It’s been over a month since the first annual Relay for Life Lake Stevens took place and the stories just keep trickling in from participants and their life-altering experiences with not only Relay but also the effects of cancer.
There was one guy on the track that weekend in May who, it seemed, never stopped running. Continuously taking those laps around the track, even as the rain started to pour down, his steps didn’t seem to slow down at all.
Brian Johnson came to the Lake Stevens Relay with the goal of running 50 miles.
Why 50 miles?
Johnson’s cousin lost her battle with cancer at the young age of 50. This was Johnson’s tribute to his cousin.
“My cousin lost her battle to cancer a couple of years ago from stomach cancer, but she knew how involved I was with cancer benefits,” Johnson explains. “My mother, a breast cancer survivor, really appreciates all the effort and sacrifice everyone puts in to make the Relay happen.”
This is not the first event Johnson has contributed to which benefits others, cancer survivors or otherwise. Just last year he actively participated in Relay for Life Arlington. Because he lives in Lake Stevens, he was thrilled to hear that we would be hosting our own event this year.
“I participated in the Arlington Relay for Life in 2010 and had such an awesome experience. When I heard that Lake Stevens was hosting their first Relay I was all in,” he said.
Johnson wasn’t able to reach his 50 mile goal, in part due to the weather. However, he did run an impressive 40.5 miles over the two-day period.
The inspiration of family and friends kept him moving as the rain continued to pour down.
“Almost everyone is affected by cancer. I thank God everyday for the health of my family and friends so when I go out there I think about all of those who aren’t with us anymore, the survivors, and the ones currently battling the disease,” Johnson said. “Several of my friends and family members are survivors, so that always gets me fired up to get out there and run. I’m from the Northwest so the rain really isn’t that big of a deal for me. I just kicked myself for not being better prepared for it.”
Relay for Life Lake Stevens is already on Johnson’s docket for 2012 and he intends on bringing more family and friends with him to the track.
He also ran 25 miles in last weekend’s Rock & Roll Marathon in Seattle. “I want to set my goals higher next year and get more of my friends and family involved,” Johnson said.
What was the most memorable part of the weekend for Johnson?
“The whole event and that an entire community can come together to participate in such a great cause,” he said.