Running For Something Bigger Than Ourselves
Last week at the Des Moines marathon, Tom and I were excited to give away a few hundred bracelets for a small donation to the three charities that were aligned to the marathon. It was a small way we could give back and support three tremendous causes that do great work on the behalf of the dollars that runners raise. I have a deep respect for the runners who take the time to train for an event, but also put in the extra time to support a cause, raise money, or honor a special person.
There are a few runners out there right now who are doing this in a big way. If you haven't had a chance to check out Scott, Paul, and Wade's stories, here is a glimpse of the good they are doing:
For the last week, I have been following Scott Giddings quest to complete his journey that he started this spring. Scott started a run across Nebraska in mid April with a goal of completing the 480 miles across the state. About 11 days into the run, with 232 miles behind him, he had an injury to his leg which caused him to change plans, stop and recover.
On October 20th, he picked up his journey where he had left off and began running the last 240 miles, ending at the Missouri River in Omaha. Scott didn't take on this journey simply as a test to his own endurance, he took it on as a way to raise awareness and honor the Girls and Boys Town where he works and specifically the Aftercare program . In his posts, he talks about how important it is to be a role model and fulfill the promises he made to the kids and himself, how he needs to adjust to life's curveballs, and of course, that like this run, life is a marathon, not a sprint. As he finishes his last leg today - drop him a note of congratulations and encouragement.
And Paul Staso. In 2006, Paul ran across the United States, unsupported, pushing a jogging stroller. He did this heroic feat as a way to promote P.A.C.E - Promoting Active Children Everywhere. In 182 days, Paul is going to take on a challenge again and run across his homestate of Montana, all 610 miles of it, and ask kids to race with him virtually. Students from Kindergarten to High School can run along by acquiring mileage at school and track his journey through Montana. Pass on the link to your teachers - it would be a fun and educational program at school!
Paul is an amazing person. Not only because he is a phenominial runner and he is coordinated enough to push a jogging stroller for that long a distance. But he does all of this while also being a father of four, running alot, running a small business and of course, starting the PACE Fitness Foundation. He is hanging out in the Runners' Lounge too - so drop him a note on his site or in the Lounge and cheer him on!
Fitness of our kids is personally a strong belief of mine that someday in the future I hope to find a way to support in impactful way that Paul is doing today.
Don't forget to check out Wade's story too! Wade Mitzel is running across North Dakota for Operation Christmas Child. The program allows us to contribute shoeboxes filled with small gifts and deliver them to children living in desparate conditions in the world. Wade is from North Dakota but personally experienced the poor conditions of children in his mission trips to China and Africa. He knows firsthand the joy from children of receiving a small gift or kind note. He started on his journey a few days ago - so stop by his blog and leave him a comment and cheer him on - he just passed the 100 mile mark on Sunday. I can't imagine running a marathon everyday - and much less in the very cool weather of North Dakota.
Way to go guys! You make being a runner a pretty special thing!