In Memory of John Ritter

The Great Cow Harbor 10k in Northport is a nationally ranked race covered by ESPN and Runner's World.  More importantly though it is a family oriented event surrounded by a weekend of festivities.  For Nicole and I it was a chance to run in memory of John Ritter and keep it real.  The reality is that I could be dead today, and we've taken some of our leisure time to help support John's legacy; creating a larger awareness of aortic disease and preventing unnecessary death from aortic dissection.  You'll find links to John Ritter's foundation and Research Program throughout my blog.  His widow Amy Yasbeck has taken an incredible initiative to get out the word and educate people on aortic disease.  10 months ago I had life saving open heart surgery for an aortic aneurysm, and today I ran a 53 minute 10k with ease.  I hate to think about how many people there are out there with aortic disease that don't get a second chance like I did.  My goal is to help spread awareness in whatever way I can.  We are raising money for the American Heart Foundation through our NYC Marathon bid this November.  You can help by making a tax deductible donation and clicking on the green "sponsor me" link on our home page.

We all had a great time at the Great Cow Harbor race.  Friends of ours, The Stearn’s, have a house that is literally on the starting line and early morning coffee has become an annual tradition there.  They are a nice family!  We had a great day and many friends and family came out in support.  My 3 and 6 year old ran in the 2k race.  Mom S. was a trooper; up at 5am, baby duty with Sully, and supported us tremendously through training and on race day!  My mother in law Janet even walked 2 miles after recent foot surgery just to see everyone at the finish and be a part of the  day! 

My brother in laws are a blast.  They stayed with us and we rounded out the weekend with a bonfire, friends, and good times.

*The race itself was much easier for me than anticipated.  I had a great day in regard to leg flexibility and cramping; no pains to speak of.  My heart felt fine, and it was a nice change of pace to be leading Nicole in the final two miles and having to wait up for her instead of vice versa.  She had been beating up on me in our training runs for the past few weeks, but i'm getting my edge back.  I'm determined to push her to her best.  She's turned into an incredible runner.  We ran together the whole way and she had a great race, but she had a female related problem to speak of on mile 4.  Needless to say it put a big damper on our pace for the last two miles.  We could have easily finished under 50 if that had not happened.

Back to training for the NYC Marathon on November 7.  Will you help our AHA fundraising efforts by making a tax deductible donation and clicking on the green "sponsor me" link on our home page?  No amount is too small.


laurie hersh said...

I am so proud of ALL of you!! I am thrilled to see how far you have come in such a short time!! I will be there to support you both in NYC marathon matter what!

Kelly said...

Keep up the great work Ben and Nicole! I'm so proud for how far you have came since your surgery, and your eagerness to help others learn. This is a great thing. People need to be aware of these things. They do happen and sometimes it's to late. JOhn Ritter was one hell of a funny dude. He's looking down on all of you with a huge smiling saying thank you for what your doing Ben!!

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