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Sep. 19, 2007
Ultra for a Cause
Michael runs among the manzanitasMichael Kanning is a young athlete who’s up to some good stuff. It’s always nice to work with young athletes who see the bigger picture and understand that there’s a lot involved in being an ambassador for one’s sport. As you’ll read below, Michael’s making a nice effort to do more than just run a very challenging race—although the run in itself, and all the training leading up to it, is a thoroughly impressive effort in its own right. Hope you all enjoy Michael’s Blog entry:

The Rio Del Lago 100-Mile Endurance Run is one of North America’s 41, 100-mile races. The run isn’t the hilliest, hottest, coldest, or highest of the 41, but it’s gnarly enough that next Saturday, September 22, 50 or so trail-loving, challenge-taking, endorphin-junkie ultrarunners will be at the starting line. At 15, I will almost certainly be the youngest one there. I won’t be going for the win (nor will I even finish on the same day as the winner) but I will be attempting to complete the distance to lend my support for cancer research as part of “Ultra For A Cure.”

The idea of Ultra For A Cure began earlier this year. I’d been doing ultramarathons for several months and had great support from family, race directors, and race volunteers. One day my aunt asked if I would ever want to do an ultramarathon for charity. The idea appealed to me as a way to give back and eventually we organized the first Ultra For A Cure run to benefit the American Cancer Society. Last June, having raised over $2,000 to fund cancer research, I attempted to run 75 miles in Marin County and nearly made it but dropped after giving it every last effort to complete 67.7.

I’ve trained quite a bit over the last few months, however. Last summer’s training included a 400-mile August, a 111.5-mile week, a 50.5-mile run through the night at the 12 hours at Cool Night Run, 27 days in a row in which I ran every day, and even a few laps now and then around a field barefoot to strengthen the muscles in my feet. As I prefer the trails, my running took me to some amazing places—through grassland, forests, beaches, creeks, sweeping vistas, and a sunrise in the Sierra Nevada foothills after having started running at sunset. I saw deer, hawks, turkeys, bobcats, lizards, and, while running a 12-hour race in Texas, armadillos and a skunk, who was kind enough to appear right when I needed to increase my pace. I ran up calf-busting uphills and down quad-busting downhills in 4 different states and Victoria, Canada. I believe I have a very good chance at finishing the second Ultra For A Cure, the Rio Del Lago 100 Mile, next Saturday.

You can support the second Ultra For A Cure through your donations to the American Cancer Society, which can be done at my blog. Proceeds go directly to the ACS, which funds the most innovative and groundbreaking research to find the cure for the millions alive today who have cancer and so that future generations never get the disease. Your contributions are immensely appreciated!

After the run, I’ll be posting a race report both here and at my blog.

Thanks for your support!

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Le Sensation American
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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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