Modern runners are inundated with statistics – metrics large and small, some are extremely useful and some are somewhat free. Secretly, however, we all love them.
Whether it’s positive elevation gain during a run, pace per mile, heart rate, or even VO2Max (a concept most of us don’t even understand!), A lot of us are bombarded with these numbers, thanks to our very smart watches and the apps that go with them.
There is an article from Outside magazine, written by Brendan Leonard, that has been circulating widely among running groups lately. It has to do with how runners will do meaningless loops in a parking lot or other area, silly additions to ensure that, for example, their 5.93 mile run will actually become 6.00 miles. . We know this is silly; we know it’s meaningless and arbitrary; we still do. Why? Because of the numbers. Always, the numbers. Nice even, round numbers. We all love them.
Perhaps the original metric – the stat that started it all and one that is the subject of much debate, scrutiny, and pride in one – is daily step count. How many steps have you taken today? Did you take your 10,000 steps today? You don’t even need a Garmin smartwatch or the like for this, a simple smartphone app will follow your steps as well.
Ah, but the Daily Milestones have taken on a higher level of meaning, thanks to a wonderful fundraising effort that we covered in this column in early April.
As a reminder, the local Miracle Milers team, which is affiliated with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training (TNT) program, created the “Every step counts for Amos” challenge. Team members are targeting 178,520 milestones over several weeks, to honor and support blood cancer patient Amos Noach.
Noach was first diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in 2003. After nearly a year of chemotherapy, his cancer was in remission. But in 2020, the cancer resurfaced and he’s been battling it ever since, most recently enduring another hospital stay and a series of treatments. He was eventually released from the hospital and was able to return home to Brewster with his loyal and caring wife, Toni, by his side.
The number 178,520 is far from being arbitrary; this is the estimated number of people who were diagnosed with blood cancer in 2020. Thus, the milestone challenge was born.
“The whole challenge far exceeded my expectations,” said Melissa Noach Moreira, Noach’s daughter and member of the Miracle Milers team who is captain of this challenge. “I never knew people would be so generous with their time, support and donations. I have put a lot of time and effort into it and I hope it pays off for patients like my father.
Moreira said the Miracle Milers team reached their initial fundraising goal of $ 18,520 on April 23. As their group email channel exploded with excitement, the team decided to increase their goal. As of Sunday, the team had raised over $ 25,000; fundraising continues until June.
Moreira said the group got motivated and inspired through weekly emails as well as group walks and runs, depending on skill level. A resident of Danbury, Connecticut, Moreira shows her dedication to the group and the cause by traveling to Dutchess County for frequent jogging and group walks.
She recalled a race with several members of the group who explained how they completed the “Dopey Challenge” at the Disney Marathon as part of TNT. The Dopey Challenge consists of running four races in four days – 5 km, 10 km, half marathon, marathon. “I actually laughed when I was jogging with them when they told me about those runs they had done,” Moreira said.
She also contacted the famous Amos cookies, who she said were very generous with the donations that became celebrations after the race. Team members brought medals, donuts and TNT shirts to motivate others in races and group walks. Asics America generously donated 15 pairs of running shoes to the Miracle Milers. Kubota USA sent gifts to Amos Noach.
“Our team has been blown away by the generosity of the companies,” said Moreira.
Despite all the good attitude and goodwill, these team activities also took place amidst hospital stays and ongoing treatments for Amos Noach. Inspiration and gratitude for the fundraising efforts mixed with stress, anxiety and fear for Melissa Moreira as she cared for and worried about her father.
“I learned how horrible this disease really is,” she wrote in an email. “My dad is the best man I know and watching him go through this has been the most painful thing for me and my mom. I will do all I can to help advance better treatments for patients like him and fight for it. a world with fewer blood cancers.
Moreira added that she felt incredibly blessed to have a strong mother. She said the steps and fundraising efforts were as much for Toni Noach and other caregivers like her as for her father. “It’s not easy,” she said, “and it’s far from over.”
The main members of the Miracle Miler team, friends and Noach family members in this challenge are Melissa Noach Moreira (team captain for this event), Sandy Bandehas, Matt Curran, Daniel Elliott, Coutney and Victor Fabiyi , William Hiemcke, John Kissam, Colleen Mallet, Adam Noach, Kees Noach, Erin Noach, Carol Tarby, Bernadette Wiggin and Bob Wiggin.
The team are currently planning to do Leah’s Run 5K on October 30, another TNT fundraising effort, as well as plans for a clothing drive to raise more funds for LLS during the summer months.
How can I help you? Join the fundraising team and put all your measures into action and a good cause! It continues until the end of June. So instead of admiring and obsessing over the numbers generated by your watch, put the steps to use!
To contribute or participate, go to https://pages.lls.org/tnt/ctwhv/yourway21/EveryStepCountsForAmos
Pete Colaizzo, a member of the Mid-Hudson Road Runners Club, track coach at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, writes about the run every week in Players. He can be contacted at [email protected] For more information about the club, visit www.mhrrc.org