AEPi Lion Run - May 2016

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AEPi's Lion Run
May 7th 2016
What's a Lion Run?

The Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity will be having their first annual Lion Run. A philanthropic event where they host a team of 100 brothers at the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon. I have volunteered to be one of those 100 brothers. It is now my duty to not only train to be able to compete in this half marathon, but also to raise $2500 USD ($3250 CDN) in order to participate.

Reason For Participating

I chose to participate in this endeavor for two reasons. The first being it's a good excuse to get fit again, simple as that. The second is because of the ten charities that the money goes towards, specifically the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation. The Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation is a public bone marrow and stem cell registry, that helps facilitate transplants for children and adults suffering from life threatening diseases including leukemia, lymphoma, other cancers, and genetic diseases. This stands out to me as a cause worth supporting because I know from experience how scary it can be to need stem cells and finding no matches for them. It leaves you feeling powerless and removes a lot of the hope of the person overcoming the disease they are fighting. I also remember the invigorating feeling I had when I learned the doctors had finally located a suitable match of stem cells for my father, giving him a greater chance to overcome his lymphoma. It was joyous and relieving. An organization that works every day to give that feeling to individuals and families is more than worth my time.

Lion Run Goals
Raise $3250 CDN for the Lion Run

Fundraising has been completed!

Complete the race with 7:30/mile time

As of now, I can confortably run 3 miles in 27 minutes, taking 1 minute walking breaks after 4 minutes of running. I want to be faster, so I'm following a marathon training program, as well as giving up junk food as a start. I'll post updates on my times as they improve at a later time.

Post Race Reflection
    After having completed fund raising and running the race, here are my results and thoughts:
  1. $3250 is a lot of money! I actually came up short $200. I learned that fund-raising is not my strong suit.
  2. Training: training took a back seat to the fund-raising side of the endeavour. I stopped running regularly, only being able to go for a run once every three weeks. To be honest I'm lucky I was able to complete the run (spoilers).
  3. Race Results: I finished the race with a final time of 2:51:40. This comes out to a lightning fast pace of just over 13 minutes/mile. Pretty slow, but it is what it is. I was able to run for a mile and walk a minute for the first nine miles, but sometime during the tenth, my calves started to spasm whenever I would push too much with my toes. This meant I was either walking or hop-limping the last 3 miles. The hop-limping is as sad as you are imagining. Shoutout to the 70 year old dude I was running with in the last mile!

The entire weekend was a great time. I was in a lot of pain for pretty much all of saturday...and Sunday...and Monday...but I still want to do it again next year! I'll rethink fundraising so that I have time for training. I got some great tips from the other lion runners.