Featured photo for Stacey’s Run From Lam

Stacey’s Run From Lam

Stacey’s Run From Lam was a benefit run to help raise funds and awareness of the plight of my good friend, Stacey Collver, who had the rare lung disease lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM). The disease would have been terminal had she not gotten a successful lung transplant in 2005.

The run was on May 8th (Saturday). Thanks to all who sponsored the event; you helped save my friend!

The course started at my home in Fremont, went over to Lam Research (my employer, which is actually a semiconductor equipment manufacturer, but in this case, aptly named), then made a U-turn to go through Newark, over the Dumbarton Bridge above the SF Bay, into East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, Stanford, Los Altos, Mountain View, and finally, over to Stacey’s home. By design, the course is symbolic of what will be Stacey’s own journey: a quick encounter with LAM; a subsequent journey over “troubled waters” and into “troubled territory”; hope and encouragement provided by Stanford (where she will have her lung transplant); and a long road to recovery where she may sometimes feel near death, but will survive and, hopefully, thrive.

Per my randonneur roots, I did this run entirely self-supported—e.g., no support vehicles driving alongside while running, no organized aid stations—and was by far the longest distance I had ever attempted to run in a day. Before the event, I pleaded:

Please be a sponsor and offer support to Stacey though. This is the only reason for doing something as crazy as this (I don’t enjoy running that much, plus I have not been training!) Although your donation will not be tax-deductible (due to the lack of a full-time staff at the Wind Song Foundation, which is comprised solely of friends and family volunteering time), 100% of your donation will go towards Stacey’s medication, the numerous oxygen tanks she currently needs each day, medical bills, and lung transplant.

For more information about Stacey and her plight, see these newspaper articles and the website of the Wind Song Foundation. Thank you for your support and consideration.

Route Sheet

Total Miles Segment Direction Street
0.0 0.4 Home (FREMONT)
0.4 3.9 R at Stevenson Paseo Padre intersection, head south on Paseo Padre past Central Park and Lake Elizabeth
4.3 0.5 X Durham Rd.
4.8 1.2 R S. Grimmer Blvd.
6.0 0.9 L Fremont Blvd.
6.9 0.6 R Cushing Parkway
7.5 0.6 U U-turn at Lam Research, beyond Bldg. CA-1
8.1 0.4 L Fremont Blvd.
8.5 0.5 L Industrial Dr.
9.0 0.8 L Grimmer Blvd.
9.8 1.0 L Automall Parkway.
10.8 0.7 R Boyce Rd.
11.5 3.1 X at Stewart Ave., Boyce becomes Cherry St.
14.6 1.7 L Thornton Ave. (NEWARK). Possible food stop around here.
16.3 3.2 L Marshlands Rd., past Wildlife Center
19.5 1.7 X Begin Dumbarton Bridge
21.2 1.0 X End Dumbarton Bridge; continue on recreation trail
22.2 1.1 L University Ave. (EAST PALO ALTO)
23.3 2.9 X Bay Rd.; scheduled McDonald’s stop
26.2 1.3 X University becomes Palm Dr. (PALO ALTO/STANFORD) Continue through Stanford campus by Main Quad, past library, to Tressider Union
27.5 0.5 X Tressider Union (water, bathroom, store)
28.0 0.7 L Lagunita Court (my old dorm); run by Lake Lagunita
28.7 1.5 L Junipero Serra Rd.
30.2 4.6 X At Page Mill Rd. intersection, Junipero becomes Foothill Blvd. (LOS ALTOS)
34.8 0.9 X Springer Rd.. Possible food stop.
35.7 0.1 L Take Miramonte/Fremont “exit”, and make a left on A St.
35.8 2.0 L Miramonte Ave.
37.8 0.4 R Castro St. (MOUNTAIN VIEW)
38.2 0.8 X El Camino Real
39.0 0.8 X cross Central Ave.; Castro becomes Moffett
39.8 0.1 R Leong St.
39.9 0.2 L Walker
40.1 SURVIVED! Stacey’s place!

Stacey’s Run Report

It was an exciting day. Felix started out his run at 6:05 a.m. from his house in Fremont. He called from Newark at 8:45 a.m., and let me know he was running at a 12-minute mile pace.

Su-lyn and Greg came over at 10:00 a.m. to help me support Felix on his run. We drove from Mountain View to East Palo Alto and saw Felix at a stop sign. He was not even looking tired after 23 miles!

After 26.2 miles, (a full marathon distance)he was at Stanford University. From there he ran down Juniper Serra which turns into Foothill Expressway. He was looking a little tired at this point, so Su-lyn joined him for the last 12 miles because she had a cell phone and extra water with her in case of an emergency. At the 37.5 mile mark, Sharon met him on Castro street. With a new burst of energy, Felix speeded up and finished strong, arriving at my house at 2:40 p.m., just 8 hours and 35 minutes from when he started.

We celebrated with an indoor picnic, so Felix would not have to take any extra steps to the park across the street. He did not look too tired, though. He was smiling, lively and talkative throughout the meal. Is Felix a human, or is his body a machine?

Felix single-handedly got over 20 sponsors for his run, raising over $2000 for the Wind Song Foundation. Thank you, Felix! The run was a terrific success.

Felix’s response: What was amazing to me wasn’t the run but the number of friends who sent in a cummulative $2k in response to just ONE email I sent out, in order to help Stacey! Truly we live in a world filled with wonderful people contrary to all the bad stuff reported in the media. Thanks, all!

Photos not created by Felix Wong may be subject to copyright.
This 40-mile self-supported solo run from Felix Wong's to Stacey Collver's was designed to be highly symbolic of Stacey's own run from LAM, a rare and dangerous lung disease.
[Mile 0, 5:57 a.m.] "May the suffering begin..." Doing some last-minute stretches minutes before taking the first stride at 6:05 a.m.
[Mile 0.7, 6:12 a.m.] Passing by Central Park/Lake Elizabeth with the sun just over the horizon, I couldn't help but notice I was already feeling a little bloated and sluggish.  Not a great sign!
[Mile 3.9, 6:46 a.m.] I remained feeling that way even after a few more miles down Paseo Padre.
[Mile 7.0, 7:20 a.m.] Shortly after seeing a coworker (Chuck H.) cycling his way to work on this Saturday, I passed by work (Lam) itself, ironically noting that this was probably the earliest I have arrived here all year.
[Mile 7.5, 7:27 a.m.] Here's the route's designated turn-around point after Lam.  Looking at the mountains on the peninsula in the distance, I thought, "just 7 miles to Stacey's by helicopter, but 32 miles the way I have to run..."
[Mile 15, 8:50 a.m.] In Newark, I bought some water and found a pay phone to check in with Stacey for the first time.  "Quite honestly," I said, "there was a point when I was thinking I felt better during Wildflower last weekend, but I'm doing okay now... going about 5 mph..."
[Mile 17.2, 9:18 a.m.] Passing by the Sir Edwards' Wildlife Center, I was heartened to see vehicles owned by members of the Tri-City Tri Club, who were off doing a "coffee-shop" bicycle ride that morning.  I left a note for Sharon on her Escape.
[Mile 19.3, 9:53 a.m.] As a tribute to Stacey's passion for "climbing", I began the ascent over the Dumbarton Bridge.
[Mile 20.3, 10:01 a.m.] The view from the top and past the midway point of this 40-mile run.
[Mile 23.3, 10:40 a.m.] Now in "troubled" territory.  However, whether it be East Palo Alto (as here) or France, McD's has been there in my time of need.  Here I am with a vanilla milkshake that really energized me for
[Mile 25]: Passing by elegant homes in Palo Alto.
[Mile 25.6, 11:12 a.m.] This is a reflection of me running past one of the shop windows in downtown Palo Alto, shortly after I encountered Stacey herself, Greg and Su-lyn cheering me along the sidewalk (thanks).
[Mile 26.7, 11:30 a.m.] At last, my former "home" and just past the marathon mark of this run: Stanford U., with many co-eds playing volleyball on this beautiful running-weather-perfect day.  Its hospital will be where Stacey gets her lung transplant.
[Mile 27.3, 11:37 a.m.] Stopping at the fountain in front of the Stanford bookstore for a quick face splash.
[Mile 27.5, 11:46 a.m.] At Tressider Union I got a mini Jamba Juice.  Unfortunately, I think I stopped too long, as my body started stiffening up and shutting down thereafter.
[Mile 28.0, 11:57 a.m.] I passed by my old dorm room (the window in the middle) and was soon running by Lake Lagunita (which had absolutely no water now).
[Mile 28.7, 12:08 p.m.] The half-mile before hitting Junipero Serra, my right knee started giving me intermittent problems, but managed not to look entirely like this sign (walking).  Still, I couldn't help but think, "I want my bike"
[Mile 34.8, 1:26 p.m.] Last water stop: Felix Wong at the shopping center off of Foothill/Springer Rd. in Los Altos.  After this my legs stiffened up again and I had to intermittently start walking between running.
Photo: Su-Lyn
[Mile 38.3, 2:21 p.m.] But what a wonderful surprise!  Sweet Sharon came to cheer me on off of Castro, giving me a whole lot more energy (in fact I was almost sprinting to give her a hug).  Here she is driving by in her Escape in downtown Mountain View after we met.
[Mile 40.1, 2:40 p.m.] And just a couple of miles later... the finish, Stacey's place.  SURVIVED!
Photo: Sharon Schneckenberger
After the run we had a picnic inside Stacey's place (mercifully, we didn't have it in the park across the street so that I wouldn't have to use my weary legs.)  Thanks to Rona (shown), Greg, Su-lyn, Sharon, and of course, Stacey, for being there to offer encouragement.  And thanks to all who sponsored this run for Stacey's sake!