311 is about a month away from their biggest event of the year – a two day 311 Day extravaganza in New Orleans. The band recently celebrated 25 years as a band releasing their unique boxset Archive. Given 311 Day is an every other year occurrence, this year is bound to be filled with surprises.
Before turning his complete attention to rocking the stage, 311 frontman Nick Hexum is making headlines for his athletic and activism efforts, winning the fastest male and biggest fundraiser in this past Wednesday evenings 2016 Empire State Building Run-Up. In addition to raising over $20,000, Hexum’s winning time was an astonishing 16 minutes, 12 seconds (he set a personal goal of finishing under 20 minutes). The one-fifth of a mile vertically race, benefits the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and consists of 86 flights of stairs – which is 1,576 steps for those counting. It’s an organization that hits close to home for Hexum, whose mother is currently battling the disease. On Hexum’s support page he notes that his mother is still enjoying a great quality of life and the treatments have been remarkably successful. The work being done by the MMRF is fast-tracking drugs that are extending lives and improving quality of life for patients.
For those who donated, Hexum is sending out an unreleased song of his as a thank you. A day and half after the race, I checked in with Hexum via email to hear about his experience.
How are you feeling post-race?
I’m enjoying the afterglow. My hands and forearms are the only thing that sore. It must be from pulling up the handrails every step. The stairs are narrow enough that I could use both sides and take a lot of work off of my legs.
What was your training program like for this?
The most important thing for this was cardio. So, my four full-court basketball games were probably the biggest help. I also worked with a trainer and did interval classes so I guess it all helped.
How long did you train for?
I always stay really active, but really ramped it up in the month leading up to the race.
Have you ever done anything like this before? Marathons, etc?
I have run the LA Marathon twice.
What was the overall experience like for you?
Well, I’m over $20k now and my goal was $10k, so I feel great about that. Winning the trophies for Fastest Male and Biggest Fundraiser in the charity heat was really cool. I had no idea how I was going to do. The best part is knowing that I helped my mom by funding research towards a cure for Multiple Myeloma. She’s my hero. She’s kept a great positive attitude through all of this.
The race was so intense, I’ve never dug so deep. I poured it on from the beginning and when my chest and legs started screaming at me around the 20th floor I wondered if I’d paced myself poorly. I figured just keep cranking and if I collapse, I collapse. As I pushed through the pain I thought of my mom and how the discomfort I was feeling was nothing compared to facing such a serious disease. Her positive attitude and grace through this has been nothing short of inspiring.
I maintained taking two steps at a time the whole way. Pulling myself up on the handrails took a lot of the strain off my legs. I learned some helpful tips from people who had done this before. As the climb progressed I had no idea if I was going fast or slow. My body wanted to rest but my mind said, “Go!” Thanks.
It’s not too late to donate ( plus get the exclusive track) and check out the amazing work the MMRF is doing. See Hexum’s personal page here:
Multiple Myeloma is a blood cancer that affects the plasma cells. Malignant plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow, crowding out the normal plasma cells that help fight infections and ultimately can result in bone damage, decrease in kidney function and lead to anemia.
The MMRF has raised over $275 million since its inception in 1998. Other accomplishments include; establishing a multi-center tissue bank with more than 4,000 samples, creating the collaborative Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) of 21 world-renowned institutions and launching the groundbreaking CoMMpass℠ Study to collect and analyze multiple tissue samples from 1,000 patients over a multi-year course, so that patients will eventually be matched with the right clinical studies and treatments.