Almost a month ago we lost Warren Bruno after an 8 year battle with Lymphoma. Warren was, and is, the honored hero for the Georgia Chain Gang. He was a husband, a father, a business owner, a pillar in his community. I knew Warren, didn't know him as well as I would have liked, but knew him well enough to realize I was lucky for every moment spent with him. In the days following his death I thought a lot while out on the bike. It seems like only the really decent, good people get diagnosed with a cancer or any other terminal disease. I think what really happens is that a diagnoses makes life so much simpler, all the other crap that gets in the way of spending time with family and friends suddenly doesn't really matter. Warren was already a great guy even before the diagnosis, we should all strive to be a little more like him.
RAAM starts in less than a week and I find myself completely ready for the race to get started. For the last 4-6 months RAAM has been 'my thing'. Between training, fundraising, and planning, RAAM has used up most of my free time. I am in as good of physical condition as I believe I've ever been in. Looking back over the last 6 months, I've been investing an average of about 8-10 hours per week on training. At that level of commitment I don't think any more calendar time is really going to make much improvement. This experience has really opened my eyes to the level of time commitment a major endurance event like RAAM or an Ironman take. I know quite a few people that have trained and completed IM's, and I have a lot of respect for the effort it takes to do that. Once the race starts, all the work and planning will be put to the test, but the day to day will be simple... ride bikes.
The Chain Gang's fundraising is at an impressive level, we're on track to be at or above $150,000 before the race starts. I'm humbled and grateful for all that have donated to my page. My personal network is not very big so one of my biggest concerns was being able to make enough of an impact to the total fundraising for the team, feel OK about my effort but... it's not too late to get a few more donations in...
This is likely going to be my last post before RAAM starts. If you want to keep up with the Chain Gang, your best jumping off point for updates, pics, and videos is going to be the Facebook page. You can follow me on twitter as well. Thanks again to all that have donated and wished us luck, we'll do our absolute best to honor all that have contributed and, of course, Warren.