Chris Holt of the San Francisco Chronicle has been following Sam Fox's epic journey (undertaken from July to October 2011) to raise funds and awareness for The Michael J. Fox Foundation. If you aren't familiar with the story, Sam (no relation to Michael J. Fox) came up with the completely nutso idea of running the entire length of the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail in 65 days or less in honor of his mother, Lucy, who was diagnosed with the disease seven years ago. The Foundation has had its collective socks knocked off by Sam's courage, perseverance and ingenuity, not to mention his prodigious athletic gifts; we've also loved getting to know Lucy and Sam's friends and supporters including his girlfriend, Chloe, Team Awesome (who supported him on the trail) and Marion Mauran, the documentary filmmaker following Sam around with a camera.
This week Chris published a new Q&A with Sam. A few memorable excerpts:
Q: Knowing what you just endured, would you have trained differently?
A: I stated going into this that the only way to truly prepare for it would be to have already done it. That turned out to be true. But that said, I never want to do it again.
Q: What was the toughest moment of your journey?
A: The list of tough moments is endless. I guess the worst moments were waking up long before the sun, every day, just knowing it would be 16 to 20 hours before I could rest again. And also knowing that the same cycle would repeat itself over and over for what seemed like an eternity.
Q: Could you provide us with an update regarding your fundraising efforts?
A: We have raised about $170,000 in donations and grants. On Nov. 12, we made a first-installment donation of $150,000 to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
Q: Any memorable interactions with fellow travelers?
A: Because of the pace I was keeping, I didn't have many extended interactions while I was on the trail. I did, however, get to meet Michael J. Fox's son, also named Sam Fox, at a support point near Lake Tahoe. He came out as an ambassador of the Michael J. Fox Foundation and brought a personal video message from his father. It was awesome to meet him, and it really breathed new life into our efforts.
Q: How did you celebrate your finish?
A: I slept 12 hours. Then I spent three days relaxing in Palm Springs with my family. And my mom took me to a salon to rid my hair of all the dreadlocks that built up over two months in the woods.