For many, life is all about taking the opportunities that appear before them. That included Landon Cooper until his life crossed the path a young woman that forced him to reevaluate everything about himself. The result: a 3,000 mile run across the country to raise awareness and money for sarcoma cancer research.
Cooper described his life before meeting Ashley Davis, a young woman who died of sarcoma cancer at the tender age of 23, as a “lifetime of taking.” After her passing in April 2011, Cooper’s life forever changed course.
“She was that genuine article, that soulful entity that brightened the whole world,” Cooper said. “She was too talented, too beautiful to leave. When she passed something just resonated inside me and I knew I had to do something.”
Copper said he got a large canvas and put everything he had accomplished and everything he thought he knew on it. After he was finished, he said Miles2Give, the organization he started to raise awareness and research money for sarcoma, was right there in the middle.
Cooper moved to Orem, Utah, to begin training – at least 12 hours daily, seven days a week – to take on the greatest run of his life. That run will consist of 150 consecutive days of running a minimum of 21 miles. The run will begin in San Francisco, Calif., on Feb. 14 and end in Ocean Beach, Md., on July 13. He is sponsored in part by Hydro One beverages, a Greenwood-based beverage company recently recognized in a worldwide beverage competition.
One of the unique things about the four month running adventure is that individuals can sign up to have Cooper run a day in honor of someone who is fighting or has lost a battle with cancer. Each day, Cooper’s website will update his location and let everyone know who he is running for that day.
Cooper’s run will take him through some extreme weather conditions as he makes his trek across the country. He says he would not have it any other way.
“It’s about the art of being comfortable being uncomfortable,” Cooper said. “There will be a lot of people who have cancer that will be there at the start of the race, but won’t be here when I finish the race. They never get a day off from their fight, so why should I take one?”
There will be crew filming a documentary along the way entitled “How Did I Get Here.” The film is scheduled to be released in August in Tacoma, Wash. The film will also be accompanied by a book bearing the same name.
For more information on the run visit the website www.Miles2Give.org.