Rob Gerowe's job as vice president of list brokerage for RMI Direct Marketing Inc., Danbury, CT, keeps him in touch with an athletic past.
Gerowe, a former nationally ranked middle-distance runner at the University of Oregon, has worked mostly with health- and sports-related publishers, fundraisers and catalogers in 12 years as a list broker. His association with the Leukemia Society of America, first as a volunteer coach for its marathon program and then as its broker, has inspired Gerowe to run a marathon.
Gerowe, 36, will compete in the 26.2-mile Rock N Roll Marathon on June 21 in San Diego as a member of the society's Team in Training. He is running in honor of Timmy Higgins, the son of family friend Karen Higgins, who died from leukemia 10 years ago. Gerowe and Higgins must raise $2,500 for him to compete, but they are hoping to raise $5,000 in donations, 80 percent of which will benefit a sponsor patient in Kent, CT, area or be used for research.
“The real reality of what leukemia does didn't really hit until the Anchorage, Alaska, Marathon in 1996,'' said Gerowe, who was a coach at the time. “At the start of the race, I bumped into a kid who couldn't have been more than 12 or 13. He was running for his little brother who had passed away. When his father took out the picture, I just lost it. The 5-year-old child looked a lot like my son Spencer.''
Gerowe ran a 2:26 marathon during college and is training at up to 80 miles a week. If he breaks three hours in San Diego, he may try to qualify for the 2000 Olympic trials. Anyone wishing to help Gerowe raise money for leukemia can send donations to Leukemia Society of Fairfield County, c/o Rob Gerowe, Rock N Roll Marathon, 500 Summer St., Suite 310, Stamford, CT 06901.