7Days--Nate runs for Dana-Farber Boston Marathon

In just seven (7) days Nate Erwin will be running the Boston Marathon. He's half way to his fundraising goal. Help him get to 100% TODAY. DONATE to NATE NOW!!!

Nate Erwin grew up outside of Boston MA, left the area to attend college in upstate New York; and then headed west to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the film industry. While in sunny California he caught the marathon bug and has been running since. On April 19, in a little over 11 weeks, Erwin will be running the Boston Marathon the world’s oldest and most prestigious annual marathon. Erwin will not only be running for himself, he’s running as part of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge Team (DFMC) and he needs your help.

Like most people, Erwin’s life has been touched by cancer. When Erwin was five years old, his maternal grandmother died of pancreatic cancer. At that young age, he remembers little of his grandmother other than the cancer. His paternal grandmother battled various cancers all her life and died when Erwin was 25. To quote Erwin “My life so far has been bookended with cancer losses, and I’m sure it’s not the end of it.”

Recently, Erwin took time out of his busy day working in New York City for the Vermont based band Grace Potter and the Nocturnals to answer some questions about his run for DFMC.

When asked if he’s always been a runner Erwin’s response was: “The first time I ran, really ran, was when I was in sixth grade running the mile in gym class. I barely finished and it took me about 18 minutes. Most people can walk a mile in 18 minutes. That experience made it clear to me that I needed to change my lifestyle. I started running competitively in High School, spending my freshman and sophomore years on the cross country team. I stopped running during my sophomore year to pursue more activities in the arts.” After moving to Los Angeles, with mild winters and relatively flat terrain, Erwin hooked up with his competitive running best friend, joined a running club. And in 2009, ran his first marathon, the Surf City Marathon, Huntington Beach CA and his second the Long Beach Marathon, Long Beach CA this past October. He has also competed in two half-marathons, one in Santa Barbara CA in 2007 and the other in Pasadena CA in 2009.

When asked what it takes to train for the Boston Marathon Erwin’s response was: I used to hear people say ‘If I can run a marathon, anyone can do it’, and I wouldn’t believe it. Now I find myself saying the same thing. It’s not easy; it’s a lot of work, and mostly its dedication and sticking to your plan.” Currently living in New York City, Erwin has been able to build up his hill strength as he’ll be face with “HEARTBREAK HILL” in the Boston Marathon (From Wikipedia-Heartbreak Hill is an ascent over 0.4 mile (600 m) of the Boston Marathon course, between the 20 and 21 mile marks, in the vicinity of Boston College. It is the last of four "Newton hills", which begin at the 16 mile mark. The Newton hills confound contestants (out of proportion to their modest elevation gain) by forcing a late climb after the downhill trend of the race to that point). Erwin averages about 20-35 miles per week. When asked about a special “training” diet, Erwin said “My only special diet is (to) cut down on alcohol consumption (preferably none), and no fast food. I try to generally eat healthy and (eat) fresh food. I don’t run on an empty stomach and I load up on protein after my long runs.”

Why run for Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge (DFMC) Team? Dana-Farber is one of the world’s most renowned cancer research institutes. In 1990, the DFMC teamed up with the Boston Athletic Association B.A.A as one of the race’s first charity organizations. Since that time DFMC has raised over $43 million dollars for the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In 2009, with the marathoners running through Kenmore Square, in downtown Boston, on their way to the finish line, Erwin was in attendance. “I was impressed with how many people were running for the DFMC team. I viewed my first two marathons as selfish endeavors – I really just ran them to prove to myself that I could do it. Now that I’ve done it, and done it again, I wanted to use my running to help, and the DFMC team felt like a good fit said Erwin.

There are over two dozen charitable organizations that have teamed up with the B.A.A. to run in the marathon. “I chose Dana Farber because I believe strongly in what they are doing. The particular program I’m raising money for, the Claudia Adams Barr Program, grants funds to researchers who are often denied funds from regular government and private grants because either they are new to their field or they are pursuing research considered unproven. I believe that contributing to this program in particular will help support breakthroughs in cancer research” Erwin said.

Erwin has set up a donation page at: http://www.rundfmc.org/2010/natee. You can donate to his run online or the website provides instructions for printing and mailing a donation form with a personal check. Donations can be mailed to Erwin at: Nate Erwin, Measurement Arts Management, 214 Sullivan Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10012. All donations are tax deductible.

Erwin also states that “volunteers are needed over the next two and a half months to support training in and around Boston, and on race weekend to help out with all of the activities. Information for volunteers is on the DFMC website: VOLUNTEERS

In closing Erwin says “I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t in some way been touched by cancer, so we are all aware of the impact it has on us. I’m afraid some times we get so used to it, as a fact of life, that we lose sight of all the work going into finding effective treatments, prevention, and hopefully, eventually eradication. It’s important to keep supporting, as it’s something that affects us all.”

Photos courtesy of Nate Erwin.

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