Joe is a marathoner/triathlete who lives and trains in Austin, TX with his beautiful wife Dawn, daughter Landry and spoiled-rotten schipperke Kayla.
Joe started running in 2005 as a way to combat a lack of exercise and overall fitness as early middle age started to creep up on him from behind and extensive travel for work made eating right and maintaining a healthy weight become more challenging.
What started as a 30 minute walk at lunch-time three times a week has taken Joe across 7 marathon start/finish lines including Boston and New York (PR 3:08:09).
In 2009 a childhood friend of Joe’s wife Dom was diagnosed with cancer.
Just 38 at the time, father of two small children, Dom found himself in the fight of his life. Joe first found out about Dom’s struggles sitting next to him at the Dorstop restaurant in Dormont, PA on May 1, 2009. Joe had just completed the Pittsburgh Marathon, having earned his Boston Qualifying time less than an hour before.
At the time it was believed that Dom had Colitis or perhaps Crone’s disease – the Dr.’s were unsure. But only two months later Dom was diagnosed with a rare form of stomach cancer and things would never be the same for Dom and his family.
On a training run over the summer Joe felt like he owed it to Dom to return to the Pittsburgh Marathon in 2010 and run the race in his honor. It was simply the right thing to do – to support a close friend in for the battle of his life.
Passing on Boston would be difficult, having trained for more than 18 months to qualify – but it just felt right. As Joe reached the lake at Brushy Creek Park where he trains the thought of running both Boston and Pittsburgh back to back, just 13 days apart first struck him.
He thought about it, prayed about it that night and decided that if his wife and Dom would allow him to do it, he was all in.
After those conversations took place, Run for Dom was born.
The journey started this blog – and those two marathons brought so many people literally from all over the world together. Learning about Dom and his family. His valiant fight against a terrible disease, and in the end raised more than $33,000 for Dom’s children’s college funds surpassing the $26.2K goal originally set.
Dom passed away on August 15, 2010 – just two weeks before Joe and Dawn’s daughter Landry was born. Sometimes you can see Dom’s mischievous spirit and zest for life in the eyes and smirk of that growing little girl.
Dom is missed by many, but forgotten by no one.
As long as there are races to run and miles to go, Run for Dom isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Thank you for all of your support and generosity – we’ll keep kicking cancer’s ass 26.2 miles at a time.