Most runners know Bart Yasso but, depending on where you are in your running journey, his name could inspire a variety of feelings. If you were a high-school runner, you might have cursed his name as your coach made you run yet another 800. Or maybe you first encountered Yasso in the pages of Runner’s World where you were inspired by his many accomplishments, including running races on every continent, being a 5-time Ironman, and cycling across the United States…twice. He is arguably the best-known figure in the sport and has rightfully been dubbed “The Mayor of Running.”
Legacy of Hope is honored that Yasso will be joining us on Saturday, September 20, 2019 for PHL24 as he participates in memory of his brother, George, and in honor of his other brother, Gerry. “Gerry is going through treatment now and since I’m retired, I’m available to help with some of his transportation to and from treatment,” says Yasso. “It’s so hard for families who are going through a cancer battle to keep up with their daily lives. That’s why the work Legacy of Hope does is so important.” He feels that while fundraising is essential, the increased awareness of what people going through treatment are experiencing is one of the most essential aspects of Legacy of Hope’s work.
Diagnosed with Lyme Disease in 1990, Yasso is familiar with a disease taking a toll on your body and believes running, and movement in general, is helpful in recovery. “Running gave me something to focus on and something to strive for during my flare ups,” he says. He also believes that the feeling of community is a powerful resource for anyone going through an illness and recovery. “When you’re part of a group like the running community, you have less of a chance of feeling isolated, and it’s so powerful for someone who maybe just got diagnosed to see survivors who have come out the other side and are active.” While he laments that his runs often take him twice as long as they used to, he has never lost his runner’s high or his passion for the running community. “You just need to stay in the game.”
“I’m so happy to be a part of PHL24. Rocky came out so long ago and still you can’t go ten minutes at the steps without seeing someone running up, and these people are everyone from 5 year old kids to 75 year olds,” Bart says, “It’s the true underdog story. Cancer is all about underdogs beating the odds and there’s really no better spot to do it. It’s such a powerful show of support.”
Join us for PHL24 on September 20-21, 2019 and climb with Yasso, survivors, current fighters, families, friends, and supporters as we all remember that while sometimes we’re underdogs, you just have to stay in the game.