We flew back from the 6-12-24-hour World Championships in Borrego Springs, CA yesterday with that unique combination of exhaustion and inspiration that accompanies ultra endurance events. Events like these bring together a special community who strive to test and redefine the limits of what is possible. Athletes and their crews do what the average observer might call impossible. And that’s why these events are our platform at 3000 Miles to a Cure. Our mission is bold and in some moments it seems unachievable or impossibly distant when we need effective tumor treatment options so urgently. But mostly, it is like the finish line of a 24 hour race or a 3,021 mile race – achievable, one pedal stroke at a time and with the support of an incredible community of heroes who share the same goal.
Today, we officially welcome a new hero to our team – Rob DeCou. Rob is taking on Solo Race Across America 2016 for 3000 Miles to a Cure. He raced this weekend in Borrego Springs to kick off the intense training that will prepare him for the race from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis, MD this June. Rob brought with him a wonderful team of kind, passionate people to serve as his crew during the 24-hour race. We’re learning this is very Rob. He brings people together, makes connections and inspires loyalty and love that is a reflection, I think, of what he gives to each of his relationships and endeavors.
Rob recently shared this Theodore Roosevelt quote in a blog post he published before the World Championships, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds…who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Rob is taking this particular step into this particular arena because he lost a good friend, Christina Ahmann Nevill, to brain cancer. Race Across America 2016 will begin almost three years to the day that she died. Christina’s response to her diagnosis continues to inspire Rob. She chose to live abundantly, regardless of what came her way. Read more about Christina’s beautiful legacy here.
Rob is intentional about how he lives and what he pursues. He seeks growth and supports it in his community. He wrote, “from an early age I have sought the arena. I’ve been surrounded by outstanding men and women and watched them step into the arena, often getting hammered in the process. After some time I kept watching them and noticed they get stronger, more resilient, and are people of character, discipline, and courage over time. Thankfully it struck me at an early age that this was going to be my path. I choose the arena, with all the pain, struggle, apprehension, that it has to bring.”
We are honored to call Rob and his friends and community team mates, to welcome them to follow in the pedal strokes of Maria Parker, Jacquie Schlitter and Rob White, whose efforts in Race Across America, together with our whole community, have raised more than $160,000 for brain cancer research and have given hope to those fighting brain cancer.
Welcome, Rob DeCou. Thank you for believing that #impossibleisunacceptable in this race.
Friends, family and supporters: If you’d like to help Rob get to the starting line, you can donate to help cover his RAAM costs here.