Chasing a Cure: Brad Kloha beyond halfway point of Run to Remember race series
Seven months, more than $18,000 raised and nearly 60 races later, Brad Kloha is still running to remember.
Kloha, the division administrator for Enrollment and Student Services at Central Michigan University, said he's gotten "a ton" of support from across the racing community, as he's been raising money his charity, Run to Remember.
"I’ve been really lucky to get some great support from the obstacle racing community," Kloha said. "A couple (of) companies that are connected to many of the obstacle race series helped early on by connecting me with them and telling them what I was doing. This resulted in many race series waiving my registration fees, which has been a huge help considering that some races can cost over $100."
The 29-year-old CMU alumnus said other races have also been willing to waive the entry fee, lessening his financial burden in the quest to run 100 races in one year. He said the fees add up quickly as they come from his own pocket.
While competing in 100 races in a year, Kloha is attempting to raise $1 million for the Alzheimer's Association. He said he still has a way to go, staying optimistic with less than $20,000 raised.
"From the beginning, I knew that was an extraordinarily ambitious number, especially considering that is a part of the endeavor completely out of my control," he said. "I’m hoping that before I finish in June that I might be able to attract some major business or corporate donors who can really push the numbers higher."
Funds aren't the only incentive pushing Kloha through his 52-week trial.
"Another major part of this journey is not just about raising the money to support the Alzheimer’s Association, but also to create greater awareness of the disease and to get more people talking about it," he said. "In that regard, I think it’s been incredibly successful so far."
Kloha said he often chats with other racers and hears their stories on how the disease affected their lives.
"It just continues to solidify for me the importance of why I’m out there and how many people truly are affected by the disease in their families," he said.
Shelby Kloha, mom and occasional driver of Brad, said she’s proud of the strides her son took to help raise awareness and money for Alzheimer’s disease.
“It’s a good cause for what my mom and grandma went through,” said Shelby, a Freeland native. “It’s a nasty disease. People don’t realize what the family goes through.”
Brad's grandmother, Phyllis Brinkman, lost her 13-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease on June 18, 2011.
Shelby said she is impressed but not surprised by her son’s effort to complete the races in a year and raise so much money for the Alzheimer’s Association.
“I don’t know how he does it, but he does,” she said. “It’s something dear to his heart. I know he will complete these whatever it takes, even if he’s on crutches.”
Brad said he appreciates the support from his family and friends along the way, and has enjoyed making more friends at each race and sharing his journey with the people he meets along the way.
“It’s totally worth it,” he said. “I go to bed early and wake up early. It’s a matter of sacrificing more social life, which I don’t mind.”
For more information on Run to Remember, a schedule of Brad's races or to donate to the cause, visit www.runtoremember.net. The final race of the series will be a Run to Remember Finale 5K on June 14 in Mount Pleasant.