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


Chris Ulvin said...

Hello Lee, Lori and Nick
We got to get out there and live life to see God's plan. Sounds like God was hanging around Broad Street last Sunday. God's plan can seem wacky at times, like sister's with cancer, brand new running shoes, and a wheel chair but His plan is always perfect, like good samaritans, chewing gum and willing feet.
I have to add "Thank you God for your wacky plan of salvation through your son Jesus and an eternity with You".
God Bless all the Wacky Warriors.
Love, aunt Chris

Justice Bird said...

Awesome pictures. That looks like a VERY cool event.