Congratulation to the Saucony + Black Men Run | Runner Of The Month for July, Mr. Kenn Woodsfrom BMR Raleigh Durham. Thank you to Kenn and his story can be read below:
“I was diagnosed with Leukemia on August 16, 2001. The cancer formed a mass on my spine and left me paralyzed from the waist down. I would spend the next year in a hospital bed not only fighting cancer, but also battling the thought that I may never walk again. Every night, the prayer was the same… “God give me my legs back and I’ll never take them for granted again.” I beat cancer in 2002 but would spend several years learning to walk again.
My weight ballooned to 285 pounds due to years of inactivity so I decided to start running to help get it under control. My first race was the 2013 Charlotte Turkey Trot. It was so much fun, I decided to make the huge leap and train for the 2014 Pittsburgh Marathon. I trained for this race completely on my own. My finishing time wasn’t impressive but that didn’t matter. I WAS A RUNNER! Only thing is I never saw anyone that looked like me. That changed at the first Charlotte Race 13.1 in 2015. I was immediately drawn to a huge group of brothers in a circle. I observed the way they would interact with one another both at the start and finish line. It was like nothing I’d ever seen before during a race.
I was running a race one year later and a voice yelled out my Instagram screen name. It was the BMR Raleigh Durham captain Matthew Thompson. When I crossed the finish line these guys embraced me like we’d been running together for years even though I was a stranger. I love BMR and everything this healthy brotherhood is about. I’ll never have to run alone again!”