It is hard to believe that a year has passed since my first attempt at the Death Race. Since that time, I have participated in 5 GORUCK Lights, 2 Challenges and 5 HEAVYS. I did the 5 HEAVYs over 6 month period. 3 of these were over a 6 week period. A week off, a week on. They all lasted 26-28 hours. I also completed the HEAVY category of the Bataan Death March this year, as well as numerous Spartan Races, from Sprints to the Beast.
I have been pushing myself for this year’s Death Race. What a mix of emotions leading up to it. I am excited and terrified at the same time. There is no real way to prepare for the Death Race. Absolutely anything is possible there. Going in, I know that it can always be worse ad that somewhere out there is someone that is in worse shape then I am.
As the father of 2 young boys, it is important for me to lead by example. I can not ask my children to do anything that I would not have done myself. Both of my guys are avid athletes who participate in Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido soccer, baseball and Boy Scouts. I feel that it is important that they do better then I did in life and I plan to set the bar high.
This year, I am doing it to honor my cousin, Firefighter Kevin Owen Reilly. Kevin was killed in the line of duty on 9/11/2001. He was an avid runner and belonged to the New York Road Runners Club. In 1999, he completed the New York Marathon in 1999. Kevin was also a diehard Yankees fan. I have carried a piece of steel from the WTC site as well as Kevin’s Yankees baseball cap to every race that I have done this year. It is important to honor this Nation’s heroes everyday. The way to have them live on is to never stop loving them.Kevin, for you, I will not quit.