Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sweet 16

By Ross Forman

It’s been a fun run to my Sweet 16, literally.

I am registered to run the annual Foot Traffic Flat Marathon on Wednesday, July 4, on Sauvie Island, which is about 15 minutes north of Portland, Ore. – and this will be my 16th marathon since running my first on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, 2007.

So first, why this relatively small race?

Quick answer: timing. Weekends for the next six months are relatively busy for me and, sure, I could skip out of town and run a marathon somewhere, but when I heard about this mid-week holiday run, I thought, what the heck?!

Plus, this event is known as The Flat, and having enduring the abundance of hills and more this past March while running the Jerusalem Marathon, anything named The Flat sounds good to me. Organizers promote The Flat as about the flattest and fastest half and full marathon on the West Coast – and who am I to argue with them?!
In addition, The Flat features, and again I quote organizers, the beautiful sights of Sauvie Island, including thousands of songbirds, majestic bald eagles, and picturesque farmland that most of the island residents subsist off of. Sounds great to me.

But that’s not it!! You can’t forget the island-fresh strawberry shortcake! Not only is it scrumptious, but the islanders themselves serve it after the race.

I’m sure excited for this holiday adventure, and the strawberries, too.

My path to Portland includes plenty of runs in Chicago and grinding out daily at-home Insanity cardio workouts. I never thought one person could sweat as much as I do in a 40-minute Insanity workout under the barks of Shaun T.

I also this summer am coaching once again for the Team To End AIDS (T2), the endurance-training program of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. Joining T2 back in 2007, which actually was the National AIDS Marathon Training Program at the time, was one of the best decisions I ever made. So many friends, so many memories, so many laughs, so many miles – all thanks to T2. Tears, cheers and, of course, a few beers with T2.

Running for T2, though, is truly about the bottom line: helping in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Every 9½ minutes someone in the U.S. is infected with HIV and nearly 1.2 million Americans are now living with HIV. AFC is leading the fight against HIV/AIDS in the Chicago area by funding prevention programs and services to stop the spread of HIV and help people live full and productive lives until the day there’s a cure.

I’ll be grinding out mile and mile this year – with at least three more marathons planned. The Flat, the Chicago Marathon in October (in Coaching duties, which will entail running all 26.2 miles) and the Honolulu Marathon in December.

Please support me in my Coaching and Training this summer for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago through T2.

Thanks, and I’ll be sure to report about the Sauvie Island strawberries,

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