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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at jparis_sports.
Sportswriter Jay Paris has written his “Sports Talk” column since joining the Coast News in 2013.
Paris, a Cardiff resident, is a longtime Southern California writer, getting his start with the Orange County Register before coming to San Diego in 1992 to cover the Chargers.
He had the Chargers beat for more than two decades with Oceanside Blade-Citizen, the North County Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune, before being named a sports columnist with the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Paris has won numerous awards voted on by his peers in the Pro Football Writers of America. He has also been a staple on countless media platforms, everything from the KPBS to MLB Network and various radio outlets.
Paris is also the author of three books, with his latest one being, “Shohei Ohtani: The Amazing Story Of Baseball’s Two-Way Japanese Superstar.” He has also written “Game Of My Life Chargers” and “Game Of My Life Rams.”
He currently covers the NFL in Los Angeles for Forbes. com and is a contributor to USA Today Sports Weekly. Follow Jay on Twitter @jparis_sports