Running to Fight Breast Cancer (336 Miles)*

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The following article appeared in Y-ME's IMAGES newsletter. If you want to support this worthy organization, go to the Y-ME Web site.

Many of us have a hard time envisioning ourselves completing a 10-kilometer (10K) run let alone running over 60 miles a day for 5 days straight, but that’s what Jim Moore did recently. Starting in Pittsburgh, PA on July 20, 2004, Jim ran a 303-mile course along the Great Allegheny Trail and C&O Canal, finishing in Georgetown, DC on July 24th. Although Jim and his wife Rebecca are long-time ultra-distance runners, Jim didn’t undertake this run just for fun or health benefits. He did it to raise funds for breast cancer education and support in the national capital area. On this run, Jim, Rebecca, and his team raised over $9,112 for Y-ME NCA.

James and Rebecca Hand Donations to Y-ME Director, Kathy Alleman
James and Rebecca Give Donations to Y-ME Director, Kathy Alleman
So why did Jim decide on such a grueling endeavor? It was because Rebecca was diagnosed with breast cancer a little more than 3 years ago. Like so many of us who have had our lives turned upside down by this disease, Jim and Rebecca dealt with the trauma of diagnosis and treatment and decided they wanted to do something for the breast cancer cause – especially since they have two daughters they do not want to see affected. Jim said he didn’t realize how much breast cancer had impacted their lives until they took a trip to Niagara Falls, NY shortly after Rebecca finished chemotherapy treatments. Jim said he and Rebecca went out for a walk, and he was surprised to find that “someone who was used to running ultra-distances was only able to walk a few feet before she needed to rest.”

In the past, Jim has run ultra-distances to raise money for hungry children and for the So Others Might Eat organization. In 2001 he ran to raise funds for breast cancer research on the national level. This year, after hinting around on his part and concern about whether he should attempt this again on Rebecca’s part, he went in search of a local breast cancer organization and found Y-ME on the internet. Jim said he and Rebecca were drawn in by our offer of “24/7 one-on-one support – something no other breast cancer organization in the area offers.”

Carolyn Gernand
Crew Chief Carolyn Gernand
A runner for over 20 years, Jim started running 10Ks and then marathons, working his way up to ultra-distances of 50 miles or more. Rebecca also has been an ultra-distance runner for some 15 years. Jim and Rebecca belong to the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club, which they say “feels like family.” In fact, running club members Anstr Davidson and Carolyn Gernand were part of Jim’s crew. Anstr manages Jim’s run website and Carolyn, serving as crew chief, joined Rebecca and the Moores’ son Terrence to provide important logistical support along the run. Jim says one of the challenges was that the Great Allegheny Trail is not fully open, so there were some detours along the way, making it difficult for Rebecca and Carolyn to support him on their bikes. Rebecca says she was worried about Jim’s energy on the first day because she believes she overfed him. She also says the 4th day was “difficult due to serious thunderstorms.” Jim says Rebecca used the thunderstorm as “an excuse to get off her bike since the frame had metal in it.”

Bunny and Gary at the Eagle Run
Bunny and Gary after another VHTRC Event
Jim “blames” the idea for this run on his running buddy, Robert Coyne, who initially biked on the Great Allegheny Trail. He says he and Robert remain friends despite this suggestion. He also tells us that other running club buddies Gary Knipling and Bunny Runyan joined him in this latest endeavor and provided much needed inspiration. Gary ran with Jim, and Bunny biked with Rebecca and was a “good picker-upper.”

Jim and Rebecca are part of the “military family.” They have resided in the DC area since 1971. Jim is an Army veteran, having served 2 tours in the Pentagon as well as in Viet Nam. Jim has spent the past 20 years with the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Department of Homeland Security. Rebecca, having “served her time with the military,” retired recently. Jim and Rebecca have moved past the personal breast cancer diagnosis, but have not moved past the impact on others. Jim and Rebecca are currently training for the JFK 50-miler in Boonesboro, MD. Y-ME NCA thanks them both for their dedication to the cause and wishes them much energy on future runs.


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