After being diagnosed the day before my 55th birthday last November and choosing removal and having that done on December 28th, I wanted to be an advocate for men and imploring them to be more pro-active about their health, specifically their prostates. My wife and I discussed different options and we had participated in many 5Ks in the past to help us stay healthy and active. The ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk series was the perfect fit. Once we decided we wanted to do a couple or few, we looked at the ZERO website for “local” races. Hmm, six in Texas and one in Oklahoma and we wanted to do all of them!
Challenges: Corpus Christi is a 7-8 hour drive and I don’t even want to think about the drive to El Paso for Dallas, and then there was the DFW (Fort Worth) race on a Saturday morning and Oklahoma City race on Sunday morning…two in a weekend! It was a checklist going on in our heads…
San Antonio on a Sunday morning – no problem.
Corpus Christi on a Saturday morning (but it’s my sister’s birthday) – we’ll make it work.
Tyler on a Saturday morning – no problem.
Fort Worth on a Saturday morning and then to Oklahoma City for Sunday – we can do that.
A weekend off? And then El Paso on a Saturday morning – we’ll figure something out.
Our great State Capital, Austin, on a Saturday morning – no problem.
Somehow, we made all seven locations. We started out choking frogs in San Antonio over a VERY soggy course and two small water hazards (twice…out and back!) Made it to Corpus Christi and dodged some pretty nasty weather and had a special dinner with my sister. Tyler was incredible and moving up the charts from what I hear in attendance and fund-raising, too! An awesome Survivor’s Breakfast and a very challenging course made this a trip we hope to make next year.
Fort Worth was great and then on to Oklahoma City in the same weekend. Oklahoma City had storms moving in overnight after big rains during the week and we woke up to a text message saying it had been cancelled due to flash flood possibilities. We looked at the weather radar and realized we should get outta OKC while the getting was good, so we drove back to Dallas and the weather was better, so we did our 5K in a local park.
El Paso was awe-inspiring. The people were really awesome and the course was flat and my wife was asked to sing the National Anthem. And what can I say about Austin? The course was good and Jimmy Charles was there and sang the National Anthem for us and two other songs he has written for cancer patients and survivors. My wife said there wasn’t a dry eye from the survivors who were standing in front of the stage.
The results of our ZERO tour? We made many new friends and expanded our Facebook connections. We also made many contacts with vendors and sponsors in building a support network to assist patients in the future. I think it was after the second or third event that people would walk up to and ask, “Are you the couple doing all the races?” Guilty…that would be us. Guilty of traveling and enjoying Texas and all her wet, red-mudded beauty. Guilty of meeting many people and making so many new friends that we hope to see annually at events. Did we raise as many funds as we would have liked? No, but we are guilty of trying and having fun while we did it. Will we do it again? We sure will! But, we may expand our tour even further. Other teams in other cities beware, we may be joining you!