Running Multiple Myeloma 200 Miles into the Ground in Central Park

I love the bumper sticker that reads: “13.1 Because I’m only half crazy.” It makes me laugh, as do most bumper stickers that require a certain degree of esoteric knowledge and are self-deprecating in nature. This bumper sticker is functioning on both levels of my enjoyment. The “13.1” refers to the distance, in miles, of a half marathon. The quip about only being half crazy is clearly alluding to the fact that someone must be fully crazy to run a full marathon. I’m not sure what kind of sticker those 100-mile ultra-marathoners would put on their cars.

Whatever it is, Eric Gelber needs two for a feat he accomplished recently for multiple myeloma.

To raise funds for multiple myeloma research, according to CBS in New York City, Eric ran 200 miles this past spring. That equates to slightly more than 7.5 marathons consecutively. That’s from Buffalo to Cleveland, or Indianapolis to Chicago, or Boston to New York City, though Eric stayed close to home for his attempt. He ran around New York’s Central Park a total of 33 times.

Eric first got involved when Anita, a close friend, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. At first, he didn’t know what he could do, but he soon heard about the opportunity to fundraise and run in marathons. Since then, he has run numerous marathons; his racing bibs cover one wall in his garage.

Eric has previously made two unsuccessful attempts at the 200-mile race. He hoped that the third time would be the charm. This time, Eric had a documentary film crew in tow as he set out. Perhaps it was knowing that people were watching that drove him to accomplish it this time.

He set out when Anita’s husband blew an air horn with many spectators around. Friends and family of people with multiple myeloma came out to run sections with Eric. He was accompanied by his wife, Tani, and his three children as he crossed the line. The entire attempt required 50 hours of running.

Maybe Eric’s bumper sticker should read: “200 Because I’m 7.5 times crazier than marathoners.”

Watch a short clip of the CBS New York report on Eric’s amazing journey by clicking here.

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