‘War with the road’
by BEN WILLIAMS Run Now Relay Runner
Apr 18, 2014 | 853 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Run Now Relay fighting weather

BEN WILLIAMS celebrates Run Now Relay reaching 745 miles on the 1,075-mile journey from Cleveland to Boston. Williams, an environmental and physical science teacher at Cleveland High School, has a lot of support coming from classes throughout the school. Over the past couple of days, Run Now Relay participants have been battling the weather and in some instances road conditions.  Contributed photo
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Our Run Now Relay family has been on the road for five days now. We have covered over half of our distance of our goal, the Boston Marathon finish line.

Days and nights are blending together as most of the team settles into a functional insomnia. Wildly energetic breakthroughs in our campaign are punctuated by the persistent reality that we are still humans at the end of the day.

My van started our blustery 30-mile war with the road Tuesday night with a warning from teammate Madison Torrance. At our van exchange, Madison popped his head in our window and shared that the cold, windy, road conditions and nature of the traffic were making this stretch of highway difficult, to say the least.

With that somber warning, our team shot off into the dark, blustery night.

It seemed the foreboding warnings had still been a bit of an understatement. Eighteen-wheelers barreled by as our runners clung to a crumbling and inconsistent shoulder. The headwind was roaring against us in waves and some road construction areas had left our members hurdling concrete construction barricades to escape early­ morning traffic.

We are indeed at war with the road.

For many of us, this fundraising endurance event has allowed us to challenge ourselves for a cause that we feel a profound responsibility to contribute toward. Others of us, myself included, felt a deep rage and more than a sorrow at the events of last year’s Boston Marathon. This war with the road that we are waging is finally something concrete that we can channel our collective outrage toward.

We are accomplishing our goal with every conversation.

A fellow Run Now Relay runner had $8 donated to him at 1 a.m. while running on a dark highway. Others have received donations online after conversations on the street. Strangers at every stop join our ranks and the message we share resonates louder as we approach our destination.

We are winning this war with the road.

I am about to hop out of the SUV for the fifth time and run my 13.1 miles in the dark. On my runs, I have been visualizing the kind messages and words that are being sent to us from around the world. I hear our support ringing like a crowd at the finish line. I feel the closer we get to Boston, the closer our finish line gets. Cheers get louder as we near the end of this journey.

It’s exhilarating!

I have heard our supporters loud and clear this entire journey from sponsors to strangers, and I hear their voices ring from the finish line in Boston. It has me quickening my pace.