Mike Herzog is the founder of a grassroots philanthropic organization called GoodGuysTri. He would be the first to admit that he is an average guy simply trying to squeeze every ounce out of life. His philanthropic career started at a very young age and he continues to inspire others to serve their community. Mike is an Ottawa-area triathlete and will be joining the 3 kg Challenge team at the Alive to Strive Race on April 27.
I am looking forward to joining the 3 kg Challenge team for the Alive to Strive Race in Ottawa for a variety of reasons. As an avid endurance athlete and founder of GoodGuysTri, it offers an athletic challenge, since we will have to carry an extra three kilograms (mimicking the average water retention those with kidney disease face between dialysis treatments) as well as the opportunity to bring awareness to such a great cause like kidney disease. Moreover, the 3 kg Challenge will focus some attention on the Alive to Strive Kidney Fitness Project, which supports Ottawa-area patients living with chronic kidney disease.
When I was asked how I will train for the additional weight, I had to smile. I am sure many readers can attest that the off-season not only brings rest to a weary body and mind, but also some winter weight gain. To be frank, I am up ten pounds, but I continue to train off and on with my dog Hank, an 11 month old and very energetic Hungarian Vizsla. As March brings nicer weather, the competitive season comes into focus and so does more intense training… and the shedding of pounds follows. Consequently, I will shed the weight and replace it with the vest on race day.
By no means will it be easy to add the weight directly to my torso and run the 5 km, but my body has become accustomed to weight changes associated with competing in endurance events. In endurance running, I need to bring water and nutrition with me depending on the location and duration of the run. My favourite run is deep into the Gatineau Park, from the Visitor Centre to the Fire Tower or Luskville Falls and back. This ~45km run requires that I be self-sufficient with hydration, nutrition and a couple of emergency items. The weight adds up! The difference for those facing kidney diseases and the water retention is that they do NOT get to stop and remove the weight to take a break; they need to follow constant diet restrictions and dialysis treatments to survive.
The greatest part about running for a cause is the collaboration, camaraderie, and the fact that irrespective of pace, we are all winners. This balance is exactly the type of challenge that I am looking for. GoodGuysTri was founded, “To leverage our passion for endurance sport to simply “do good” in this crazy world.” A strong team of like-minded philanthropic people who, after years of competing, now focus on crossing finish lines in support of great causes that help to fight kids cancer, support youth associations, and even walk for hours on the coldest days to help Ottawa’s homeless. If you are interested in learning more, please check out the GoodGuysTri website.
With any luck and with the dedication shown by organizations like the Alive to Strive Kidney Fitness Project, we will be able to one day prevent chronic kidney disease. Join us on Sunday, April 27 for the Alive to Strive Race and help us raise awareness of chronic kidney disease in our community!
Thanks for the opportunity to run with you and help you get one step closer to preventing kidney disease.