Ryan recalled the first time he witnessed a marathon, writing, “I saw guys coming in to finish with bleeding nipples. Why in the hell were their nipples bleeding? People were crying. People were limping, hobbling, screaming, crawling.”
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But, a meeting with Michael J. Fox inspired the “Definitely, Maybe” star to brave the grueling 26 miles.
“A year and a half ago, I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Michael J. Fox. Like so many before me, I found it impossible not to be touched by his story of overwhelming strength, passion and relentless commitment to help those afflicted with this insidious disease,” Ryan writes of Michael, who is battling Parkinson’s disease. “The man is inspiration exemplified. Plus, he was in ‘Back To The Future.” Which was, well, awesome. In a moment of extremely poor judgment, I offered to do something big for him--I offered to compete in the New York City Marathon. Which was, well… dumb.”
Training for the long run has been punishing, according to the actor
“Waking up at 4:30 a.m. and jogging anywhere from 11 to 23 miles has been nothing short of horrifying,” he writes.
But along with Michael, Ryan has another important reason to run.
“On behalf of my Father, Jim Reynolds, who’s spent the last 15 years in a life or death struggle with Parkinson’s Disease,” the actor writes. “Witnessing my Dad suffer over the years galvanized my need to step up. On November 2nd, I’ll join thousands of other men and women to march in lockstep solidarity toward searing psychic pain and physical humiliation.”
Ryan is hoping his fans will also support his worthy cause.
“I know we’re in rough times and there are literally millions of causes worthy of your hard earned cash,” he writes. “It’s my hope the story of my father combined with my own goal of becoming the first person in history to sob uncontrollably for 26.2 miles straight, may inspire you to give something too.”
“If you happen to be in New York on November 2nd, come down and watch. Feel free to bring a smile, automated defibrillator, or a fresh set of nipples,”