Happy to partner with Beachy Media to share THIS inspirational story with you:
Supportersize provides free exercise classes for individuals affected by cancer (patients, family members, etc). The founder, Yariv Kafri, has stage IV lung cancer. He is an endurance athlete and finished his first ultramarathon, the Trans Rockies, in August to raise awareness for the charity.
Provided by Beachy Media
Here is Yariv’s story, in his own words:
On August 11, I hit the starting line of the TransRockies Ultramarathon, a multi-day trail run that covers 56 miles and nearly 9,000 feet of elevation gains capping out at 12,500 feet. This is a formidable challenge for most people, let alone for a Stage IV lung cancer survivor; I was diagnosed in the fall of 2013. I am a 49-year-old father of two and husband who has never smoked a day in his life.
The journey started with a 1/2 mile walk after my last round of chemotherapy back in January of 2014, at which point I had to stop due to exhaustion, and on Thursday, August 14, I completed the 3-day Transrockies stage run.
DAY ONE, Transrockies:
Today is nearly two years to-the-day since I was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, another step in my healing process. I decided to participate in the ultramarathon because I want to inspire and motivate fellow cancer survivors to incorporate physical activities into their healing process. My non-profit, Supportersize, enables those affected by cancer to experience joy, solidarity, and achievement through physical activities and outdoor events. While we can’t claim to heal cancer, we can empower people with moments of happiness, hope, and pride. We also raise money for cutting edge lung cancer research.
I arrived in Colorado four days ahead of the start so my body could acclimate to the altitude. I was getting nervous as the day approached but kept reminding myself why am I here. Just getting here is an accomplishment, and the journey was intense.
The day started at Buena Vista, Colorado. The course took us through 21.8 miles and 2,600 ft elevation gain. Shortly after the start I noticed that I felt good in terms of altitude and energy, but felt camps creeping in on my leg muscles, and it got worse. I planned this run very carefully, nutrition, hydration, and electrolyte intake, and here I was starting to cramp so early into the run. It was a struggle. While most runners walk the steep hills, I had trouble running the downhills and the flats. But I kept going, albeit at a much slower pace than I planned. I loaded with pretzels and Gatorade at the two aid stations but it was too little, too late. I probably dehydrated during the four days since I arrived in Colorado. The altitude and extremely dry and warm weather fooled me. While the views and camaraderie on the trail were awesome, seeing my wife Danielle at the finish line of stage one brought tears of joy to my eyes.
DAY TWO, Transrockies:
After a rocky day one due to dehydration, I was worried about day two. It is home to the biggest climb of the event. The trail starts with a slow climb of about 1.5 miles followed by two steep miles climbing 2,900 ft to Hope Pass at 12,500 ft.
The air was very chilly at the trail head in the woods of the Rockies. We started and I kept checking myself and felt good. When we started the climb, I felt strong. The trail was zig zagging up the mountain with amazing views. Two hours later I was at the top, and after shooting some photos I started running down to the other side of the mountain. What a quad killer! But I kept on running, feeling strong all the way to the finish line of stage two. Later after the camp dinner, all participants gather at the dinner area to hear about various awards and trail reviews for the next day. The organizers asked me to tell the crowd my story. It was incredibly emotional.
DAY THREE, final day:
It took me months to train for the run, and each day passed so quickly. The first day I spent more than five hours on the trail, much longer than I expected since I was dehydrated. The second day, while shorter included the steepest and longest climb and I spent about 4 hours on the trail. The last day was the longest, just shy of a full marathon and with two climbs that added another 3200 ft . Today I felt the best, I spent just over five hours on the trail, and I felt the strongest of all days, but there were hard moments along the way. I enjoy running and staying in the moment, feeling the sensations of the body that arise during a run, and the majestic views of the rocky mountains really helped. Trail running is so special. Awesome mountains, peaceful streams with ice-cold water, fresh air and great weather were my backdrop.
The finish line was very emotional. I could see the finish line from two miles away and was energized as I was getting closer, increasing my pace with every step. As soon as I crossed the finish line I got a great hug and kiss from Danielle who’s been by my side through the highs and lows.
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You can also donate to Lung Cancer research at https://fundraise.
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Cancer has touched so many of our lives. It’s stories like this that continue to inspire and raise awareness about organizations and causes that strive to make a difference in the families that are so deeply impacted.
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