Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ogden Marathon - a ton of fun!

Oakley, our #1 Wacky!

Cami, Morgan & Kelsey (Kelsey couldn't participte in the 5k due to a softball tournament commitment).
We kicked off the event by attending a spaghetti dinner at the Davis Conference Center in Layton on Friday. Many had to fight with horrendous traffic, including the additional time it took to pick up the participant packets at the race expo in Ogden. With 70 family and friends in attendance, Nick welcomed all by announcing his latest set of scans proved the cancer is still not active (that we can see)! He then presented a video of a 30-minute documentary on four cancer survivors attending a First Descents camp. It elegently portrayed why First Descents is so important to young adult cancer survivors - very impactful. Tee shirts were handed out and we all got excited for the upcoming race.
Saturday morning, the marathoners and half marathoners boarded their assigned busses at 4:45 a.m. The rest of us slackers - 5k participants - boarded our very own rented school bus at a more reasonable hour of 6:00 a.m. Nick had us rolling with laughter as he donned his Buzz Lightyear costume - "To infinity and beyond!"
We all had our silly hats, costumes and very cool looking WACKY tee shirts on, ready to begin our 3.1 mile trek. Please visit to view all the pictures and a short video on Nick coming out of the starting gates.
Congrats to:
Ashley Sorenson
Paul Anderson
Ann Leoni
Todd Raitt
Heather VanTassell
Lee Brower
Dave Sheffield
Sylvia Do
Pat Do

Half Marathon:
Jill Frey
David Vynerib
Jessica Peterson/Leigh Corbin
Ginger Balcom
Becky (with Oakley) Brower
Bo Brower
Lori Brower
Denise Cummins
Jerry Gill
Melanie Davis
Cami Griffiths
Deanna Hadley
Beth Holt
Kailey Larsen
Steve Larsen
Cory Love
Alane Macrum
Makelle Macrum
Mason Macrum
Mike Macrum
Morgan Macrum
Jennie Magnesen
Bernadette McGowan
Jon McGowan
Kelly Meacham
Brandon Newby
Carly Raitt
Nick Raitt
Erin Wilkes
We had a few that were genuinely sick with colds, a few under-trained and a few that ran with serious injuries. The weather, however, was perfect. Nick had a few kids that would look at each other when he passed and would say, "Do you know who that is!!!!" One person asked Nick why he didn't finish first, having super powers and all (he sprinted out of the starting gate, only to get a massive side-ache 50 yards later and had to walk the remaining way). Nick responded that his battery pack died. Cory Love (age 21) used Nick's grandpa's bib and as he approached the finish line, the announcer said, "And here comes 68 year-old John Balcom!" Nick's dad, Todd, finished very respectfully in his first marathon - quite a feat! And Nick's stepdad, Lee, despite suffering a dislocated shoulder, partially torn achilles and broken forearm during the past 9 months in training, finished running on a torn labrum in his hip.
I'm still working on the numbers as the pledges keep coming in, but we have raised over $20,000 between both running events! I'm stunned and enormously grateful. Our support system remains to be strong and generous!
While Nick remains to be blessed with no evidence of disease, I am reminded again about the seriousness of our cause. On Friday, a received a phone call from a mother whose son is fighting rhabdo (Nick's age). She is feeling utterly overwhelmed and frightened, not knowing where to turn next. We also are praying with a personal friend - he raised a significant amount of money for Nick's Warriors - whose wife is waiting for final results on a potentially very serious cancer diagnosis. And also on the same day, received another phone call from another personal friend of the family needing the name of a neurosurgeon from Huntsman Cancer Institute. Three new situations and all so deserving of our prayers. Thank you all for joining us, being part of a bigger family, to fight this horrible disease.
Blessings of health to everyone! We have already had our initial meeting for our next event - the WACKY Annual Charity Softball Tournament, on September 10th & 11th, 2010. And here we go!!!!!
With loads of love,

Monday, May 10, 2010

2010 Ogden Marathon – Half Marathon – 5K

The time is nearing! Are you ready? Things to remember:

FRIDAY – May 14th

1. Be sure to pick up your race packet at the Runners Expo at Union Station – Wall & 25th Street – between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. This will have your bib and timing chip!
2. 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – dinner at the Davis Conference Center for Nick’s Warriors at the Davis Conference Center, 1651 N. 700 W. in Layton (adjacent to the Hilton Garden Inn). Nick will give a short presentation on First Descents (30 minute movie). We will hand out the WACKY tee shirts.

SATURDAY – May 15th

1. 5k’ers ONLY! I have made arrangements for a school bus to pick us up at 6:00 a.m. at the Davis Conference Center to take us up to the 5k starting place – Timbermine Restaurant. The bus will also be available to take us from the finish line (downtown Ogden) back to Davis Conference Center later in the morning (time to be determined based on popular demand). We will have juice and bagels for the ride up.
2. Everyone participating in race – please be sure to visit to review the details of the race. There are different starting places for marathoners and half marathoners, but all racers start at 7:00 a.m. sharp!
3. Don’t forget – DRESS WACKY! We will be giving a prize for best WACKY runner and best WACKY supporter!
4. Later in the afternoon, Nick’s dad, Todd, is hosting a barbeque for the Raitt side of the family in Huntsville and the Brower’s will be hosting a barbeque for the out-of-town guests, family and friends at their home in Layton. Very informal and casual – invitation open to everyone.

Forecast indicates beautiful weather!

Please feel free to call me if you have any questions at 801-554-5505 or email

With love and gratitude,
Lori Brower

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Broad Street Run - Stories & Pictures

Our inagural WACKY event was inspiring and fun! Here's how it began:

Nick and I flew out to Philly Friday morning, after he took his economics final (studied until 4:00 a.m.). When we arrived, we were whisked off for a wonderful dinner at Osteria, hosted by Michael Rouse. Michaels parents, John & Choppy Rouse, came along with Dr. Karen Pape, Michael's sister - Christine, a dear friend of the Rouse family, General Steele, and of course, Lee - who had flown in the day before.

The next morning, we were invited to participate in ESF's TLC event. Nick and I were priveleged to hear several guest speakers, including Lee and General Steele. We also got a glimpse of the amazing energy the top team camp leaders exude in preparing for the upcoming camp season. Off to another dinner for those WACKY runners and cheerleaders from ESF, including a few other friends from Strategic Coach. Nick was presented a giant check for $3,700!!!! representing the money raised for his foundation. A big, fat THANK YOU to Michael Rouse and Dani Mezzino for their hard work organizing this effort and to Michael Barron for his significant fundraising!

Mrs. Rouse is agreeing to participate in next years' event!

Sunday morning, the WACKY's gathered for a big send off and pictures and then to RUN!
Our next WACKY recruit - Batman!

Tony, Lori, Nick, Karen, Dani, Melissa, Austin, Lee & Michael

Michael Rouse - 1:34:17
Karen Fox - 1:39:25
Pet McHale - 1:34:27
Melissa Williams - 1:28:06
Mike Trachtenberg - 2:02:10
Ross Trachtenberg - 1:35:14
Lori Trachtenberg - 1:53:23
Jocylen Trachtenberg -
Bridget -
Lisa Caesar - 2:07:58
Ryan Carney - 1:03:52
Meghan Baker - 1:08:41
Lyndsey Horan - 2:01:03
Lee Brower - 1:35:45
Nicholas Pulos - 1:34:01
Jonathan Trenkle - 1:54:32
Shane Hostetter - 1:41:28
Gina Feliciani - 1:43:28
Elizabeth Becker - 2:25:00
Dani Mezzino - 2:07:32
Polly Medved - 2:36:05
Kristen Medved - 2:36:05
Jen Standen - 2:36:07
Josh Standen - 2:36:07
Tony Childress - 2:08:16
Dan Mcdermott - 1:30:28
Kathryn Mcdermott - 1:20:30
Michael Barron - 1:39:39

WAY TO GO RUNNERS!!!!! We will post the winner of the most WACKY runner and WACKY cheerleader soon!
Lee, Melissa, Austin, Dani & Michael

Unfortunately, Nick got a monster headache and wasn't feeling well at all so we headed to Four Seasons to recoupe with some Tylenol, fruit, gin rummy (he slaughtered me - headache, my foot!) and a nap.

Michael and Lee joined us after the race and by then, Nick was feeling much better and the three guys enjoyed the marvelous brunch offered by the hotel. We were all in slow motion and we barely caught our flight home. The highlight was watching Nick grin ear to ear as he held the giant check in his arms, going through the airport.

Thank you, our WACKY warriors! You have made a difference, truly, and our gratitude and love are forever yours.

Lee wrote the following story, capturing his experience of the race. Here it is:

Soles versus Souls

Today, May 3rd, was a marvelous day!

So much is thrown at us as we swim through this journey of life. Based upon what we read in the newspapers, hear on the radio, see on the television and discuss around the water cooler, you would have to think that we are swimming in the cesspool of life.

It’s not true. There are those negative, stinky clumps of …well you know… yucky stuff… that do float by. But there is so much that is pure, pristine and downright healthy that we can bathe in every day if we so choose. This is not to say we should do something about the crud. But it is to say that we can be inspired, encouraged and empowered by the unseen good that is always around us.

Yesterday, Lori, Nick and I attended the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia. This is a ten mile run with 30,000 participants. AND, it was also our inaugural WACKY event. Warriors Against Cancer in Kids & Young-adults. Thank you to Michael Rouse and Dani Mezzino--plus all of those amazing WACKY’s from ESF--we couldn’t have done it without you! Also, thank you to my WACKY friends from Strategic Coach- Michael Barron, Tony Childress and Joe Zimmerman. Your support is making a very important difference.

What makes WACKY’s different? They follow the WACKY guidelines:
1) pay it forward through service to others.
2) always have something exciting to look forward to.
3) and have fun!

Tony Childress is an example of a true WACKY. A year ago we ran our first ever marathon/half marathon at the Country Music Marathon in Nashville. It was our first attempt to raise money and awareness for research for young adults living with cancer. Tony fully intended to run the half marathon with his sister, Joella, who was in remission at that time. However, as we moved closer to the marathon date, her sister relapsed and the cancer was becoming more aggressive. At first, she said she couldn’t run, but that she would be there and Tony would push her in a wheel chair. When her doctors told her she couldn’t fly, she and Tony agreed that he would push the wheel chair with a picture of her and he would take a video camera of the run so she could experience it.

Well, Tony showed up with a wheel chair. He hadn’t really trained for the 13.1 mile event. He is a tennis and basketball player—not a runner. He didn’t even have running gear. The night before the run, Tony purchased his first set of running gear. As we stood together prior to the race, Tony told me that maybe he wasn’t prepared physically—however, he was prepared mentally and spiritually. We then prayed together and off we went. Since Tony was running the half and I the full, we only saw each other once on the course. Tony was pushing forward relentlessly. Other runners would come along and ask if they could help. Tony politely refused all such offers, even though his back felt like it was going to break. Tony told me later that he had divided memories of Joella into 13 time-lines and with each new mile, he focused on a different segment of her life. He told me afterward that it was though he had help from above. (The next day, however, he did have to ask two young girls to help him load the wheel chair into his car.)

Fast forward to yesterday - one year later - the hottest, most humid day in the history of the Broad Street Run. About three miles into the race, I saw someone pushing a young lady in a racing wheel chair up a hill. You have seen this kind of chair - they sit very low to the ground. As I neared this pair, I could not believe my eyes. It was Tony!

Déjà vu! Apparently, the young lady had a flat tire and Tony approached her and asked if she needed help. She, at first, said it was too late because she was too far behind the other wheel chair competitors and the runners had overtaken the course. Tony could see her disappointment and told her he would do his best to get her back in the race. Close by was a gas station with a “pay” air pump. With the help of a couple of good Samaritans, Tony got the four quarters needed, filled the tire, patched the valve with chewing gum and they were back in the race in less than five minutes.

It was obvious with a less than fully inflated tire, going up the hills was an extra struggle and there was Tony hunched over running up the hill. I thought he was going to collapse. His face was bright red, veins bulging and obviously exhausted. Several people had passed him offering words of encouragement obviously believing they were a pair. For several miles he had been encouraging her and pushing her along as needed. Michael Rouse quickly took over for him and I stayed with Tony to make sure he was all right. As I accompanied Tony to the water, he whispered that the young woman in the wheel chair was the reason God wanted him to be here.

I later caught up with Michael and he, along with a couple of other racers, accompanied this young lady to the finish. Tony finished the race in a fairly good time. Considering the conditions and the weather, this was an amazing accomplishment.

Thank you, Tony and Michael. Thank you for being aware. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for being present. Thank you for not passing up opportunities to “give forward”. Thank you for inspiring me to focus more on the present and the opportunities around me. Thank you for in some small way making others better—including me. Thank you for being WACKY!

Lee Brower