Reaching for Recovery – 5k/10k


It’s happened again!  More than a month has passed since my last blog post (starting to sound like a broken record)…

  • I covered just over 153miles, including another 50k, and another marathon
  • My daughter’s TENTH birthday!
  • Easter and
  • The first “race” that I co-directed – Reaching for Recovery

With everything I could talk about… and believe me, I could go on for HOURS right now, I think I’m going to keep this post focused on “Reaching for Recovery”.

If you follow my blog, you are probably aware of my friends Ron and Shannon and everything their son, Ryan, has gone through.  If you are new, here is a brief summary from his Mom, Shannon;

“Several people have written to me asking about Ryan’s story. So, here is the short version (LOL)…Thank you for allowing us to share Ryan’s journey. Ryan’s story started back on November 3. He was vomiting & had a severe headache. We took him to the ER and they did a CT. They told us he had a mass on his brain & sent us to Rainbow in an ambulance. We ended up being in the hospital for 14 weeks. Ryan ended up being diagnosed with an AVM (arteoveneous malformation). Most people don’t know about their AVM until the have a stroke or hemorrhage. We were lucky Ryan had symptoms. He had his first surgery November 12. They had to do a brain embolization that caused him to have a mild stroke. He lost strength & coordination on his left side (ataxia). The next day he had a crainiotomy with a resection. We thought we made it out of the woods but his CSF (cerebral spinal fluid) wasn’t being absorbed by his body for some reason. So they said he would need a head shunt put in. The day after the shunt was put in they found out Ryan had meningitis. The shunt had to be removed….another surgery. He had to be on IV antibiotics for 3 weeks. During this period another shunt had to be put in. After 7 weeks we were sent to the Cleveland clinic children’s rehabilitation hospital for 2 weeks if inpatient therapy. While we were there Ryan’s incision from his very first surgery started to leak. So we were admitted back to Rainbow. He ended up having another infection. The doctors said they had to perform a surgery to mend Ryan skull and remove the second infected shunt. He is currently still fighting the infection. He has had over 20 CT scans 4 MRI s 3 brain angiograms numerous Iv s and over 7 surgeries . He had a blood transfusion and 2 spinal taps as well. He missed Halloween, Thanksgiving, his birthday, Christmas, and a surprise trip to Disney for New Years. He has 2 sisters who missed him dearly. My husband & I were at the hospital everyday. Luckily, I am a teacher & people have donated sick days to me so that I could be with Ryan until he returned to school. Ryan recently was switched from 5 day a week day hospital to out patient therapy at CCF. He continues to work hard everyday & we love him to pieces.”

I’ve known Ron and Shannon for nearly 30 years, and being a father myself, I couldn’t imagine seeing my child go through what Ryan did.  I wanted to help and the best way I could think of was to host a “race” in which we could donate the proceeds to their family.  I know money is pretty tight for most folks lately and since my good friend Des has also been raising money for an organization called Runwell (read more about them here), I figured the best way to get the most turnout was to combine an event to benefit both Ryan and Runwell.  I approached Des with the idea and R4R2 was born — Reaching for Recovery / Ryan and Runwell.

I really enjoyed planning this event with Des.  So many people stepped up to help and so many companies were gracious enough to donate many, many nice things!  Achille’s Running Store in Mentor donated Saucony golf towels and Brooke’s flash lights (enough so that every one of our participants were able to have one).  They also donated several pint glasses and a couple Brooke’s watches.  Panera‘s donated enough food to feed an army!  Giant Eagle donated cases of water, and The Firehouse, Qdoba, Portage Cyclery, and The Happy Moose donated gift certificates for their establishments.  I cannot put to words the feeling of gratitude I had when walking away from these places with their donations for our raffle.  I cannot thank them enough.

On to the race….. The “big cheese”, “fearless leader”, “man with the plan” of OUTRUN (our running group), Zack,  helped with designing the course.  OUTRUN hosts a race at Penitentiary Glenn called Believe to Achieve.  We used a slightly easier version of that course (yes Linda — I said easier :)) and marked out the course early Sunday morning, well before everyone arrived.

Gathering before the run

Gathering before the run

A few last minute instrustions

A few last minute instructions

Gathering for the start

Gathering for the start

And they're off!

And they’re off!!!

The run consisted of a 5k loop.  Run/walk it once and receive a “Team Davis” bracelet, complete it a second time and receive some Runwell swag; either a bracelet or ball.  For many of the folks here, this was their first 5k and for a couple, they did their first 10k with us!  Here’s a couple pics of the course.

False sense of security at the start..

False sense of security at the start..

Quickly turned to some mud

Quickly turned to some mud

Creek crossingS

Creek crossingS

And hills :)

And hills 🙂

This last hill, I heard that it was dubbed “Fear Factor Hill” and from what I understand several of my friends had a few choice words for me while climbing it 🙂

Well deserved food and refreshments!

Well deserved food and refreshments!

Ryan completed his first 5k!!!  Rock on kid, you're amazing!

Ryan completed his first 5k!!! Rock on kid, you’re amazing!

Love how a community comes together for a cause.  Many of my running and non-running friends came out to show their support.  So proud and grateful to have all of you guys in my life!

Here is  couple other posts about the event.



You could also view the event page here for more pictures and here for the Team Davis facebook page that Shannon and her family keep updated with Ryan’s progress.  Lastly, there is a link on the page if you feel compelled to make a donation.

I have a LOT more catching up t0 do.  Stay tuned 🙂


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