Tecumseh teacher’s resolve to run 100 miles to raise cancer awareness inspires others

Even though New Year’s Day was only a month ago, most of our New Year’s resolutions have been abandoned or fallen to the wayside.

However, that is not true for the resolution made by a Tecumseh Middle School teacher who has kept her resolution and more.

Sheli Randall’s New Year’s resolution was to run 100 miles in the first month of 2021 to bring awareness to the fight against cancer and the need for more cancer research and a cure.

This 1986 Tecumseh graduate said that she dedicated her cancer awareness run each day “to a missing loved one, current fighter or one that has survived this terrible disease.”

She kept a running notebook that helped her keep the person in her focus as she ran. On Facebook she posted notes about each person, photos and memories, and the distance run in that person’s honor.

Before long she was getting requests from other members of the community asking that she run for them or a loved one. She also received gratitude for her inspirational efforts for those in the fight and for cancer awareness.

To make 100 miles in 31 days she needed to average at least 3.6 miles each day. On Sunday January 31, her total was 117.7 miles run for 33 people. Some days she ran considerably more.

She ran mostly outside in the frigid Ohio winter. When the weather was impossible she did some fast walking at the Springfield, Beavercreek or Piqua malls.

Sometimes she ran alone or with her husband and high school sweetheart Rusty. Other times she ran with a group also remembering the person honored. Her trusty Dalmatian Ruby was always there for outside runs.

Personally aware of this terrible disease, Randall’s 100 mile resolution was more than a promise it was a quest.

In 2007 her husband Rusty had been diagnosed with esophageal/stomach cancer and had to undergo chemotherapy and radiation. Watching her 39 year old husband drop to less than 100 pounds during his successful fight against the cancer was difficult. Two years later she was diagnosed with kidney cancer which was surgically removed.

“Everything is fine now,” she said, but she has not forgotten their struggles.

Quite a few of those on her running list were relatives and good friends gone too soon.

To remember student Colin Griffin on Jan. 4, she wrote. “Cancer sucks, but childhood cancer just really sucks. Collin was so fun to be around. He was absolutely the life of the party. I ran during my lunch here at Tecumseh where Collin should be. There needs to be more research in this area. This is just not fair. Thought of him every step today…”

To remember the late Peter Scarff, businessman and Tecumseh Local School District Board of Education member, the group of runners wore Cleveland Browns gear as they ran.

On her second to last run she focused on teacher Sherry Street

“Today I did mileage with some great people Amy Hall, Cindy Walker Macasek, Toni Loudin Rogers, Pam Harmon, Kevin Harmon, Kathryn Oakes-Randenburg, Lisa Allen, Mary McKinley and Rusty Randall in honor of this stunning lady, Sherry Street. We lost Sherry nearly 15 years ago. She was 40 years old at the time, so we completed 4.0 miles and shared some great memories. Sherry was the most delightful person. I was blessed to be her sorority sister, her colleague and she taught my children…”

After they ran they formed an “S” on the football field.

On the last day of her quest, Jan 31, she honored her husband Rusty not with miles run but with a batch of homemade cookies.

The completion of her running resolution was perfectly timed for Tecumseh’s return to a regular teaching format, but the weather decided to help her ease back into it gently. I’m sure an extra hour of sleep was appreciated.

Sheli said that she hopes that she has inspired those still in the fight to continue “do all they can do.” She wanted them to realize that they have others cheering them on.

It is important during this time when we all are thinking about COVID 19, that we remember that cancer didn’t go away. It is still a big problem. She hopes that researchers will use what we have learned in the pandemic to fight cancer with a similar intensity. Money is still needed for research for the cure.

She also hopes that anyone ignoring suspicious symptoms or putting off a test will break down and make a doctor’s appointment so they can get fighting and win.

“Have that test.”

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