Dartmouth Squash Player Chris Hanson Running "Miles for Mom"
Courtesy of Dartmouth Athletics Communications
By Heather Croze
HANOVER, N.H. -- When his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002, Chris Hanson and his family felt a bit of déjà vu. Hanson's grandmother had already battled and won her fight against the disease and now his mother faced the same road.
After a double mastectomy, Hanson's mother won her fight, and now her son is letting both women know he appreciates their struggles.
Hanson realized he wanted to do something to support the millions of women who are faced with the same news his mother and grandmother received and he knew that more was needed to help research and fight the disease.
"I began thinking about what to do in late September," Hanson explained. "I wanted to do something that would raise money but I really didn't know what. My roommate and I started talking and he came up with the name "Miles for Moms." I've always enjoyed running and thought this was a way to combine both.
"I began running on Oct. 1, in honor of breast cancer awareness month. I just wanted people to sponsor me for each mile I ran. I made it clear that I was hoping to run at least 150 miles. I made a form that I email out and thought it was going to be a few people here or there. But the more people started talking, the more others wanted to get involved. I'm up to about $55 a mile now and with only 23 miles to go in the next five days, I think I can do it and maybe even a couple extra miles.
"All the money raised will go to the breast cancer research foundation. At the end of the month, I'll email those that have sponsored me and let them know the final number and where they can send their donation."
Hanson understands about hard work and battling for something, as he is now a sophomore on the men's squash team. Hanson finished his first season with the Big Green as the team's No. 1 player and earned both All-America and All-Ivy honors. As his sophomore season began, Hanson was in the midst of his "Miles for Mom" campaign.
"It's definitely been hard to work the running into my squash training," Hanson said. "I've been trying to make the runs squash intensive, which means more sprints and cardio bursts instead of long distance. That makes it tough to get a lot of miles in when you're doing short, intense workouts.
"I really enjoy running, but I also understand that long distance running isn't good for squash, so I've been trying to keep that in mind as I go along. It's just been a matter of finding time to do the amount of running needed."
Head coach Hansi Wiens understands the strain that Hanson has put himself under but also knows what a hard worker Hanson is.
"Chris is one of the hardest working guys on the team," Wiens said. "Mentally he's always been a very motivated person, but I think doing something like this helps him even more. Chris has not let this affect his training for our team at all as he still comes and does individual workouts with me twice a day as well as his workouts with the team. Chris still continues to battle with his teammates as he is always fighting for that No. 1 spot.
"Seeing one of my guys do something like this is really great. It shows that our athletes are students and people who like giving back."
"Doing this has really been interesting because I'm finding a lot of people have been affected by breast cancer and I never knew that," Hanson said. "So it's been good to meet people and hear their stories. It's been a cool experience and I'm really happy I did this."
To sponsor Hanson in his last couple of miles you can contact him through his facebook site.