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Blacksburg Area Volunteers Against Leukemia


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I'm going to put updates about things that we do, will be doing, people I meet and any other thing that I come across while battling blood related cancers.

March 2003

Hello everyone. Just want to update everyone on my marathon experience. We arrived in New Orleans February 14 at @4:00pm. local time. It was 75 degrees, while virginia was getting pelted with snow and ice. We spent the evening in the French Quarter. Got up and did a 2 mile "shakeout run". spent the rest of the day sight seeing. Some of my family showed up at @noon. Later that evening we had the pre-race pasta party. Several speakers including a seven year old boy with Leukemia. I must say it took a great amount of courage for him to stand in front of 545 participants, thier families, coaches and friends and give us a motivational speech. When he was done there wasn't a dry eye in the house and he received a standing ovation. We awoke at 5:00 am to walk to the start at the superdome. At 7:00, we were still waiting for the start. We finally went off at 7:30 and 3:58 later I crossed the finished line 26.2 miles later. I can't explain all the emotions you go through during a marathon. Even more so because of what it meant to me. I'll just say it was long and hard. When things got rough I just told myself "You could quit if you want to. Nobody would think any worse of you. But after all the work you put in, and all the people fighting this disease who can't just walk away because they're tired, or their in pain." these thoughts got me through. We spent the evening dancing and celebrating. All in all it was a great experience. I met some great people from all over the country, and we raised over 1.7 million dollars for The Society , and we all accomplished a great feat. I've kept running and plan on Marine corps in D.C. in October, and the inaugural Pheonix Marathon in January. 3 in one year. Keep your fingers crossed for me for injury free running and successful fundraising. It is coming up on the year anniversary of my friend Jennifer's death. If you could and you read this, please remember on 5/19 to say a little prayer for her and the people she left behind. Sometimes when I'm alone on the trail doing a long run, the only sound are my footfalls and the steady rythym of my breathing, I think I feel her along with me. Till next month....

Mike Arrington

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