Jonathan Moerschel, Violist, Calder Quartet
I came to understand the devastating effects of pancreatic cancer about 9 years ago when I lost my first wife to the disease. She fought it bravely for four and a half years, but lost the fight in 2003. Having seen, first-hand, the aggressive nature of pancreatic cancer, I am especially motivated to do my part to help raise awareness about this disease and help raise money to fund vital pancreatic cancer research.
I ran track in high school and used to try to keep up with running in college, but didn’t stick with it. I had been a short distance runner and never had run more than 2 miles. I seemed to always have ankle and knee pain, so I ended up giving up on the idea of running.
A year and a half ago, I started running again after a 12-year hiatus. I had been reading about barefoot running, so I decided to experiment with it. To my surprise, I was able to slowly build up the mileage without any pain. I have since run the LA Cancer Challenge 5k twice and have decided to raise the bar for myself and run my first marathon, the 2012 LA Marathon. I plan on running the marathon barefoot, but will carry along my trusty Luna sandals just in case.
I do most of my running in my Culver City neighborhood. For longer runs, I hit the Ballona Creek bike trail, which goes right by my house, and run down to Playa Vista and back. Occasionally, I do some trail running, which is a nice change and particularly fun barefoot! As far as hydration goes, I like to wear my North Face hydration pack. It carries 1.5 liters of water in the main pouch and has two small hip pouches that hold my Cliff Shot Blocks and Hammer Gels. I also usually carry a granola bar on longer runs to get me through to the finish.
With the Hirshberg Training Team’s help and support, I am getting ready to meet this challenge as I, in turn, help to raise money for the Hirshberg Foundation. I will be running the Marathon in memory of loved ones I have lost to cancer and will proudly wear the Hirshberg Training Team jersey.