 26 miles.

Once the race is underway, I imagine that I’m floating. And when I run along the Bay on Sunday, with the breakers rolling in and the fog, hopefully, holding off, I like to think I’ll be kicking cancer down the road ahead of me with every step. And I’ll just keep on doing that, one marathon after another.

Dan Couvillon

Life is short and running makes me feel awesome! 

My dad was a big marathoner - running 13 marathons through his race career. He has had both knees replaced before I became inspired to hit the road. 

It's bittersweet to get so much support from him in the months leading up to race day, and to look forward to sharing short stretches of the race with my dad on one side and my son on the other. 

I can't begin to describe the feeling of running in a pack that spans 3 generations.

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Race Weekend Events

The Half Moon Bay International Marathon will include a full 26.2 marathon event, a 13.1 mile half marathon event, and a FREE 5k Fun-Run.

Saturday, Sept. 28

·       12 p.m.-12:30 p.m. -  Runner's World's Chief Running Officer Bart Yasso (and author of the famous Yasso 800s training workout) will speak about his passion of running and how to achieve your goals. 

·       12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m., Bart will be available for photos and book signings. 

·       1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Eric Vaughan, Executive Director of the HMBIM will discuss the course, signage, aid stations and other last minute tips. 

·       2 p.m. - 4 mile fun run (run as much as you want) on the HMBIM Course with Bart Yasso, starting from the HMBIM Start/Finish Line.

Sunday, Sept. 29

Three events are planned for race day including a full and half marathon distance and a free 5K fun run. The Full and Half distances are run on a mixture of paved coastal trails, local streets and some hard-packed dirt trails, while the 10k and 5k are entirely on paved trails. The trail portions of the course offer some of the most spectacular vistas of the entire course. The Start/Finish Line of the 2013 HMBIM is at EQ Fitness HMB (formerly known as Coastal Lifestyles), 371 Princeton Avenue, Half Moon Bay.

·       Full Marathon: 7 a.m.

·       Half Marathon first wave start: 7:30 a.m.

·       Just Run 5K: 7:45 a.m.

After Party at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company

Steps away for the Start/Finish Line, the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company is hosting an amazing party all day, starting with breakfast in the morning for spectators and early finishers, followed by lunch, and a special HMBIM Beer! Come grab some food and drink, and enjoy the festivities featuring live entertainment and outdoor seating near the finish line. Get tickets by clicking  here

All of the above events are open to the public. Marathon organizers still need volunteers.  Click here for more information — you'll have a chance to win one of several prizes, get a free shirt, and be a part of the amazing community event.

Read Part 1 here and Monica Boyce's story in Part 2 here.


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