600 family members in Cape Cod

Yesterday Beat Nb ran the Falmouth Road Race, for the 5th year in a row. It was a perfect day on Cape Cod, high 70s with a breeze rolling off the water through most of the run.

The people are awesome. This was my first time running Falmouth, with over 11,000 runners showed up for the 44th annual 7.1 mile race. 200 of them were running with Beat Nb to help us save kids with cancer (the second largest group running). For pretty much the entire 7 mile stretch, supporters were lined up along the road cheering runners on, giving out water, spraying us with their garden hoses, and smiling.

Right around 5.5 miles was the official Beat Nb cheer area, with what must have been a hundred green shirts and happy faces giving us that extra boost of motivation toward the finish line. I got messages from people who weren’t even on our team, noticing that huge green mass and having seen our running shirts throughout the run, complimenting us on our crowd.

Our crew here is a family. The amount of hugs and high fives and cheers going around welcomed us in with open arms, and Robyn and I both felt right at home. This group has raised $275,000+ so far, with fundraising pages open until November to hit our $300k goal. There are multiple families of neuroblastoma kids represented in the runners and supporters, and many who are here because one of those stories has touched their heart in a deep enough way to raise thousands of dollars and run 7 miles in the heat. My heartfelt thanks to you.

Robyn and I lost our son Ezra to neuroblastoma in 2010. Not a day goes by we don’t think of him. To see so many people pouring their effort into something which allows other families to stay whole, through clinical research which is saving these kids lives, means the world to us both. And to the families who were there yesterday. All us neuroblastoma parents are deeply grateful knowing you spend your family’s time working to better ours.

The post race party was a blast. Especially since there was no running involved! We had about 600 RSVPs, and Pat Lacey got at least partly soaked with freezing water as I dumped it mostly on his shoes (note: next year get more people to help lift the giant tub). Jack Eichel from the Buffalo Sabres (and Boston University) was there signing pucks and photos, and hanging with the tons of kids there who love hockey. Whoops – I wore my Tampa Bay Lightning hat. Thanks for being cool about it, Jack. 😉 It was great to have you there.

I think the most common thing I heard as I introduced Robyn and myself to everyone who has been training for Falmouth for weeks and months, was “oh, Kyle Matthews! You’re the email guy!” Ha, thanks – I’m glad to finally meet you all in person, and proud to be a part of this family now.

I didn’t run fast, but I finished the race. We’re ready to do this even bigger next year, and continue growing with our mission of beating neuroblastoma always in plain view and hard focus. There is a magic to the group we have amassed these past 6 years, in Boston and Braintree, in Tampa Bay, in San Diego, in Buffalo, in Grand Rapids, and across the country.

It is heart that cements us, and you could feel it when we stood yesterday outside that tent on the Cape Cod Fairgrounds. We are saving kids’ lives. This isn’t lofty rhetoric – the kids were there yesterday. In person, and on posters throughout the fairgrounds. These kids are beating a cancer which historically is bad news for a family, for a kid, as it was for my family. This is because of your help. Because of the incredible researchers we work with at the NMTRC. Because we are all standing up and saying, no, this isn’t right, and we won’t stand for it.

Thank you. Let’s keep at it. Let’s Beat Nb.

If you ran and took photos, we’d love to see them! Email us at kyle@beatnb.org, or tag @beatnb on Twitter or Facebook when you share. Thanks!

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