Run for Dom – Back and Bigger Than Ever

Posted: December 14, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

With Sunday’s Decker Challenge Half Marathon in the books my 2010 race season has come to a close.

Today it is time to start looking toward 2011, but I would be remiss if I didn’t cast one final glance over my shoulder to look back on the year that was.

2010 was full of a lot of running, racing and fundraising.  While training for the Run for Dom “double” a lot of hard work was done on the fundraising front, doing all that we could to help Dom and his family throughout his battle with cancer. 

There were Marathons (2), Half Marathons (2), a 10-mile race (1), 10K’s (2), 5K’s (8) and even a 1-mile race (1).

16 races in all, more than $30,000 raised for the D’Eramo family and more than 2,000 miles run in three countries and 27 cities. 

As I look forward to the next 10-weeks of training that will lead up to the starter’s gun at the Austin Marathon it’s time to get back to the business at hand. 

Time to get back to the mission of Run for Dom.  

Running in honor of my good friend’s battle with cancer, hoping to raise both money and awareness to help make a difference in the lives of Val, Sierra and Nico.

So today we kick off our fundraising work for the Austin Marathon.  You may recall that last year I pledged to run two marathons in 13 days for Dom.  Family, friends, strangers and supporters were able to click here or visit www.runfordom.com to make a donation to help offset treatment costs for Dom and his family.

I raced 52.4 miles at the Boston and Pittsburgh Marathons, some of the toughest miles I have ever run.  We were able to not only meet our fundraising goal of $26.2K or $26,200 – but crush that goal by more than $1,000.

Seeing Dom at the finish at Pittsburgh, and placing my finisher’s medal around his neck made it worth every step.

This year there is only one marathon on the schedule – Austin, February 20th. 

However, I’m sure you knew that we wouldn’t be stopping there with just one race.  I mean, it’s just not my style.

This year we’ll be taking it up a notch. 

Just five days later I will be racing again.  I will be running with some of my close runner friends in the Ragnar Del Sol race.  A 12 person overnight relay race through the Arizona Desert, covering 199 miles from Wickenburg to Phoenix.

I will be assigned three legs of varying distances, somewhere around 7 or 8 miles at a stretch.  Essentially another 20+ miles of racing just five days after Austin.

They say if you want big rewards in life, you have to take big risks.

I like to say that you have to “Think Big” if you want to “Go Big”

If I learned nothing else over the past year of running and racing for Dom, it’s that “Go Big or Go Home” has become my battle cry for race day.  It’s the spirit I need to embrace and who I need to be in order to give my very best.

I plan on carrying that mantra over the 26.2 miles of my home marathon course here in Austin and then on to the Arizona Desert just five days later.

I’m not one to ask for a lot of help in life.  It’s not really part of my DNA, not who I am.  I am guilty like many of us in thinking that I can do it all.  Continue to take on more and more and still deliver.

But when it comes to Run for Dom, I know that I need to make an exception.  The fact is that when it comes to heavy lifting, there is nothing like another set of hands to help carry the weight.

To fully fund the 529 Education plans that were set-up for Dom’s children after he passed away in August we still have a long, long way to go.  We are off to a great start, but there is still more heavy lifting to do.

Losing your Father at the age of 4 in Sierra’s case or 1 in the case of Nico is something that I cannot even imagine. 

Not having your Dad to help teach you how to walk and talk, ride your first bike, tie a tie, attend your High School Graduation or walk you down the aisle is something that no child should ever have to go through.

No matter how hard we all worked last year to make sure Dom enjoyed every possible chance to beat his cancer, and no matter how hard he battled this terrible disease, in the end, his cancer proved to be too strong.  Too relentless in its reach.

I know that no matter how many miles I run or races I finish, none of that will bring back our Dom.

All that is left for me now is to continue to keep Dom’s memory and spirit alive as best I can, and to help make a difference in the lives of his son and his daughter.

Dom, Val, Sierra and future Steeler Linebacker - Nico

For that, I need your help.

Any support that you can provide is more than welcome, as together we can make a difference – of that there is no doubt.

Last year many supporters chose to donate $1 for every mile raced at one of the marathons – $26.20

Others donated $1 for every mile of both races $52.40.

The most popular gift club were our mile sponsors, who when making a gift of $100 or more were able to sponsor an individual mile at Boston or Pittsburgh. 

As was the case last year, all mile sponsors will be listed here on the blog in our honor roll of donors.

I will be accepting mile sponsors again this year not only for the Austin Marathon on February 20th, but also the miles I will be running at Ragnar Del Sol overnight through the Desert on February 26th.

I’m not sure how much life I will have left in my legs at Del Sol.  I will be running all alone, under a canopy of stars, pushing through mile after mile.  I’m sure I will be lonely at times, looking forward to meeting up with my teammates and sharing the story of the miles I’ve just completed. 

It will be a very new experience for me, but one thing I know for certain is that Dom won’t be far away.  I can’t say for sure how fast I will be running that night, but I can tell you how far.

Every step of the way. 

Should you be interested in making a gift or sponsoring a mile – please click here: 

http://www.runfordom.com/donatenow.html

I will then reach out to you and ask what mile you are interested in.

A special thank you goes out to our first mile sponsor of 2011 – Brian Detrick.

Joe & Dom - Look at that Medal on Dom!

Brian, I look forward to running mile number 19 for you at the Austin Marathon.  That will be the final uphill climb on the marathon course before I reach mile 20 and head for home. 

Only 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) will remain between me and running my best ever marathon for Dom, and making good on a promise I made to him on May 2nd at Pittsburgh.

You Brian and the donors who will join you are the ones making a difference in the lives of Dom, Sierra and Nico.

Me.  I’m just running for my friend.

I can’t thank you enough.

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Comments
  1. ally says:

    You are a good man Joe!!!!
    We will be so honored and glad to help !!!
    Take care

    Ally

  2. Jolyn says:

    Joe, you are a maniac! One I admire tremendously but a maniac none the less!!

    • joerunfordom says:

      Hi Jo’! So great to hear from you. God bless Dawn for putting up with me, I know just how lucky I am!

      There could not be a better reason to run than for Dom. I feel so very fortunate to be able to help.

  3. Alett says:

    Awesome! Will definitely donate…but will have to wait until my bank account recovers a wee bit : )

    Love the overnight relays – I have participated in Reach the Beach relay for the last 6 years!

    cheers,
    a.

  4. onelittlejill says:

    Joe- I have been catching up on your posts this morning; I was so behind due to work and then getting sick. I totally missed your awesome race- what a great way to close out 2010 🙂

    I have a feeling 2011 is going to be amazing for you! First of all…Austin Marathon is going to get crushed by you, I just know it. And Ragnar is going to be a blast. And during those lonely times, I am sure Dom will be there with you. And so will I in spirit and I am sure all your faithful bloggers will as well!

    I hope you take the last weeks of Dec to relax a little, enjoy all those daddy/daughter days and get ready for Landry’s first Christmas 🙂

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