The Peak Triathlong is here. Six cancer survivors compete in the PEAK Missoula Triathlon, representing Missoula nonprofit FIT TO FIGHT.
Six racers are ready to prove to themselves and the community what their bodies can do with and after cancer. They have battled cancer, trained for swimming, biking and running, and are ready to meet the challenge of the 1st annual PEAK Missoula Triathlon as Team FIT TO FIGHT. The 500 yard swim, 12.4 mile bike ride, 3.1 mile run will take place on May 22nd, at the PEAK Health and Wellness Center. The six cancer survivors race to represent FIT TO FIGHT, a nonprofit organization working to empower cancer survivors to improve their quality of life through a program of fitness and health.
FIT TO FIGHT’s Racers
Jeff Runyan, FIT TO FIGHT alum, is in recent remission from Burkitt’s Lymphoma. Mary Pat Malerk is in remission from breast cancer. Scott Woods, FIT TO FIGHT alum, has current diagnosis lung cancer and is still in active treatment. Jami Mazes tested positive for BRCA-1 genetic mutation and chose prophylactic surgery. Mary Lynn Eiseman is in recovery from colon cancer. Mary Pat and Scott will be racing individually. Jeff, Don and Jami will be racing as Team FIT TO FIGHT – Jeff swimming, Don cycling and Jami running. Mary Lynn is racing, swimming, for Team Eiseman/Tawney with her sister and her daughter.
The racers have been training under Maer Seibert, triathlon trainer of PEAK Health and Wellness. They’ve pushed through their limits to master swimming. They’ve used community events to complement their training – Scott and Mary Pat with running in the YMCA Riverbank 10k Run and Sean Kelly’s St. Paddy’s Day 5k runs, and Jami with the Snow Joke Half-Marathon. And now, they’re ready to race.
Come see these amazing individuals as they complete the Peak Tri this Saturday, May 22nd and see how their hard work and dedication pays off. Inspiration will be in the air and hope will be strong, as these athletes and cancer survivors demonstrate the effects of exercise, support and determination has on cancer.
Jeff, Mary Pat, Scott, Jami, Don and Mary Lynn are examples of the importance of exercise during and after cancer treatment. Ironically cancer treatment – chemotherapy, radiation and surgery – is often more brutal than the disease. The current medical model of cancer treatment may resolve the cancer; however, the negative side effects from the treatment are often linger and limit easy return to regular fitness and recreation. Medical studies prove that exercise helps minimize the detrimental side effects of cancer treatment and aids in the return of a higher quality of life after cancer.
THE FIT TO FIGHT PROGRAM
The racers are taking on the PEAK Tri challenge to help support the FIT TO FIGHT program. The program runs as a small cancer support group based on exercise, education and health promotion, with individual tailoring as needed. Each session consists of stretching, breathing & relaxation, resistive strengthening, and endurance training. The program runs three sessions per year, eight weeks per session, twice per week, for approximately one hour. Sessions are led by an exercise physiologist who is supervised directly by a physical therapist. To be a candidate for participation you must either be a cancer patient undergoing treatment who has been released by your physician for FIT TO FIGHT participation, or be a cancer survivor who has not yet returned to your desired quality of life.
FIT TO FIGHT was founded in February 2008 by Sam Schoeneman, physical therapist of Alpine Physical Therapy and Mary Lynn Eiseman, cancer survivor and partner of PEAK Health and Wellness Center. The FIT TO FIGHT needs help with donations to keep this invaluable program available to those who need it – please come out to the PEAK Tri and help cheer on the cancer survivor athletes as they raise awareness for the program.
“At the end of the eight weeks I have improved in a lot of the areas I was lacking before the program. The FIT TO FIGHT program has made me better and I now see that even though I may never be my old self that the new one is just as good. My name is Jeff Runyan and I’m FIT TO FIGHT”.
Follow the racers at http://fittofightmt.blogspot.com
RACE DAY: Saturday, May 22nd, PEAK Health and Wellness Center, Start is in the Pool
8:00AM: Jeff Runyan, Don Sokoloski and Jami Maves race as Team FIT TO FIGHT
Mary Lynn Eiseman swims for Team Eiseman/Tawney
9:00AM: Scott Woods races as an individual
11:40AM: Mary Pat Malerk races as an individual
On behalf of Alpine Physical Therapy, best to each of you and to everyone who has made FIT TO FIGHT and the PEAK Tri a reality!