Updated 05/23/2012 06:05 PM
Two men prepare to Run Across America for Breast Cancer
Running has been used to bring awareness to many causes. Around here, it's usually in the form of a race. But two college students are about to embark on an endeavor that will take them across the country to raise awareness and money for breast cancer programs. Our Iris St. Meran caught up with the men as they trained for their long trek.
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AUBURN, N.Y. -- In the fight against breast cancer, these two men are letting their feet do the talking.
Runner Rob Baird said, "June 8th we start. We're going to run from Lubec, Maine to Capetown, California. We're doing this to raise awareness for The National Breast Cancer Foundation."
They will also raise funds. Their goal is $1 million to help the foundation provide mammograms to those in need. The total distance is more than 3,500 miles and it's going to take them nearly four months to complete. In the days and weeks leading up to it, they're been getting their bodies prepared.
"We're going to average 35 miles a day, probably going to run between 20 to 30 [miles] and walk about 10. Right now we're running 15 to 20, maybe 25 a day. We do a lot of cross training, biking and stuff to make sure we're staying in shape," said runner Mike Henn.
The two are from opposite ends of the region. Henn is from Auburn and Baird is from Holland Patent. They became friends through cross country at Utica College and discovered a shared passion for running, which is how this fundraising effort came about. But the duo also saw firsthand family members suffer from this disease.
"My aunt had breast cancer. She's been breast cancer free for the past seven years now,” Baird said. “I remember, I was only 10-years-old at the time, but I remember going there with my other aunt and seeing her in the hospital."
Henn said, “My great-grandmother and both of her sisters had breast cancer. All three of them have won the fight hopefully. Seeing it first hand, knowing what it can do to someone, how it can change them as a person, it's really tough."
They know this run will be too, but the thought of helping others will be enough to push them one step at a time.
"We're trying to make a difference in the community and show that anybody can do anything," said Henn.
Mike Henn and Rob Baird could use donations of food, sneakers and other supplies while their running. To help, email Henn at email@example.com.
For information on how to make a donation on their behalf to the Breast Cancer Foundation, visit www.runacrossamerica.stayclassy.org.