Mission to Run 100KM to beat Kids Cancer

I remember the day back in 2009 when my friend Michelle asked me, “Why don’t you sign up for a half marathon?” My response: “What?! Are you crazy?!” At the time, running was a foreign concept to me. Something only done by the brave and strong…certainly not me! I asked her, “How long is a half-marathon anyways?”, “21.1KM” she replied. WOW I thought, imagine running for that long. I could never do it! That’s crazy!

But, all it takes is an idea to be planted in your head to kick your thought process into high gear. The rest of the day I contemplated the possibility of running a half-marathon. Could I do it? Would I collapse? How does one train for such a daunting challenge anyway? Pause, think, doubt and forget the idea, pause, hope and repeat. Finally I got brave and decided to sign up. Fast forward 3 years later and I have never looked back! Today I am a dedicated marathon runner and on a journey to share the RUN4AC concept to the world.

You can run a half-marathon, yes you can!

During the course of my training for my 1st half-marathon I quickly learned that mental preparation would take me further than any physical training could. The physical training plan is structured with set methods and clinics to guide you along the way. Learn the running basics, distinguish between the various types of runs, run on the set dates and you will be set to tackle those 21.1KM.  Mental preparation however, can be a lot more challenging. Your fears and that little voice in your head screaming at you “you’re tired, your legs are sore, your knees hurt, you can’t do this” can be a whole other beast to contend with. During every training run you are faced with all these complications and doubts that you need to push through.

People ask me “Why do you run so much?”

Running is a gift to your mindset! Each time you complete a run, you train your mind to change the way you feel. You are conditioning your mind to be confident and convince yourself that you are capable of completing anything! You know that feeling post run where you feel like you are on a natural high? Well that positive mindset is food for the brain. The rush is your brain high fiving and praising you, saying you are a rock star and pushing you to keep going! It’s certainly addictive and why runners constantly challenge themselves to go for more: tougher terrains, longer distances, better times & more remote locations. It’s all part of the feeding process.

Feeding time- Hungry Minds, Big Hearts

I recently committed to completing a BHAG on October 5, 2013. And quite the BHAG it is – run The Sears Great Canadian Run! This will be my 1st 100KM ultra-marathon!


Crazy? Perhaps! Impossible? NO WAY!

Luckily for me, I discovered GoodGuysTri and met Mike Herzog and Steven Thomas. Two amazing individuals empowering the community through the act of just simply doing good. Their motto is: “To leverage our passion for endurance sport to simply “do good” in this crazy world“.

In 2012, Mike and Steven participated in the Sears Great Canadian Run, a 100KM relay race to create awareness and raise funds for the battle against kids cancer. The race is structured as a relay race where you assemble a team of 10-20 people and each individual runs a portion of the course. However, Mike and Steven decided to run the full 100KM together! The experience inspired them immensely and they made it their mission in 2013 to create a team of 20 people who would all run the full 100KM together! 2000KM covered with the goal of raising over $25,000 for this important cause. To their surprise, after only 48 hours of having posted their idea on their webpage, 20 dedicated and brave individuals had committed!

Reality check

Running 100KM will be the most difficult physical challenge I have ever tackled. Hundreds of hours of training, running all weekend long, sore legs, blisters, and fatigue are just some of the challenges facing me. However, the truth is this challenge is truly minimal compared to what these amazing kids endure on a daily basis. Battling cancer does not compare to running ANY distance. These kids are hopeful, strong, perseverant and always have the biggest smiles – which are all qualities that I will integrate into my training and on the course.

I would love to hear from you in the comments section. Words of encouragements, loved ones you would like me to run for, etc. I will dedicate all this positive energy to the kids fighting cancer.

Of course, if you would like to support the cause by making a donation, I would be very grateful. Please visit my fundraising page at the following link: Sponsor GGT Team Mission to Run 100km 

The next time someone asks you to do something that seems crazy and impossible, before you say no, I encourage you to really reflect first and who knows, you might surprise yourself. (Thanks Michelle!)

5 thoughts on “Mission to Run 100KM to beat Kids Cancer

  1. This is awesome Joe – we feel privileged to have you on Team GGT! October 5, 2013 will be magical and we will get through the day together as a team, pulling one another out of the “dark spots”.

  2. “Battling cancer does not compare to running ANY distance. These kids are hopeful, strong, perseverant and always have the biggest smiles – which are all qualities that I will integrate into my training and on the course.” – This is exactly what I think when I’m running (tho..I’m not doing 100km) Thank you for sharing my CHEO Warriors vid. My son is living proof of the results of the money raised for research. Had he been diagnosed as recently as one year earlier, he would not have survived. Thanks to Dr. Nai-Kong Cheung (he’s the Dr. I quoted in the vid), it was his research that saved my sons life. I’ll be seeing you on the road during the relay in October. 🙂 I’m sharing this post on my FB page where I am friends with many oncology families…they are truly inspired by people like you, Mike and Steve. Thank you so much for helping out our kids!

    • Dear Lisa, thanks so much for your wonderful comment. I’m so glad that I got to meet the person that put together that heartfelt CHEO video. I am honoured to be able to help out and support your son in this upcoming challenge. He will certainly be one of the individuals I will be thinking about as I run each km. Thanks for sharing and so nice to meet you! 🙂

  3. Once again Joe you are very inspiring. As you know I ran the 100km relay with Team Ariane the SuperTrooper last year and what an amazing feeling it was. Of course the 25km total that I ran does not compare with running the entire course but it doesn’t matter because the goal, for everyone participating is to raise the funds needed to save all the precious lives that are on the line. It’s not about the distance or the finish time, it’s about them and the millions of smiles that they have to give!
    You have joined a great team by joining GGT. They are also truly inspiring people. You will fit right in!
    Good luck on your training and I will most likely see you along the course 🙂

    • Thanks Stephanie for your kind words! I really am looking forward to this journey. I’m certain even just in the early stages of getting to know the GGT team I’m truly blessed to be part of such an amazing group of people that inspire all that surround them and have incredibly big hearts!

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