You might be wondering to yourself who is Packy? Why 2600 miles?
Packy, Patrick Ryan Purcell is my cousin and he passed away on May 8th, 2013 from cancer at 26 years old. Packy battled Crohn's disease for 7 years and during that time I never heard him complain once, not when he lost a ton of weight and had to take time off before going to college, and not when he had to have his colon removed. In 2011 Packy was diagnosed with colon cancer and started his cancer fight. Packy never asked why me and he continued to live his life on his own terms, a true testimate to living life to the fullest and never giving up. He never took the easy way out saying poor me and never stopped living. Even getting engaged to the most compassionate and wonderful woman I have ever known in my life.
Never Give up 26 has become our remembrance of Packy and my cousin Ashley started a foundation in Packy's honor. We have shirts, bracelets, cozies, pins and we have our memory that Packy is thinking of us when we see the number 26. How does one make sense of someone so young passing away? You make it about something larger and greater. Packy's lasting impression on every single person he touched will never go away and thanks to Ashley's tireless efforts his legacy will live on in the form of scholarships for deserving students at his old high school.
Every single race I run there comes a time I think about Packy and the fact I can't give up because he never did. Below is the link to Packy's non-profit foundation as well as information about Crohns and colon cancer. 2600 miles was kind of a random pick of a number with 26 in it that I thought would be achievable. Now that I've decided to train for two half ironmen I think it should be pretty easy to get to that number so I may have to increase it. I will be counting my swimming, biking and running distances!