Hello SSOD Runners

The Savannah Stone Stairs of Death Race (SSOD race) is a unique challenge.  This race has you running up the 33 gnarly steep steps on the western end of River Street in Savannah, Ga.  Upon reaching the top of the steps you will continue running a one third mile loop for an hour, 1.5 hours or two hours straight.  Whoever racks up the most mileage in their registered for time slot wins!

Each mile you run is approximately 100 feet of elevation gain.

Before you sign up you may want to ask yourself “why would I pay to run up these horrific stairs for an hour straight?”  Good question!

Here’s answer 1: You get a great shirt!

Answer 2: It’s an incredible challenge unlike any other you’re likely to come across anywhere else! You will impress yourself with your results after 1, 1.5 or 2 hours of running up these steps on this short loop! Running these steps are about the best mountain training you’ll get at  low-elevation Savannah.

Answer 3: You will be helping an impressive young lady that has been in the fight of her life, – Stephanie Moore.  Many of you know this name because she is part of our running community.  She is an ultra runner with a heart of gold and possesses the strength of the mountains she’s run up and down and through for years on end.  A year ago, Stephanie was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in her colon and liver.  She has been through hell and back.  Stephanie is amazingly strong and courageous

The SSOD race is going on its third year.  After expenses for the race are covered the remaining money has been donated.  The last two years this race has generated over $2000 that was sent directly to the Thatcher family for Layla’s fight with childhood  leukemia.  

The 2019 SSOD race will be held in honor of Stephanie Moor and after the race expenses are covered, the remaining money will be sent directly to Stephanie.  We will write out a check to her after the race.  What she does with the money is her business.

Since this is a small race -(we cannot accommodate more than 65 runners on this short course) – we ask runners to seek sponsors for every mile they run so that we may maximize the donation to Stephanie.

Here’s a link to download a sponsor sheet: survivorsponsorsheet

Here is Stephanie Moore’s Story…

~~~About a year ago my life changed.  Sometime between April-May of 2018  I started getting terrible stomach spasms. I felt it mostly during a run, or in the evening hours.  I was a 33 year old healthy distance runner, so I really wondered if this pain was in my head, or if I was over-reacting.  I DNFd a few races due to stomach spasms and wondered if it was food or nutrition during the race. My goal race was the DamYeti 50 coming up, so I told myself I would save my energy for that. I ended up getting an ultrasound, it came back abnormal, but a CT was needed to get a better image, and that was scheduled the day after I would return home from DamYeti.

It wasn’t until the DamYeti 50 that I really started having intense pain.  I strongly considered dropping out in Damascus, but I figured I could hike the last bit to finish the 50k instead of the 50 mile event, and that’s what I did.  The last 8-10 miles I hiked and walked, cried, got angry, and mostly just became so frustrated with pain. At the finish, I explained to the race director, Jason that I turned around in Alverado and dropped to the 50k, he was more than understanding, I still got a finish line hug and a 50k finish time for my effort. It was the last ultra I ran.

It would require a book to explain everything further in great detail, but to give a summary…the next several months, and really a year and still going I made progress, had setbacks, but finally feel like I see a finish line.

A colonoscopy after a CT scan revealed a blockage, that turned out to be a giant tumor in my transverse colon (right under my stomach), so that explained my pain.  Unfortunately, 2 spots were on my liver as well leading to a stage 4 cancer diagnosis at the age of 33. My dad had died about 9 years prior to this same illness.  I had no idea I was even at risk.

Since then I have had:
–  2 major open abdominal surgeries, a colon resection and liver resection, gallbladder was also removed
– 12 cycles of Folfox chemotherapy
– 4 fluid drain procedures due to a bile leak complication from my liver surgery, the last procedure they left a drain in place and I still have it.  It’s painful, but hopefully keeping my liver functioning well enough to recover. 
2 ERCP surgeries with my third scheduled for this Wednesday, (June 12th). They have tried twice to repair the bile leak with a stent, both unsuccessful. This third one is to remove the second stent that isn’t working anyway.

As far as the future, all I know is that if this drain doesn’t allow the bile leak to heal, I will be back in for abdominal surgery number 3 soon.  I am considered cancer free, but with stage 4 they won’t consider me in remission until I have 5 years of clear scans, and they always hesitate to say the word cure, especially with stage 4.  I will need to take precautions for the rest of my life, and be screened, it will always be there, or at least on my mind. 

I had genetic testing done and it revealed I have a mutation called Lynch syndrome, also known as hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), it is a type of inherited cancer syndrome associated with a genetic predisposition to different cancer types. This means people with Lynch syndrome have a higher risk of certain types of cancer.  I will eventually have a total hysterectomy as a preventive measure, but hope to live a decent and thoughtful life.

I’m still not out of the woods. In fact, I live there.
That is my story.
But it’s your story, too. It’s all our stories. It’s the one thing we have in common. None of us truly know what is coming next. Which is thrilling, and horrifying, and human.
So here’s to my next surgery. Hopefully it will be one of the last. In the meantime, I’ll try and make the most of the time I’m given. And enjoy these woods as long as I have the chance.~~~

The stairs in question for this race are the narrow, high stairs on the western end of River Street in between MLK Jr Blvd and Montgomery st and Williamson St.  The SSOD race will require runners to run a third of a mile loop that starts at the top of the stairs on Williamson St.  The runners will then run west to MLK Jr and turn right and then quickly head east on River St where they will then dart back in between the buildings where the stairs are.  They will repeat this ⅓ of a mile course for the duration of one hour.

The top male and female of each timed distance will be awarded.  Every runner that finishes their registered time slot will get a finisher’s award..

Runners will always run up the stairs and never down.  Also, slower runners are expected to use the right hand set of stairs leaving the left hand set of stairs to the faster runners.  For safety reasons this will be strictly enforced.

All Rough Runners events are cup free. You must bring your own water bottle.

The Rough Runners SSOD race is not affiliated with the infamous Facebook page, Stone Stairs of Death Savannah, but we are fans of it!  Go like their page! It’s great!

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