20% There, Cowboys and Injuns, and a Reminder of Why We’re Doing This

**Update #2**- Support is pouring in from all over the great city of San Francisco!  My extraordinarily awesome and stunningly attractive girlfriend Vikki Glinskii has also pledged $260 for Haiti relief.  Now if only I can get her to pledge a 26-minute massage post-race…

*Update*- A good friend John Hester converted some of his schillings and farthings to US Currency, and has promised $260 dollars to the cause, contingent upon completion of the run.  Stoked!

Before we delve into anything too serious, let me say Happy Friday! And a happy one it is. You can see by our trusty thermometer that we are now over $1,000, thanks to a $260 pledge from the one and only Chris Yorks. This beach bum and music encyclopedia taught me how boring databasing could be and how awesome climbing is, and it’s great to have him on board. Cheers!

easy fundraisers

While I focus on learning how to run really far, there is still a Haiti that isn’t doing so well. The capital, Port-au-Prince, is a mish-mash of tent cities, largely constructed of tree branches, earthquake debris, and some donated building materials. The rainy season is summer, meaning right about now, and these temporary shelters are not up to code, up to snuff, up to par, or really up to anything besides making for abhorrently depressing photographs. The one below struck me as particularly…well, bittersweet isn’t the right word but it’s what comes to mind.

A dilapidated trailer-turned school

Sombre yet hopeful: A broken-down trailer is converted to a school. Yes, they value education. No, they don't even have buildings for it.

The total amount pledged by the world’s nations totals about $9.9 billion, but the cost of rebuilding Haiti is expected to reach about $14 billion. An interesting fact, US private donations total about $1.3 billion after four months, which lags behind what we were able to scrape together for 9/11 and Katrina, and even the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.

Not to say that the outpouring of $1.3 billion is peanuts. That’s a lot of money, and it gives me hope because most people who donate have never and will never go to Haiti, and realize that they will reap little, if any, material benefit. But these donations indicate that people realize that if they were without food, water, shelter, medical care, or hope, that they would want those more fortunate around the world to lend whatever they could. Imagine being in a similar situation, and knowing that the rest of the world knew about your plight, and knew how to help. This is empathy. This is what makes us human. This is why we choose to reach out.

And on a cheerier note, this is why I am looking forward to the weekend. By all accounts, actually running Bay to Breakers will be a hassle and a helluva good time. I’ll be dodging, ducking, dipping, diving and dodging all the crazy costumed folk, and since I didn’t register until fairly late, I will be starting in the last corral, where the slow-pokes go. In other words, if all goes according to plan, I’ll be passing a few thousand people on my way to sandy, salt-misted glory.

If you’re doing the long hike from East to West SF on Sunday, look for a bunch of cowboys and Indians. Those will be my friends. I take no responsibility for their actions, words, behavior, or appearance. Unless any of the aforementioned turns out to be awesome, in which case it was because of my direct influence. Meh, whatever. Nobody will remember that day anyway.

My next post will be hints and the like for those who always thought running was kinda cool but way too hard to get into. I was one of them, and while I am far from an expert, I can certainly shed some light on how easy it actually is to start running. And there’s nothing quite like that runner’s high.


2 Responses to “20% There, Cowboys and Injuns, and a Reminder of Why We’re Doing This”

  1. I’m too old to start running. But glad you are up for it. Have a great weekend.

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