“Run like you’ll never run again” – Ashley Kumlien

Posted: May 2, 2010 in Training
Tags: , , , ,

As I write this the Pittsburgh Marathon start is less than three hours away.  It’s a big day today and I know it.  Sure, you try to downplay it and act like it’s just another Sunday.  Just another day to lace up the Asics and go for a run.  But deep down I know.

Over the past several months I’ve had a tremendous amount of love and support come my way.  I’ve met hundreds and hundreds of people from literally all over the world.  People have reached out to me from around the U.S., Canada, Great Britian, Singapore, Brazil, Mexico – all who tell me how wonderful my effort for Dom has been and how they have been touched by Dom’s story in some way. 

Back in August when I circled the dates April 19th and May 2nd on my calendar and took my very first steps toward running back to back major marathons for Dom I knew that it was “big”. 

Let’s face it, three months shy of my 43rd birthday – I know I’m putting myself “out there” a little bit this weekend.  But that was the point.  To help share with as many people I could how terrible this disease is and how it effects so many of those around us who we love. 

I told myself that I didn’t want to be a passenger on the bus, I wanted to be the driver.  Do something my mind told me, don’t just stand by and watch this happen.  So here we are 9 months later in Pittsburgh waiting to run the best 26.2 miles that we can today for Dom.

I have a friend who is asleep somewhere around the Nevada/Utah border right now named Ashley Kumlien.  Ashley was mentioned previously here on the blog as she is running across the United States this spring and summer in honor of her mother who suffers from MS.  You can click here to see my original story about Ashley and her incredible battle.  http://wp.me/pHGel-2E

Ashley is someone that I look to for inspiration.  I feel honored and humbled that she considers me a friend and goes out of her way to check in on me from time to time.  Ironically she will be making her way through Pittsburgh four to five months from today on her way to finishing her run on the East Coast.

This week Ashley sent me a quick note as she was battling massive elevations and serious cross winds in Nevada.  With regards to today’s race she said:

“Joe, run like you’ll never run again”.

I have that written on a small piece of paper, tucked into my shoe this morning to carry along with me on every step.  By the time Ashley takes her first strides at daybreak out West – we should be well on our way to wrapping up this final marathon.

Thank you Ashley for having the ability to sum up every thing that today is about in six short words.  I plan on doing exactly that.  

Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose.

  1. Stu says:

    Wishing you a good race for yourself and Dom today in Pittsburgh. Good sailing.


  2. Bob's Blitz says:

    We’re all rooting for you!

  3. tbrush3 says:

    Cut it loose Joe! All your effort is all you need to give!

  4. tbrush3 says:

    Helluva two weeks Joe! Amazed at your effort, you are the man!

    • joerunfordom says:

      Trey my brother – what a race today. It had a little bit of everything – but we kept fighting and never gave up. That was all it was about – I’ve never been more proud of a time. Thank you for all of your kindness, friendship and support these many months Trey. You are the greatest!

  5. Jodi says:


    I didn’t get to see you finish but I did get to experience the “run for dom” supporters. I was having the worst run of my life (severe stomach cramps..I blame it on the gatorade that I thought was water) and as I rounded the corner I saw a group of people standing there wearing “run for dom” shirts. I was able to muster a smile and point at them and say: YEAH!! Seeing them got me through that mile as I remembered that Dom was in the fight of his life and I was simply in a 13.1 mile battle with myself in memory of Sophie Quayle and pediatric brain tumors.

    Great job today Joe! You are an inspiration!!

    • joerunfordom says:

      Jodi – I am so proud of you for gutting out that race, you ran for a great, great reason and have so much to be proud of. I am so touched by your effort. You my friend are a rock-star. It was tough sledding out there today, but man the finish was my favorite yet. I’ll have an update up shortly with some great post race pics.

      3:42:32 today – and it is my most “proud” finish of any race to this point. Thanks so much for everything Jodi. The Run for Dom fans and supporters were INCREDIBLE Today. Best to you, Joe

  6. Jodi says:

    Thank you so much for the kind words Joe. They brought tears to my eyes. I ran a 2:06:41 today. Not my best performance by far but I did it for a great cause. Here’s to hoping I have a better race during the Cleveland full in two weeks. Can’t wait to read your race report and see your pictures!!

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