Thursday, April 28, 2011

Team A: It's a No-Go

It is with mixed emotions that I blog this morning and relay that we have ultimately decided to cancel the 2011 Run for the Reason. As a group and with much advisement from other folks we came to the decision that continuing with the event would be inappropriate in the wake of the destruction, the outages and the deaths as a result of the storms that passed through yesterday and into the evening. Just to recap the last 12 hours or so:


At around 7pm Kevin Manogue sent an email out notifying all runners and drivers that we would continue as planned, however we would cancel the Run if we were to lose more runners or drivers (we were already down to 5 and 3 respectively per team), the roads were impassible in any of the areas we would be running and if the optics of continuing with the Run made us uncomfortable after we were able as a corporation to survey the damage. Team A rallied at Inverness around 9:30 last night and decided we would make the trek to Anniston to our hotel and make a game time decision in the morning. At 5 am this morning we woke up, hesitantly tuned into the news, and put on our running clothes  -- well except for Chesley, who is a cross between a modern day cave man and renaissance man and was appropriately dressed in khaki pants and wearing no shoes. We discovered yet another obstacle as we packed up at the hotel to head to our starting point that we had no rope or bungee cords with which to affix our banners. And, as we pulled up to the Georgia State Line sign we made our final call…


Admittedly, none of us were really jumping up and down about having to run additional mileage with fewer resources, but for varied reasons each of our teammates are ultimately feeling disappointed. From a personal perspective I am disappointed that I couldn't slog through my 25 miles to prove to my mom that I'm here for her. I'm disappointed that I couldn't endure the unanticipated circumstances and additional mileage – just as my mom had to endure her unanticipated circumstance and additional encumbrances cancer provided for her. I don't speak for my whole team when I say this, but for me personally there is a certain degree of defeat that I'm feeling at this moment. Having said that I can admit that I believe we made the "right" decision. The good news out of all of this is that we will likely be able to donate more money to ACS as we have now nearly eliminated our travel expenses. And, we have been able to offer our time and service to the communities, should they need/want it, in recovery efforts. 


And finally to our followers -- I am disappointed that you will no longer be treated to our witty blogs during the next three days. It's truly sad for you all that you'll have to find other avenues to fill the entertainment void our blog is undoubtedly leaving. For that, we apologize.


We'll be back soon to update you all on how everything pans out. But for now, thank you for your support. Thank you for your donations. Thank you for reading.




Event Cancelled: Storm Damage

Sponsors, friends, and family,

It is with great disappointment that we have cancelled this year's event. With 400,000 customers of Alabama Power without power and over 100 deaths statewide, we did not feel it was appropriate to continue the event. We do not want to be disrespectful to communities affected, and we do not want to hinder emergency crews or storm crews due to our slow speeds.

Thank you for your support. We will update the blog with our final fundraising numbers soon. We truly appreciate your support.

Thank you,

Bryan Coley

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Zeus didn’t get the memo…

 Dear Zeus (ye olde Greek God of clouds, rain, thunder and lightning),

I regret to inform you that your moody attitude does not jive with the 2011 Run for the Reason. We here at Alabama Power are quite aware that something has soured your mood, and we are most unappreciative. In watching the radar and listening to FoxAL6, I have had the distinct privilege of hearing all of the on-duty meteorologists use the terms "debris ball," "violent tornado," "relentless storm" ad nauseum (ß that means "until I'm nauseated"). All of this would be fine and well if not for a couple of little gems of information that you, All Powerful God of Weather, may not have received. So I will – Designated Team A Blog Enthusiast – delight in informing you of these particulars:


Fact #1 – We are trying to cure cancer. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you didn't realize that each of us who signed up for this grueling 2 ½ day adventure in RVs have singularly compelling reasons to want to cure cancer. We do. Now, we understand that parading around the state in running shorts all sweaty and high off of endorphins isn't actually going to cure cancer. But we've raised 40 G's for the American Cancer Society for this event and it'd sure be nice if we actually got to run this year. Some of us (myself excluded) have even trained pretty hard for this. As an aside, my lack of training was not because of a lack of need but more so a lack of time (pathetic, I know). My fellow teammates and the greater group of folks will surely be impressed by my aggressively slow pace.


Fact #2 – We work for the power company. All travel complications aside, when the weather is bad the power goes out. It's not our fault, we promise. We do our best to keep the great retail customers of Alabama's lights on and our people work day or night. Speaking of which, a good portion of our folks are now on "storm duty." This means that they don't get to run because they're getting the electricity restored. I'm going to go easy on you ol' Zeusy and figure that you didn't put two-and-two together on this one. But, when we have fewer runners, we run more miles. Again, as an aside, I'd like to point out that my aforementioned lack of in-shapedness is likely exacerbated when I have to run more miles. I'm just saying…it ain't pretty.


Fact #3 – We run on back-roads. Because we are as considerate of traffic patterns and urban congestion as we are, we like to keep it country (reference last year's blog about local scenery). What kind of condition awaits us on these trusty colorful back roads? Will we be hopping over trees? Dodging displaced mobile homes? Skirting down power lines? These kind of obstacles can't be predicted. Go easy on us, pal.


Fact #4 – Target Zero – Every Day, Every Job, Safely. The end.


I hope, dear friend, you aren't offended by the specifics that outlined. And, I expect upon receipt of such dire information that you will immediately somehow rectify the situation.


Hugs and Kisses,

Brooke (and the rest of the RFTR crew)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Alabama Power teams up with Cancer Society in ‘Run for the Reason’

Reproduced from the Alabama Power Media Website

Alabama Power employees are joining in the fight against cancer as they prepare to run 350 miles in the 2011 “Run for the Reason” fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

The ninth annual run begins at 7 a.m. Thursday, April 28 at the Alabama/Georgia line and ends Saturday, April 30 at 2 p.m. on Dauphin Island.

The three-day event takes runners through several Alabama towns and cities including Anniston, Childersburg, Clanton, Selma, Camden, Grove Hill and Mobile.

Three teams of volunteers will alternate running 4-mile segments during 12-hour shifts, with each runner completing about 20 miles during the event. Four drivers per team will pilot the runners’ RVs and lead vehicles that will accompany runners on their trek.

To date, the Alabama Power team is on track to raise $40,000 through this year’s Run for the Reason. The funds will support the American Cancer Society’s research, education, service and advocacy efforts.

Alabama Power will have 19 employees running in the race and 12 drivers alongside the runners. The cause and the event mesh perfectly for the participants.

“Almost all of us who are participating have been affected by cancer, whether with our families or our friends,” said Kevin Manogue, the organizer for the event. “This is an opportunity to help these friends and family members while doing something we enjoy.”

Because of weather and other factors, arrival times may vary.

Here is the runners’ tentative schedule:

Thursday, April 28

7 a.m. – Runners begin journey at Georgia/Alabama state line on Highway 78.

11 a.m. – Runners travel between Anniston and Heflin.

2:45 p.m. – Runners arrive in Talladega.

6:30 p.m. – Runners leave Childersburg.

10:30 p.m. – Runners arrive in Clanton.

Friday, April 29

2 a.m. – Runners leave Maplesville.

1:45 p.m. – Runners arrive in Camden.

5:30 p.m. – Runners arrive in Thomasville.

Saturday, April 30

1 a.m. – Runners leave McIntosh.

7:45 a.m. – Runners arrive in Mobile.

2 p.m. – Runners arrive at finish line at Cadillac Square Park on Bienville Boulevard, Dauphin Island.

For more information about the Run for the Reason visit

Team C: 2011 Before we go...

C Team is Gearing up for this year’s run. Our bags are packed, the route is planned, and we will be meeting on Thursday to get our run on!



Jeff (Captain): Team Leader! Another exciting year on C Team is in store. Jeff works in Distribution Engineering at the Hueytown office. He is no stranger to the running world. I’ve personally seen him at multiple races throughout the year. He leads our teams fundraising efforts as well as coordination of all of us this weekend. So pretty much, he’s the BEST! (And will more than likely have the best splits).

Kevin (Prankster): Well I think the other teams can go ahead and vouch for this one… Kevin wins the award for most creative! Always up for a good laugh… I know he will keep us all rolling and on our toes this weekend! Watch out, he’s got some trick up his sleeve! (And he can run too!) Kevin’s in Marketing at Corporate.

Brandon (aloha): For those of you that don’t know our friend Brandon, he was once featured wearing a grass skirt and a cute little coconut bra! Brandon can just about be talked into it all… peer pressure! ALSO Brandon is a natural athlete…. so watch out! He will be ready for the run this year, no question about that! Excited to see you! Brandon is at Gorgas Steam Plant is an Ast. Control Operator.

Shane (TBD): Shane is at Gaston Steam Plant and is a Control Operator. He is a new addition to our team. I am excited to meet you Shane, I hope you’ve been warned…It’s going to be a weekend with tons of stories and not much sleep… I think you can handle it! I am eager to fill in your TBD nickname with something good! HA! What I do know is.. you’ve have quite the fundraising! Congrats on that!

Kevin (#2): I met Kevin at Jackson’s at an after work get together. Another new addition…There is no question, first impression says, he is going to fit in well. He’s got the Baseball/softball and other sports under his belt… he is going to be a wonderful asset to our running team. Kevin I can tell you?..?... You are in for a treat! It’s going to be a weekend you will never forget! Kevin is also at Gaston and is an Ast. Control Operator.

Ashley (roomie??): And I am so excited to find out I will not have to handle all of these boys alone! Very excited to meet you. I am assuming that means we are roommates… All I know is what is on the website that you are in Birmingham! We are going to fill in the blanks for all of our blog readers as the trip goes on. Ashley will be a runner with C Team this year! Jump on board girl!

DRIVERS (most important part… without them, this would not be possible):

Delacio (stud): And that says it all, he’s just awesome. Delacio put together the most amazing video last year. I am currently in the process of locating it! Complete with music and good shots along the way. I’m so excited to see you Delacio. I think you might have been the best addition last year! Are you ready to go 5 MPH for 3 days in a car??? GOOD TIMES! Let’s just pump up the jams! He is at Greene County Steam Plant as Ast. Control Operator.

David (wannta be): He’s a wannta be runner! HA! I will get David Boyd to run one of these years. David just got back from Boston. He was conveniently there during the Boston Marathon. Sooo… I think it motivated him to maybe sign up for his first race! Hopefully we can get him out there with a few of us runners to start his training. David and I have traveled across the US to hike the most awesome trail. I can tell you now, he has the ability to run. (Ok David I’m done pressuring you). David is working on some good tunes for our trip… and I know I’m excited! David is a Distribution Engineer in the Pelham Engineering Office.

Trei (big country): YEA! Trei! I am excited to see you! I don’t know why you remind me of Alabama Country… it’s not a bad thing either. Maybe it’s because I have been traveling across the Alabama Country-side with you for three years. Trei will keep us rolling with his wonderful since of humor… I know you’ve some stories lined up for us! READY! Trei is another one we will get running one of these years. Trei is at Barry Steam Plant and his title is Plant Auxiliary.

Bob Spotsworth (TBD): WELCOME to “C” team (aka the best team). Bob is a Customer Service Supervisor in Southern Div. Office. And we are beyond excited for him to join our All-Star Cast! You name, too, is to be determined on this trip.

Nicole (yours truly): I am an Engineering, and am in the Central Engineering group, located downtown Birmingham. I LOVE TO RUN. That says it all... It’s my thing! And I look forward to this event every year! What a great cause we are all running for… To know we are all making an impact while having such a great time… is AMAZING!

I know I speak for all of my teammates when I say “THANK YOU” Thanks for all the support! This race could not be possible without the donations of our friends and family. The word “cancer” hits all of us at some level. And, so, here to a run, across Alabama, that is dedicated to the future result of “NO CANCER”

Gentlemen (and Ladies) Start your engines… the race will begin in 24 hours…


Monday, March 21, 2011

Why Participate in Run for the Reason? - Rosa

In 2009 my brother-in-law, who happens to have been one of my favorites, lost his fight to cancer. Though I did everything in my power to keep him comfortable, it just seemed I could not do enough. We laughed and shared good talks. He allowed me to help him, which I believed he knew he was really helping me. He would thank me for all my efforts and sometimes even try to eat or drink something just for me. I wish I could have done more. The time I spent with him during his illness will always be precious to me.

Now in memory of him I give my donations and volunteer my time to The American Cancer Society. Last year was my first time participating in Run for Reason and I truly enjoyed it. I was one of the drivers for a group of wonderful people with whom I share a common passion with, for a cause that makes a difference in many lives. It touched me deeply when I would look over and see someone, on the side of the road saying to us “thank you so much.” It moved me to want to do more and when I could not stand it any longer I told the other driver “let me out, I gotta run with them” I ran till it hurt (which wasn’t but a mile, I was not in shape :) ), but I gave it my all and gained even more respect for our runners.

There’s not a better cause to run than Run for the Reason, it allows another opportunity to help others win the battle with cancer.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

A worthy cause...

Photo courtesy of American Cancer Society

We help cancer patients get well and stay well in Alabama.

Through our various support groups and programs, we reach dozens of families in your community.

  • 31,796 trips for cancer patients to get to their cancer treatments.
  • 1,498 patients received free wigs, prostheses or other gift items this year.
  • 886 women took part in the Reach to Recovery program, which matches newly diagnosed breast cancer patients with survivors.
  • 815 women attended Look Good...Feel Better, a makeover session for female cancer patients to teach them how to deal with skin and hair changes.
  • 1,536 patients attended monthly support group meetings.
  • 29 cancer survivors received college scholarships.
  • 892 patients and caregivers stayed for free at the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge in Birmingham while seeking treatment at local facilities, totaling 19,701 nights. That service saved these families an estimated total of nearly $2,462,625!

    We help find cures right here in Alabama.

  • The American Cancer Society funds 7 researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, for a total of more than 4 million dollars in research grants.
  • The American Cancer Society has funded three billion dollars in research since 1946, helping fund such cancer discoveries as the breast cancer drug tamoxifen, surgeries like the bone marrow transplant, and cancer screenings like the PSA test.
  • 44 American Cancer Society funded researchers are Nobel Prize laureates. This is more than any other non-profit organization in the world.

  • We help cancer patients fight back.

    In this past fiscal year, volunteers with the American Cancer Society helped persuade the Alabama state legislature to restore more than $300,000 to the state's Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection program, after it had been cut entirely from the governor's budget for the third year in the row. The program gives free mammograms to women who are underinsured or not insured at all. Also in this past fiscal year, local leadership council member and state representative Mary Sue McClurkin honored the Joe Lee Griffin Hope Lodge and also recognized cervical cancer awareness through a joint resolution. American Cancer Society volunteers advocated for cancer patients covered by Medicaid, supporting several efforts involving coverage for prescription drugs and hospice care. We are geared up for the this year’s legislative session focusing on educating legislators about the importance of passing comprehensive smoke-free legislation.

    For cancer information 24 hours a day,
    call 1-800-227-2345 or visit

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Why Participate in Run for the Reason? - Trey

    I am participating in Run for the Reason to honor my co-workers, friends, and family members that continue to battle cancer. Several people that are near and dear to me struggle with this disease, and this relay is a way for me to do something tangible for them.

    Currently, one out of every four Americans will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. To me, that is a staggering statistic. We simply must do everything in our power to find cures for those that have cancer and preventative measures for those that could potentially develop cancer.

    Last year was my first year to participate in Run for the Reason, and it was such an awesome experience. I got in an RV with seven people I had never met before--after three days, 350 miles, and about an hour of sleep, I came away with seven great friends and a ton of fun memories. I am happy to be a part of the team this year, and I hope that the money that we raise will make a tremendous difference in the fight against cancer.


    Friday, March 11, 2011

    Why Participate in Run for the Reason? - Brooke

    This will be my second Run for the Reason – Run Across Alabama and I’m so excited to get to share my story with you and why this year’s RFTR is so incredibly special to me and why I feel so privileged to run in celebration and honor of all the people who are affected by cancer every day.

    As an adult, I have always felt compelled to participate in events benefiting the American Cancer Society. I have participated in the Susan G. Komen 3-day walk, several Susan G. Komen Races for the Cure and Partners In Training. In December of 2008, my boss Buddy was diagnosed with cancer and dealt with surgeries and treatment for the better portion of 2009 and 2010. In March of 2010, when I heard about the Run for the Reason, I felt deeply compelled to participate to celebrate Buddy and what a profound influence and inspiration he has been to me during the past couple of years. So, when April rolled around and I set off on my two-and-a-half day trip in a winnebago with 6 dudes I’d never met and one chick I only knew casually to run 4 miles every 10 hours, I had no idea what I had signed up for. Something about running with these people, sharing nasty hotel rooms with them, stinking to high heaven in a RV, and blasting music from our ingeniously rigged boom-box bonded me with these folks. I left that weekend feeling accomplished, proud, sore (to say the least) but fulfilled. I had no idea what was waiting for me on the other side of that weekend…

    I will never forget the exact moment my dad called me to tell me my Mom had breast cancer. After the Run for the Reason I had a meeting I had to attend in Tallahassee, FL. On Tuesday morning May 4th, I loaded up the rental car, grabbed a chicken biscuit and hit the road headed up I-75 north to another meeting in Thomaston, GA. I had been excited all morning because after my trip to Thomaston I was heading straight to Atlanta; I received a text at about 5:30am that my sister-in-law was in labor and my nephew would be coming soon. So, at 8:30am when my phone rang and I saw that it was my dad, I wasn’t surprised when he said “It’s been a mysterious morning. Ginny went into labor and…” I interrupted him, “I know!! I’ll be there tonight.” He interrupted me, “Your mom has cancer.” Our conversation continued for a couple more minutes, but I couldn’t tell you exactly what was said. It was pouring rain outside and I tried to stay calm enough to at least pull into a gas station long enough to process what I had just heard. My mind immediately went back to a conversation the group shared on the last day in the RV about why each one of us committed to the type physical and mental distress to which the RTFR exposes you. I had responded, “I’ve never had anyone in my family affected by cancer, but I want my boss to know I support him. For some reason, I’ve always felt like it’s my duty to support this cause. Maybe because I’m hoping I’m never affected by it.” And here I was, 3 days later sitting on the side of the road in the rain, crying in a car. My mother was now a statistic.

    Our next nine months were spent in hospitals and doctors offices. Mom ended up having a mastectomy with reconstruction. After the surgery we discovered there were 3 tumors. Only one – the smallest one – showed up on the initial scan. Even worse, the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes. They declared she had stage 3 breast cancer with lymphoma. Her worst fear from the beginning was chemo. And, in the early fall chemo became no longer a fear, but a reality. But, it didn’t stop there. As a side effect of the chemo mom developed a deep vein thrombosis (blood clot) that traveled up to her groin. As if the nearly daily doctor’s appointments, the painful recovery from the surgery and the chemo weren’t enough, Mom now had to give herself shots of blood-thinners in her stomach every day and nurse her leg that would swell 2 or 3 times normal size because of the blood clot.

    I spent those months tearing up I-20 between Atlanta and Birmingham, helping Mom during and after chemo appointments; helping with things around the house as Dad patiently and beautifully balanced all of the chaos; spending lots of time praying and talking to myself during the drives; and lastly, trying to keep my workload in the office and beyond at a manageable limit. Candidly speaking, had I not worked for this wonderful organization that gave me so many liberties to work from my parents’ house, or the hospital, or the doctor’s office, or our Atlanta office, I probably would not have had the strength to bear my portion of the burden that Cancer has laid on my family. This often times overwhelmingly large company of 27,000+ employees proved to me that indeed we are all family and that when one of our own is in crisis there is no sacrifice too big to help our “family” through that crisis.

    My mom never deserved to hear the words, “you have cancer.” Nobody does, but she definitely didn’t. I saw the strength of my mother, and by proxy my father, as my mom went to appointment after appointment being delivered one bit of bad news after another -- each feeling like a kick in the gut while you’re already down. I saw their strength as my mom came out of an operating room, physically a changed and different woman. I saw my mother’s strength in the following weeks nursing scars and drains and still trying not to impose on any of us. I saw my father’s strength when he had to give my mom blood thinner shots in the stomach every day, knowing how painful they were. I saw my parents’ strength when after a week of her hair falling out my dad shaved my mom’s hair off. I saw my mom’s strength and perseverance the first time she went into public without a wig. Each milestone, whether good or bad, showcased a new strength I had never seen in my parents before.

    Cancer tested the strength of everyone in my life – my family, my fiancé, my coworkers, my friends. So today (2/14/10) as I recall what cancer has done to my life in the past year– albeit in as few words as I feel are respectable considering the magnitude of this situation – I am elated to share that just this week we found out that mom is CANCER FREE! Cancer tested our strength and we proved that while we had to bend a little just to live, our spirit could not be broken.

    Caption: This is my mom on Christmas with my nephew Mason, who was born the day we found out about her cancer. She had finished chemo about 6 weeks before this picture was taken.

    It’s with pride and humility and great respect that I celebrate my family and all the people who have helped us through such a tremendous challenge in the past year, while I participate in the 2011 Run for the Reason – Run Across Alabama. This year each leg of my race will be with a great sense of gratitude to the people who have reached in their pockets and their hearts to lend various types of support, when the weight of their own lives and struggles is great enough. Most importantly, this year each mile that I run will be to glorify God and his grace, to which I owe an overwhelming amount of faith and love for healing my Mother so she could watch her grandson grow up -- who was the silver lining on a dark day last May – and so that she could be standing beside me at my own wedding as I start my life with Lance with my own challenges to overcome.


    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    Run for The Reason 2011 Kickoff

    The Alabama Power Run for the Reason is a 2 ½ day continuous run through the state of Alabama to raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society. Three teams of seven runners each take turns running through the state in leapfrog style. Each runner covers about 20 miles over the weekend. Each team (and therefore each runner) will run twice in a 24 hour period. When not running, participants ride in RVs and sleep in hotels.

    The Run for the Reason (RFTR) participants are employees of Alabama Power and raise funds to support the American Cancer Society (ACS).

  • What: A two and a half day continuous run covering 350 miles

  • Why: To raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society

  • How: Teams of runner take turns running through the state in leapfrog style, running approximately 20 miles throughout the event. Runners cover 3 to 4 miles increments every 12 hours. Four drivers per team pilot the runners' RVs and lead vehicles that accompany the runners throughout the state.

  • Where: The run begins at the Alabama/Georgia state line and ends at Alabama's coast, on Dauphin Island.

  • When: Thursday, April 28 - Saturday, April 30, 2011

  • Who: Drivers and runners are Alabama Power or Southern Company employees working in the state of Alabama.