Almost three years ago, my father, Ken Keller, passed away from a heart attack. Since then there is not a day that goes by when I don’t think about him, especially since the birth of son who’s named after him. Raising my son has me constantly thinking about what my father would do in certain situations, and I’m reminded of all the time my father spent with me. He was a great father, and serves as an example of the type of father I want to be for my children.
One of the things I’ve come to admire about my father is that he was always available to play catch, shoot hoops, or hit some baseballs. I used to look back and think it was a waste of his time. Now that I have my own child I understand why my father spent all those hours playing with me. It wasn’t just some of the best moments of my life, it was also the best moments of his. It’s why for almost three years I’ve been trying to think of a way to honor my father. Over these three years I’ve discovered that when I run I become flooded with all these memories of my father. Its one of the reasons I love running. It brings me back to that special time in my life when I was just a boy playing catch with his father.
This is why I’ll be running in the 2015 Pittsburgh Half Marathon as a charity runner for the American Heart Association (AHA). My entry as a charity runner is free but I need to raise $400 for the AHA by May 2, 2015 to qualify. I’ll be donating $100, which is more than the regular registration fee, because this isn’t about a free entry. It’s about helping the AHA reach its goal of raising $50,000 to fund research to combat the #1 and #4 killers of all Americans: heart disease and stroke.
I’m planning to keep an updated journal of my progress towards the fundraising goal and training. I’m thinking about monthly blog posts and then weekly posts as the half marathon gets closer. I also wouldn’t be my father’s son if I didn’t have a goal in mind, a practice my father made me commit to before every game. My goal for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon is to finish in 1:31:46, which would an average of seven minute miles for 13.1 miles. This will be my fourth half marathon— I’ve also completed one full marathon and my fastest time in the half marathon is 1:47:34.
Thank you for reading this blog post. This is a goal I thought about completing for a few years and it seemed like there was always an excuse to not commit to it. I hope you’re motivated to help me achieve this goal, even a dollar can make a huge difference. A dollar can help make heart disease and stroke a thing of the past and not have the lives of the people we care about, cut short. That’s why I’m running for dad.
HERE is the link to my Crowdrise fundraising page.