The start of a new idea…

OrthoCarolina Classic 10K – Charlotte, NC

3 months. 3 months is the amount of time Run4Papa (R4P) took off after a magnificent year of raising funds and awareness for Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA). We had time to relax, recover and rejuvenate after completing the Great Wall of China Marathon back in May.

And yesterday, R4P started back in our hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina by running the OrthoCarolina Classic 10K – a premier 10K running event. The days events are designed to promote and encourage active families and healthy lifestyles. The course offers a beautiful yet challenging route passing the major medical facilities in Charlotte along with a great view of the Charlotte skyline–while raising awareness for several local charities and community organizations.

As always, no matter the race, my nerves get the best of me before I cross the starting line. My palms become sweaty, my heart races like a canoe heading toward a waterfall with no paddle aboard, and my mind plays tricks like Chris Angel performing street magic on the Las Vegas strip.

And then? I cross I cross the starting line; not a care in the world as I run for the cause. A 10K (6.2 mile) race seems like nothing in comparison to the Great Wall of China Marathon, but what a difference a 3-month hiatus can make to a runner.

I found myself stopping to capture more pictures and video than normal, a clear sign I had regressed from the days of running up and down 5,162 steps on the Great Wall. I had people stopping me along the race (thank you for that brief reprieve) curious why I was filming, what PPA stood for, and even a gentlemen who wanted to capture R4P on his ipad.

I have no problem sacrificing time in a race to create more exposure for PPA and to help educate people about this vicious disease. In fact, 99% of people today have NEVER heard of PPA. That is one of several major goals that R4P will be aspiring to change in the upcoming year.

Crossing the finish line at 1:01:25-finally an odd number versus my bib # of 842-reinforced several important points. While my time was a relatively slow 9:53/mile pace, people supporting this race also were greatly interested in learning more about PPA. Running up and down the roads in Charlotte not only reinvigorated my love of running races, but also fired up an intensity to do bigger and better things moving forward.

Of course, you know you are in Charlotte when you finish a 10K race and beer is on the house! To wrap-up the wonderful event hosted by OrthoCarolina, there was a Kids 50 yard dash! The kids lined up, waited their turn, and sprinted toward their finish line. The joy in their faces is what life and running should be all about: healthy living and fun.

In the upcoming months, we will be launching an unprecedented campaign that has never attempted before in the field of PPA research.

Thank you for your patience and continued support of R4P.