Tommy Rivs and the Road to Rage On


When someone has impacted a community as much as runner Tommy Rivers Puzey (aka “Rivs”), people rally to help a friend and role model. That has been the case over the past few weeks as close friends and many who have never met Rivs showed up with an outpouring of support after he landed in the ICU.

According to his wife, Steph, and brother, Jacob, after a multi-week battle to find a diagnosis, the Mayo Clinic came to the conclusion that he has Primary Pulmonary NK T-Cell Lymphoma.

In about two weeks, the community has come together to raise close to $396,000 on this GoFundMe Fundraiser. He has a battle and long road coming and you can support Rivs and his family here. Rage on Rivs. 👊🏾

Stay updated:

Get involved:

  • Join the Run with Rivs challenge from August 1-9. Run, ride, hike, walk, etc. for as many miles as you wish to raise money for the family of TRP. Take on the challenge of your choosing. Details here and on the RunWithRivs Instagram.

Tommy Rivs’ Family

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I open my computer to write and there you are, haunting this blank screen. The cursor pulses. It taunts me. What is there to write of other than you? What will there ever be? The hyperbolic pause that blinks as I wait. An exaggerated breath that I understand in all its cruel irony. The pendulum swings and the fear of your absence consumes me. Hope and defeat. Here and there. Now and later. Will we grow old together? Will you see the trees you planted in April sprout their leaves next Spring? Will we see the Redwoods like we said we would? If tragedy is a well then uncertainty is a bucket at the end of a tattered rope. The comfort of the well lies in knowing your fate. In the bucket you can reach out, hang on to tenacious strings that speak of maybe, that tell of faith and miracles. But hope hurts and faith is vulnerable, leaving you in the tidal chance of making it out. And in that hope lies anxiety-an unrelenting drive floundering in your throat. An inexorable uncertainty. An unending maybe. It clots and claws. It is dark down here, in the maybe. I reach for the rope but it burns my hand as I lose my grip. It’s easier to float in the well of finality. To cough out the hope that burrows. “Ignore the bucket. Ignore the rope. There is no way out. You’ve done this before and it didn’t end well.” So is this it-the apex of maelstrom? You thought you’d reached it in your teens. You thought that was the depth of it. You thought you’d reached the pinnacle of despair. “Oh girl”, he whispers. “The darkness is so much wider.” And who are you, anyways? Who is it that haunts me now- father or lover, demon or deity? The lines have been blurred my whole life. Blessings and trials. Lessons and burdens. Promises of eternity that end in early departure. You left when I was young. Will you leave me again? Impermanence becomes permanent. The bucket, the rope. The water, the well. The pendulum swings.

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Tommy’s brother, Jacob Puzey

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The C word

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A Community of Support

Pro Runner Jim Walmsley

Olympian Runner Magda Boulet

Running coach and podcaster @mariofraioli

Peter Bromka (@bromka) as quoted from his Twitter thread; @bromka’s @bromka/rage-on-3effeff441a8">Medium post

A new story about Tommy.

Many of us “traditional runners” wonder about @tommy_rivs popularity, because he’s not a traditional “Elite runner.” Most of Letsrun has no idea who he is.

So at a family dinner I mention my friend Tommy Rivs and my brother-in-law replies “Tommy Rivs!”

And he’s wide eyed excited, wants to talk about the man. But I’m confused cause he’s not a big runner. Ran a few road races here and there.

Why does he know of Tommy?

“He’s who I run with on @iFit!!”

“He’s who taught him everyone he knows.” My sister-in-law replies.

And they begin to tell stories about how interesting Tommy makes running. And how accessible Tommy makes running.

And how even the fact that he doesn’t look like he’s dressed for a “fashion show” made running accessible to them.

And they’re stunned and heartbroken to hear (because they’re not on social media) that the man who helps them love running is struggling.

It’s in moments like this that it’s easier to see how “traditional running” is so small and limited compared to the wide world of people who move with their bodies.

“Bipedal animals” as my BIL tells me Tommy reminds them often. “It’s what we’re meant to do.”

Just a fresh story about the impact of a wonderful man on the world.

Hang on Tommy, we love you. ❤️

2x Olympian Runner Kara Goucher

UK Runner Owen Hughes

Responses (1)

  1. Anne Guzman

    I don’t know Tommy but I’m here in tears for him, his family and beautiful community I’ve read notes from above. As a believer in something greater than us, I’m channeling my energy his way and to his family and friends. So sorry to read about Tommy’s fight. It sounds like he’s a hell of a fighter however. Thank you for sharing this story.

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