Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sean's report & pics on Miles for Melanoma

Submitted by Sean Astin @SeanAstin

So I read a tweet about a 5k Race to benefit melanoma research at Universal Studios. Awesome, I thought, but I wasn't sure I could make it with work, life and family stuff going on. A few more tweets and I kept checking when the latest time to register was. A terrible habit for a Team #Run3rd Captain to get into, an absolute failure to plan. But hey, #Run3rd peeps are a fun loving spontaneous lot! Sure enough, on Friday (I think) [It was Saturday. Ed.] I headed over to the Hilton at Universal to find a modest little coat closet—ok not quite—but a little room with a bunch of volunteers processing last minute registrations. There were shirts and bibs and information about the Melanoma Research Foundation, and off I went (a few pics, instagrams & tweets later…)

Sunday came and what a great day, er, morning. It was really chilly walking down from the Curious George Parking Structure to the famed massive Green Screen and Water Tank area. Channel 4 News trucks and a host of tents were present. It looked like there were about a thousand people, clearly a great turnout for a 1st event. Next thing you know, bang! We are dropped out of an airplane (steep downhill) and through the legendary back lot of Universal Studios. With a couple of twists and turns you got a glimpse of the families participating together, some walking, all having a blast.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Jason Biggs and Sean Astin
About 3/4 of a mile into the race, I got a pat on the back from Jason Biggs (fellow Teenage Mutant Turtle "Leonardo"). He happens to be 22 years younger than me (7ish) [Slight exaggeration! Ed.] which explains why after a couple of courteous minutes and with my encouragement, he took off never to be seen again (until the finish where he was well rested).

The last 1/2 mile was straight up Kilimanjaro (steep hill). My goal for the race was to beat my Chicago Race to Wrigley 5K time from a few weeks ago (25:11). As I came around the last turn I glanced at my watch and realized I could still do it, but just like at the Los Alamitos Race on the Base 10K on my birthday, my heart gave out for 5 seconds. By the time I "got it back" I ended up with with a 25:02 time. Yay I beat Chicago! Boo I missed breaking into 24 territory by 3 seconds!

Afterward, Jason and I handed out medals to the many age groups recognized (and many of us were thrilled to be included). I crowned Jason with his and put my own around myself, shedding a tear (pretend) for my accomplishment.

Sean and Jason present awards. Photo by @HollyWdRunClub
Sean sheds a tear? ©AP
Jason and Sean show off their medals

The coolest thing was the 10 tons of sunscreen and the melanoma exam I was able to take (all good).

"I'm ready for my closeup, Ms. DeMille!"
Melanoma free!

Posted by @Islandenberger
The most poignant, inspiring and painful moment came when I met an amazingly beautiful family. Happy kids and a cheerful mom. The dad, an active duty Airforce person, has stage 4 melanoma. I asked about his prognosis and he just looked in my eyes. "Well, I'm stage 4," he said. Undaunted, he is in a clinical trial of some sort. His friends and family are surrounding him with love and positive energy. I told him I would pray for him and his family, and I did. The experience brought home to me that many, many running events are the most positive and specific way that people can express courage, bring people together and fight for each other.

#Run3rd is an idea that wishes to honor those battling melanoma, urging people to get regular exams for what is a largely preventable disease. I congratulate the organizers and say to the other runners/walkers that it was a pleasure to be with you and run with you that day!!!

#Run3rd Team Captains, I know that your events are starting and I want to applaud you for carrying a torch for others, for encouraging them to make dedications for their loved ones, causes (like melanoma research) and ideas (like cherishing our families & friends)!!! I'm so excited to see your photos and hear your stories. Thank you for being ambassadors for the #Run3rd movement :-)

Love Always,

Sean Astin
Founder #Run3rd

[Editor's notes: Sean's official time was 25:02.34, 36th overall of 738 finishers; Jason did 23:30.96, 23rd overall. Sean placed third in his age group, Jason second in his! Source.

Unless otherwise noted, all photos were posted by Sean on his twitter account. Open images in new window for larger sizes.]


  1. Oooh, I LOVE these recaps! I hope they become a normal thing from all our team captains! :D

    1. I hope so too, and will bug captains as necessary to get them! ;-)

  2. Tudo muito lindo Sean. Você é um menino bom, que ama a vida e a sua família e seus fãs, é claro! desejo tudo de mais belo para a sua vida

    1. Thank you for your kind words about Sean!

  3. OHHHH you're in trouble. I kept mine short...
    I'm all ABOUT race recaps. You've set the expectation Mr Astin, I intend to exceed it.

    Heather aka
    #run3rd Team Captain.

    PS-If work, family, life isn't in the way...I'd love to see you in Santa Clarita on June 2nd! I'm running the show, so I need some RUNNING captains to represent!

    1. LOL, Sean keep something short??

      Alas, Sean's going to be in the UK that weekend. http://collectormania.com/miltonkeynes/

  4. Um, holy crap, Sean Astin just blogged about my husband! :) I might be a little starstruck! Thanks for your prayers, Sean! I wish I had gotten a picture of you and Aaron (my husband)--I was apparently selfish in the moment and only got a picture with you myself! :) (I'm the one on the left in the pic above, with my arms around our oldest son. The other woman is our good friend Kelly and her daughter Taylor, who ran in support of Aaron. We've got awesome friends!) Thank you so much for your support of melanoma research! You rocked that 5K!

  5. Wow, Thanks Mr. Astin for your very touching words about my cousin and her family. And for supporting the research! Very classy and cool!