Over the next eight months, Ryan Eickholt will run nearly 100 miles for his friend, Jay Holdgreve.

Over the next eight months, Ryan Eickholt will run nearly 100 miles for his friend, Jay Holdgreve.

The 31 Initiative - 31 5Ks in 31 weeks - is the least Eickholt said he could do for his friend, has testicular cancer.

The men have been friends since kindergarten, growing up together in Delphos, attending Ohio State University and now living two blocks apart in Dublin.

"In August 2010, I was diagnosed," Holdgreve said. "Dec. 14, 2010 I started the (Jay Holdgreve) endowment (for testicular cancer research) and website."

Shortly after Holdgreve was diagnosed, he was surprised to find few fundraisers or spokesmen for testicular cancer awareness.

"I noticed there was nothing in Columbus," he said. "I saw a need."

So Holdgreve created the endowment fund with his doctors at the OSU James Cancer Hospital. TCare.org - testicular cancer awareness research education - also was created to help Holdgreve raise money for testicular cancer research and awareness.

"My overall goal is to make testicular cancer awareness like breast cancer awareness," he said. "My goal is to go national with this."

When Eickholt saw his longtime friend dealing with cancer and trying to help others, it sparked an idea.

"I was thinking of Jay, trying to think of something for the endowment," he said.

Eickholt had just finished the Columbus Marathon - his "first and last" - when he decided to run to raise money and bring awareness to testicular cancer.

"I originally thought about doing a year (of races)," he said. "But there are no races in January or February in Ohio."

Instead of a year, Holdgreve will run 5Ks every week for 31 weeks and began this month with the 5K at the Arnold Fitness Classic.

"To me, it's a humbling experience to have someone say they want to donate their time and money," Holdgreve said of the 31 Initiative.

Eickholt, an accountant, said 5Ks will leave him extra time to spend with his family, although scheduling is sometimes tricky.

"I remembered he goes to Hilton Head every summer and said he'd have to do one there," Holdgreve said. "But he didn't back down."

It's worth it to raise awareness of testicular cancer, Eickholt said. He wears a TCare T-shirt to each race. No one asked him about it at the Arnold race, but he saw people looking.

"If someone goes home and looks it up, it'll be worth it," he said.

For more information on the 31 Initiative, look online at the31initiative.blogspot.com.

To find out more about Holdgreve's endowment, check out TCare at Tcare.org.