been five months since I ran the Pittsburgh marathon to
raise money for the Arenson Fund for Pancreatic Cancer Research.
I can't believe
it's taken me this long to write. I kept starting a letter
but would be side-tracked by exciting developments in the
to run the marathon began when I awoke one Sunday morning
in 2002 to see hundreds of marathoners running up the street
outside my apartment. I was amazed to see that many of them
did not appear to be in great shape! I thought, "if
these people can do it, I can too". When I told my
friends I thought I could run a marathon, they scoffed at
my prediction (as is required of all good friends when someone
makes such claims of physical prowess!). That was it. The
gauntlet had been thrown!
month (and many Ibuprofen) into my training, I decided that
somebody really should benefit from the physical abuse that
my body was suffering. Undertaking my Ph.D. training in
Dr Olja Finn's lab, I'm able to experience first-hand how
lucky we are to have the Arenson Fund as one of our allies
in the fight against Pancreatic Cancer. Running the marathon
for pledges seemed a perfect way to give something back
and to say thank you to all the people who work so hard
to support the joint mission of Dr Finn and the Arenson
Fund. It was also a great way of gaining support, from my
friends, who had previously been betting against me!
a huge thanks to my parents, who press-ganged family and
friends back home in the UK for donations, which account
for almost half of the total moneys raised. The total estimate
from Delores, combining everything collected here and in
the UK, is that over $700 in donations was received.
of friends set the extra challenge for me to complete the
marathon in under 3.5 hours, which I'm glad to say I achieved,
finishing in just under 3h15mins. Apparently this is a really
good time, especially for a first-time marathoner, and is
only 5 mins outside the qualifying time for the Boston Marathon.
Let me tell you, missing out on Boston by 5 minutes is like
a red-rag to a bull (notice a pattern here?!). So I'm planning
on running another Marathon again next year, with my sights
firmly set on a time of 3h10mins and a subsequent trip to
Boston in 2005. Of course, I plan to run both races for
my favorite charity, the Nathan S. Arenson Fund for Pancreatic
that you are doing well, and look forward to seeing you
Arenson Fund Circle of Friendship luncheon.
Dept of Immunology
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Pittsburgh, PA 15213