Thursday, September 3, 2009

Are you an F.O.C.?

Last month, I was interviewing local Minnesota running community standout Staci Bennett about her Run n Fun racing team teammate, Cindy Brochman, who is battling stomach cancer.

It was for an article called Rock for Broc, the latest installment of my 'Minnesota Running' column in Silent Sports magazine's September issue.

[FYI: 'Rock for Broc' is a phrase rumored to have been coined by Perry Bach of Run n Fun, that has taken on a life of its own for Cindy's fight.]

Bennett and I were discussing the Minnesota running community's reaction to Brochman's diagnosis. Neither of us were surprised at the vast outpouring of support people have shown Brochman since her diagnosis. We attributed it to at least two (of many possible) things: her longevity as a member of this running community and also the fact that everyone who meets Cindy quickly begins to feel they know her. (She loves to tell stories about her life!)

Bennett mentioned that some members of the running community had dubbed these people 'F.O.C.s.'

Excuse me? F.O.C.s? What, may I ask, is an F.O.C.?

Of course an F.O.C. is a ... Friend Of Cindy.

Run n Fun teammates Mercy Ray (left), Brochman & Kristi Larson (right) at Challenge Cancer 5K on June 6, 2009 - Brochman's 44th birthday. [Photo courtesy Gary Westlund, Charities Challenge.]

"We'd be on runs and Cindy would always be telling stories about a friend of hers. Or if someone else was telling a story, Cindy would know the person being mentioned and would note they were a friend of hers," laughed Bennett. "She just knows everybody. We joked about all the people that are 'Friends of Cindy.' 'F.O.C.' was shorter."

I was lucky enough to get the chance to talk to a number of F.O.C.s for the Rock for Broc article in Silent Sports. Everyone has stories to tell about Cindy. Hope you enjoy reading the ones in this article!

Rock for Broc
A Run n Fun team member debuting the 2009 team uniform with the "Rock for Broc" tagline as she climbs up to the Ford Parkway bridge in Saint Paul during the Get in Gear 10K in April 2009. [Photo courtesy Chris Fuller, The Sporting Life.]