"This one is for you, Dad. I will carry you with me every step of the way, and with your dedication and determination, I will finish the best run of my life."

-Kristin Eitel





26.2 Miles → February 17, 2013



My Dad Taught Me How To Run

I was about 10 years old. I went, of course, with my Dad. We were visiting my Grandparents in Florida while they escaped the cold winters of Ontario.

As my Dad so often did, he announced he was headed out for a run. That’s when I piped in, “Can I go too?” He looked down at me and said, “Sure K.” And off we went.

It was one of the countless everyday moments with Dad that in the end, became extraordinary. It was the day I learned that like him, I, too, love to run.

Kristin Eitel

Kristin Eitel with her father Dave Eitel
Training to run 26.2 miles on February 17, 2013.

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Kristin and her Father dancing

How do you find a gift for a person who’s given you everything?


Below is an excerpt from the letter I wrote to my Dad last father’s day on the print out of my marathon registration:

“…I admire so many things about you, Dad, that putting them all into this card would be impossible. But I think there is one thing in particular that fundamentally defines who you are as a person and has been the single most influential characteristic in my life: the fierce determination and dedication with which you approach everything in life.

Kristin and her Father, David Eitel

Your unwavering determination has brought much success and happiness into my world. Perhaps my favorite manifestation of your dedication is with our family. There is no doubt in my mind that you love my mother more today than you did the day you married her, now 38 years ago. (which is saying A LOT!) More so, there’s never been a day in my life that I’ve felt alone or unloved… I have to tell you that the assurance of your love is the most important gift you could have ever given me.

But your example of dedication and determination did more than just bring good things into my world; it taught me how I want to live my life.

I never would have imagined that we would end up where we are today. Certainly, this T-cell lymphoma is something we could have done without. Cancer has brought frustration, tears, fear, and pain. Yet in classic fashion, you approached this, too, with dedication and determination.

From post-surgical breathing exercises to laps around the neighborhood; from daily treks down McElderry Dr. to two-stepping in IPOP; from fighting the pain of simply laying down to tolerating my constant nagging of ‘Dad, stay IN the walker;’ from the very first mouth sore to the very last tingle in your legs; you have been so determined, so dedicated, so inspirational. With your endless drive, you have created joy, laughter, hope, and love.

A couple weeks ago you asked me to ‘get a run in for the two of us.’ This one is for you, Dad. I will carry you with me every step of the way, and with your dedication and determination, I will finish the best run of my life.”


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© Kristin Eitel

Below is an excerpt from the letter I wrote to my Dad last father’s day on the print out of my marathon registration:

“…I admire so many things about you, Dad, that putting them all into this card would be impossible. But I think there is one thing in particular that fundamentally defines who you are as a person and has been the single most influential characteristic in my life: the fierce determination and dedication with which you approach everything in life.

Your unwavering determination has brought much success and happiness into my world. Perhaps my favorite manifestation of your dedication is with our family. There is no doubt in my mind that you love my mother more today than you did the day you married her, now 38 years ago. (which is saying A LOT!) More so, there’s never been a day in my life that I’ve felt alone or unloved… I have to tell you that the assurance of your love is the most important gift you could have ever given me.

But your example of dedication and determination did more than just bring good things into my world; it taught me how I want to live my life.

I never would have imagined that we would end up where we are today. Certainly, this T-cell lymphoma is something we could have done without. Cancer has brought frustration, tears, fear, and pain. Yet in classic fashion, you approached this, too, with dedication and determination.

From post-surgical breathing exercises to laps around the neighborhood; from daily treks down McElderry Dr. to two-stepping in IPOP; from fighting the pain of simply laying down to tolerating my constant nagging of ‘Dad, stay IN the walker;’ from the very first mouth sore to the very last tingle in your legs; you have been so determined, so dedicated, so inspirational. With your endless drive, you have created joy, laughter, hope, and love.

A couple weeks ago you asked me to ‘get a run in for the two of us.’ This one is for you, Dad. I will carry you with me every step of the way, and with your dedication and determination, I will finish the best run of my life.”

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