Rob Decou and Mashall Reeves are home now, and hopefully beginning to recover from their Race Across America finishes. I’ve talked with a few of the crew, and they’ve each spoken of their experience with RAAM using terms like “epic,” and “unbelievable” with the same tired, but satisfied tones. I too, am tired, but happy. Each time I experience Race Across America, I come away exhausted and overwhelmed with so many emotions.
I’m so relieved that both racers and all the crew made it to Annapolis safely. After Marshall’s massage therapist. Jim Merchant, was in a terrible accident driving Marshall’s car with all his gear to Oceanside (Jim is recovering and should heal completely), I wrestled with dark worries. Thanks to the care and attention of all the crews, my worries were put to rest.
I am in awe of both Marshall Reeves and Rob Decou. These two men, with full-time jobs and families, competed in the world’s toughest race, proving themselves both incredible endurance athletes and heroes to all of us who watched them. They endured so much, and in the end, finished with the help their crews and the support of their extended communities and because of their commitment to the brain cancer community.
Rob Decou may be the biggest person to ever start Race Across America and certainly is the biggest person to finish it. His heart is as big as his tree trunk legs and massive arms. Rob takes community to a whole new level. He brought with him as many people that he loved as he could, and the rest served him from afar by donating, and writing encouraging messages. In a sport that attracts mostly introverts and loners, Rob is a wonderful anomaly. Rob taught us what community and trust could do
Perseverance and toughness are the defining characteristics of Marshall Reeves. This year was Marshall’s third attempt at Race Across America and he was determined to do what he had not done in 2012 and 2014.. All the way through the race, Marshall focused on what was going well. In the last days of the race he attacked the mountains of West Virginia, as if he had a vendetta against them; he’d left the race near Grafton West Virginia in his 2014 attempt. Marshall was John Wayne and Clint Eastwood rolled into one, and like the characters both of those actors played, he is incredibly kind and good under his obstinate resolve.
Over all my emotions and saturating all my thoughts is overwhelming gratitude. I am so grateful to all of you in our 3000 Miles to a Cure Community. Each of you gave so that those impacted by brain cancer might have hope and a chance for a future. Some of you gave money, some donated time away from your families and jobs, many gave up sleep, some prayed and followed along, some of you did all of these.
Words of thanks are so little in comparison to the goodness of this great act of service, love and community. No one finishes Race Across America alone and brain cancer will never be cured by a few. Thank you for joining with us. Only together can we cure brain cancer.