Jay Paris: Cardiff runner the inspiration for many at Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon

Jay Paris: Cardiff runner the inspiration for many at Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon
Runners will be lacing up their sneakers in support of Bernard Llave Sunday during the San Diego Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon. Llave has been battling Leukemia for a second time. Courtesy photo

The big run is this weekend with a big crew running for Cardiff’s Bernard Llave.

“This means so much to all of us,’’ Cyndi Reinhardt said.

Reinhardt, of Carlsbad, is among those conquering San Diego’s streets in Llave’s honor in Sunday’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. She’s part of more than 100 runners participating for their soul mate (sole?) in Llave.

“I’m amazed,’’ Llave said. “These people never quit. Once they found out what happened, they rallied behind me and it’s amazing to have that support and for them to raise the amount of money they are raising.’’

Llave, a longtime runner, was anticipating sweating with his buddies on Sunday as he laced up again for the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon.

But Llave, 41, got hit with an obstacle, which is far worse than a blister.

He recently underwent a live-saving bone morrow transplant from his sister, after being struck down by Leukemia for the second time.

“I’ll run it next year,’’ Llave said, and those that know him don’t doubt it.

“People just want to be around Bernard,’’ Reinhardt said. “People are attracted to him in a natural way.’’

It was when Llave was laid up in 2012 when wrestling with Leukemia that he came in contact with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

“They brought me some information and a teddy bear,’’ Llave said. “I didn’t recognize the guy and thought it was a little weird. But once I felt better and reviewed the information, I learned that they were there to support what I was going through.’’

Llave was so touched he visited the LLS office to express his gratitude. Before long Llave learned how the LLS was involved in Team in Training, which forms running groups to raise dough to fight these dastardly diseases.

While Llave was still rebounding from his first transplant, he attended the Team in Training workouts, supplying inspiration while others dispensed perspiration.

“That started it and we’ve never broke away,’’ Llave said. “We’ve been involved with them every season since.’’

When his health returned, Llave fell in with his new best running friends. His story was one that proved someone could get knocked down by Leukemia and climb up from the mat.

Llave was intent to help others, much like others helped him.

But Llave couldn’t out-run Leukemia as it reappeared in January. Once Reinhardt and her running colleagues — all friends of Llave — got that word, they sprung into action.

The result was Team b.strong and it’s a collection of mostly North County runners giving their all for Llave.

“He is totally a hero,’’ Reinhardt said.

Llave is humbled by all the commotion and is hopeful he can be near the finish line when his buddies hit Sunday’s tape.

“He doesn’t take no for an answer,’’ Reinhardt said. “But we’ll be like mother hens around him and be protective of him.’’

Just don’t expect Llave to shed his zest for life.

“He is all about living in the moment,’’ Reinhardt said. “It’s just an inspiration to be around him.’’

Help Llave’s Team b.strong round up its contribution to $300,000 by donating at teamintraining.com. That way Leukemia and Lymphoma will stay on the run, as Llave readies for his next trek.

Contact Jay Paris at jparis8@aol.com. Follow him on Twitter at jparis_sports.


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