What is MS Run the US? We had the opportunity to catch up with Hive athlete and MS Run the US runner Laura Miles. Laura takes the time to explain the events and her inspiration behind wanting to participate. Here is her story:
I started running about 12 years ago as a way to stay in shape and to meet new people. So, when my brother Bobby was diagnosed a year later with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis my running took on new meaning. I didn’t want to waste the healthy legs and body I had, and I discovered that my running could actually help his cause. Since his diagnosis, Bobby and I have participated in many MS Walks and Bike MS. I’ve ran the Boston Marathon twice with the Marathon Strides Against MS Team and created a virtual race to raise money and awareness for MS.
However, I felt a desire to bring MORE awareness, raise MORE funds and physically challenge myself MORE to make a bigger impact on this disease. By chance, I discovered MS Run the US.
The MS Run the US – Relay is an annual 3,100-mile relay run across America for the MS cause. Split into 18 segments with a runner per segment, Relay participants commit to running an average of 160 miles over 6 consecutive days during their assigned segment. The Relay begins each year in April near Los Angeles, California, and finishes mid-August in New York, New York.
There is an application process to be considered as a runner for a segment of the relay. Once selected, each representative spends months training and fundraising in preparation to devote one week on the road completing the total segment’s miles. Donations raised are used to fund research for a cure through the National MS Society and the Center Without Walls and to assist those living with disability from MS.
Because I missed the application window in 2016, the year I learned about the relay, I became an ambassador instead. Being an ambassador is great because you can be involved in MS Run the US events and bring awareness to the cause without the larger commitment of running and fundraising. In 2017, after finding out I was going to have a baby, I decided to again represent by being an ambassador. Now it’s finally my turn! As a member of the 2018 Relay Team, I will be running segment #4 from Milford, Utah, to Nephi, Utah – 136 miles in 5 days!
This will be the biggest running achievement of my life and scares the hell out of me, but my brother Bobby faces the fear of the unknown, the fear of pain, the fear of giving up EVERY SINGLE DAY. What better way to bring awareness to this disease then to face some of those very fears myself?
I’ll admit, it’s a bit crazy at times working full-time and chasing around a 14 month old toddler. I currently run 5 days a week. From now until my relay segment begins, I will be running between 50-80 miles per week to train. It’s a lot – sometimes it’s hard. But it’s also amazing, rewarding and beautiful!
The truth is, you can do anything you put your mind to. Like Shalane Flanagan said “If you have the courage to fail, then you have the courage to succeed.” And when in doubt…I dance it out! If you follow my journey you will most definitely find me running AND dancing my way across the state of Utah May 3-7.
Keep up with Laura and her journey…