Third Time’s A Charm.


Bib pick up? Check! Stumbling upon Ryan Hall at the ING New York Marathon Expo? Check! Receiving your Team Fox singlet and getting super stoked? CHECK-A-RONI.

Welp. I am ready. Marathon number 3 in one calendar year. Marine Corps Marathon 2012. (Read here.) Big Sur 2013 {Sigh. Read Here.} And now New York 2013. It occurred to me as I was chatting with Tina recently that I had run 3 in a year. Technically, one year + one week. That’s kind of ridiculous for me. A little ambitious. Even for me.

Who am I KIDDING?!?

I feel like I’ve been “in training” for something major for well over a year. (Uh. ‘Cuz you have, Genius.) Don’t get me wrong. I did it to myself. I take full responsibility. No one was holding a hot poker to my ass barking, “Pick up the pace, Colby!” as I ran 20 miles along the Connecticut shoreline on more days then one. It was me. I did it. And I don’t regret one, single solitary mile of it. But it did get me thinking….

My First Marathon, Chicago 2009, was for me. Totally selfish. I was training for it during the most difficult time in my life. Running was control in a time of chaos. It was therapy. Because, lets be honest, if you can’t get your shit together after a 4 hour run, you have bigger fish to fry. Like whales. Then I ran another. And another. And another. All for me. Then Big Sur. A dream come true. Spectacular. If you run one marathon in your life, run Big Sur. I’ve written that sentence before and I’d write it 100 times more. It’s fantastic. But this one, New York 2013, who was I running for? Selfishly for a Boston Qualifying time? Or was I going to run for something bigger?

Enter Sonny. My friend Sonny has Parkinson’s Disease, which if you are not familiar with is a neurodegenerative disorder that results from the loss of cells in various parts of the brain, including a part that produces dopamine. Dopamine in short (very short) is a chemical messenger that transmits signals which coordinate movement. When dopamine is lost? Neurons fire uncontrollably which leaves people with Parkinson’s unable to direct or control their movement. (Think tremors.) Michael J. Fox. Mohammed Ali. Two of the most well known Parkinson’s patients. I’ve watched as Sonny’s tremors have worsened, wanting to hug him to steady him each time I see him. Sonny knew I was running New York. He asked me if I would run for Team Fox with The Michael J. Fox Foundation of which he is a large part. I said, “Gladly.”

And so it became. I was running for a purpose greater than my own. Sure. A marathon is a huge, life changing accomplishment which only a relative few achieve. It’s transformative. No doubt. It certainly has been for me. However, running FOR something, a purpose larger than my own, has really made this particular journey something special.

For more information about Parkinson’s Disease and the Michael J. Fox Foundation, check out their website. It’s a wealth of resources.

And if you have a few dollars burning a hole in your pocket and would like to sponsor me, click right here, Friend! Go, Team Fox!



8 thoughts on “Third Time’s A Charm.

  1. Pingback: 2013 ING New York Marathon Race Recap | It's A Marathon AND A Sprint

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