Goal Attained!; Goal Increased; The Longest Run

Pop the bottles and spark the stogies, for we have arrived at the promised land!  Back when I first started this whole idea of raising money, I set a lofty goal of $5,000 in pledges before race day.  Thanks to the generosity of my friends and family, we are now comfortably over that mark, as this crazy thermometer now illustrates:

easy fundraisers

“Wow!” is right, and thank you crazy thermometer for putting the superlative on the cake.  Now, if you read this regularly, you’ll no doubt be surprised that we made steady progress from $0 to $1600, and then completely skipped the two-through-four thousands.  A miracle donor?  A pot o’ gold?  Neither, I say unto thee, though nearer the former than the latter.

My parents offered to match every dollar pledged up to $2600.  Then I got an email from my grandfather in Hong Kong, saying that he would match whatever my parents contributed.  A double $2600 match means that every dollar contributed was tripled, and the $1802 that you all had pledged became that $5406 that you see above.  With the double match, we actually could go all the way up to $7800 without too much effort, and there are still 2 months until race day.

But what if we didn’t stop there?  What if we did something to make $5000 seem like garbanzo beans?  What if we pooled more resources from more people?  What if we did something that made a statistically significant difference in Haiti?  What if we tried, I mean really tried on this one?  Well, let’s find out.

In keeping with the Birthday Challenge theme, I hereby announce that I am running the San Francisco Marathon on July 25th, 2010, with the goal of raising $26,000 to benefit the relief efforts in Haiti.

I have to disclose at this time that I’m utterly terrified of this.  I’ve never gone out to raise money for anything before, and $26k is a lot of cash.  In fact, I work for a business that started on much less.  I am extremely anxious about setting this goal and failing to attain it, but I will do everything in my power to try and surpass it.

Even if we don’t reach the $26,000 mark, it will have been worth every stride, every letter typed into this blog, and every solicitous email, as long as a few more people keep the catastrophe in Haiti in their minds a bit longer.  It will be worth every second of time spent if a few more people open their hearts to the genuine, widespread and unimaginable suffering of others around the globe.  In a sense, then, we have already succeeded.

I picked Haiti, but it could be Darfur, Burma, or Tennessee.  It could be HIV, it could be police brutality, it could be homelessness.  My mom has always told me that the way to deal with the overwhelming ills of the world is to pick one area to focus on, and make a difference there.  This focus is something that I struggle with, but I’m getting better, and it’s some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten.  However, I would like to add a corollary to my mother’s wisdom: live every day such that your energy and actions improve the lives of those you come into contact with, even if it’s just a complement, or a listening ear, or a random smile.  Everyone’s got a smile to spare, and in this often vitriolic day and age we find ourselves in, a smile can go a long way.

Anyway, with that admonition aside, it’s time to update our thermometer:

easy fundraisers

Honestly, not too shabby.  The red ain’t so far away from the top of the thermometer.

Lest you be skeptical of my ability to finish the race, let me assure you that I am using every mean at my disposal to be as prepared as possible for the “main event.”  Well, everything except getting those skimpy running shorts that track athletes seem to be so bloody fond of.  Me?  I run in Volcom shorts, boxers, and a cotton tee.  But I run a lot.

How much?  Well, this Saturday I went on the longest run I’ve ever been on, 16.5 miles.  I went from a friend’s loft in SoMa along Embarcadero, across the Golden Gate Bridge and back, with the ordeal lasting 2.5 hours exactly.  That puts me on pace to run a slightly less than 4 hour marathon, which would be AWESOME.

Twas a glorious day, and I ran a long way, damn near 'round the bay. Nothing more to say.

I celebrated my feat by going bouldering at Castle Rock State Park for an afternoon with the incomparable Dan Kovner, who bought me dinner because he’s a nice guy.  Thanks buddy!

At this point in my training, I’m trying to make my odometer spin so fast it gets dizzy.  Uncle Coach Andy has me running 4 times a week for 45 minutes, with a 2.5 hour run on the weekends.  I will be beating the pavement like the ground owed my feet money.  And my feet will be paid in blisters.

Anyway, that’s the blog for tonight.  Thank you everyone for your support, kind words, and encouragement.  I couldn’t do it without you.


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