Each run is a gift

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“At age 49, I was a 215-pound, weightlifting gym rat. In the summer of 2010, my wife told me that for her birthday in December, she wanted to run a half marathon. I hadn’t the foggiest idea what I was doing, but I talked her into letting me train her. That December, we ran and finished our first race. Two months later, I found out that also crossing the finish line with us was a Stage IV T3 sized tumor directly behind my Adam’s apple. Treatment started soon after. Between March and May, I lost my ability to drive due to meds, my voice due to radiation and over 40 pounds. I was declared cancer free in October and will celebrate six years this fall. I don’t lift as much as I used to, but I run more than I could have ever imagined. Each run, no matter how short or long, is a gift”- HOKA fan Christopher Nolan

Christopher is wearing the Bondi.

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15-year brain cancer survivor

Screen-Shot-2017-09-29-at-4.04.40-PM“Rob is a 15-year brain cancer survivor. One month after his surgery, while doing six weeks of daily radiation and chemo, he decided he wanted to start running and train for the Chicago Marathon. Rob trains in rain, sun or snow and usually at 4:30 a.m. before work. He only takes time off when he is on chemo. Rob finished Chicago 2015 in just under six hours. Despite successes, his journey hasn’t been easy, and after all his effort and sacrifice, two weeks before the 2016 Chicago Marathon, we were told his brain tumor grew back, again. The doctors wanted to operate immediately, but Rob decided to wait two weeks until after the marathon. We went to Chicago with very heavy hearts. We didn’t know if he’d survive, let alone run again. With every step he took during those 26.2 miles, he wondered if that would be his last marathon ever. He persevered and gave it his all, finishing Chicago 2016 in 5 hours 4 min. We went to NYC two weeks later, for his third brain surgery. It was amazing. He came through with flying colors and miraculously had no side effects post surgery. Rob runs for the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) to raise awareness about brain cancer. The fundraising goes toward patient and caregiver education and clinical research. He says he started running because it is the only thing in his life he feels he has control of. He also says he runs for brain cancer patients who can’t run for themselves. Running has helped him so much with the neurological symptom management and anxiety caused by this type of brain tumor. Rob is truly an inspiration and a silent warrior.”-Rob’s wife, Sherlyn Celone-Arnold

Rob’s favorite shoe is the Arahi.

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Surgery and marathon veteran

Screen-Shot-2017-02-07-at-12.20.37-PM“I had brain surgery in 1993 to remove a brain tumor from my right cerebellum. In December 2009, I was told that I had a tumor recurrence and two new tumors. I started running as an escape and ran my first half marathon in 2010. I continued my running journey until I had my second brain surgery to remove one of the tumors in 2012. I have continued running because, to me, running is a metaphor for life. In running, as in life, you gain strength from the challenges you face. Running continues to help me both physically and mentally get through the challenges of living with VHL. Within my own family, I come from a legacy of VHL WARRIORS, including my dad, uncle, cousin and most recently my brother, who have lost their lives to this disease. Von Hippel-Lindau is a genetic condition. Having an alteration in the VHL gene is what is known as a predisposition factor to certain kinds of tumors, including some specific cancers. My running journey has been such an amazing experience. It truly has given me strength and often is therapy. In 2015, I suffered a ‘moderate’ heart attack during a race. I was rushed to the hospital, and a stent was put in. The heart attack put an end to my 557-day running streak, but in the end I was able to concentrate on my health and achieve my goal of representing the VHL community in the 2016 Boston Marathon.”- HOKA Fan Shawn Mastrantonio

Shawn’s favorite shoe is the Clifton 3.Screen-Shot-2017-02-02-at-1.59.38-PM