BENEFITING: Operation Nightwatch - Portland
***YOU CAN STILL DONATE! We've reached our goal but every dollar helps buy warm socks, blankets, first aid supplies, and more, for Operation Nightwatch guests. Every dollar makes a difference!
Every year I run the marathon. This year, I'm sparing us both the agony. Consider this my penance for 9 years of talking training at brunch, getting you out of bed on a Sunday morning, and filling your news feed with running (ha) commentary.
While I've always crossed the finish line, I've never done so for anyone other than myself. Many people run to benefit a cause, but that was never my thing. So when I decided to take this year off, I thought: why not turn this year's Birthday/Marathon Week into a win-win-win: I get a year off, you get a break from hearing about it, and best of all, people in need get support.
If you donate, my promise for the month of November 2014:
- I will NOT run a marathon.
- I will NOT post about my fitness endeavors on social media.
- I will NOT send an overly instructive email about race day spectatorship.
- I will NOT expect you to make posterboard GO MAYORESS! signs out of glitter.
- I will NOT tweet my Nike+ workouts.
- I will NOT create a dedicated hashtag.
- I will NOT post any self-congratulatory status updates of any kind on Facebook.
It all goes straight to charity. No admin fees, no race fees.
All of the money you donate will go to the place I've been spending my training hours in recent months: Operation Nightwatch. It's an incredible nonprofit in Portland that creates a social community for the homeless. On Friday nights, volunteers welcome up to 100 guests who have a safe and warm place to get coffee and food, play board games, use the Internet, make friends, get health care, and know that people care about their well-being. And since I'm on the ground there, I witness firsthand how small their operating budget is, how far they stretch each dollar and donation, and how none of it would be possible without our contributions.
$26.20 = $1 per marathon mile
$36 = age I'm turning this year
$50 = price of new nike running shoes at employee store
$70 = training season's worth of energy gels and gatorade
$100 = cost of therapy session to recover from excessive marathon posts on social media
$227 = entry fee for this year's marathon
$9 = minutes extra you get to sleep every time you hit snooze on marathon Sunday
How long is a marathon?
Why would anyone run a marathon?
Passion. Hubris. Athleticism. Stupidity. Courage. Obsession. Bucket list. Boredom. Purpose. Weight loss. Meditation. Depression. Community. Glory.
What's the big deal about the New York City Marathon?
It's not only one of the biggest marathons in the world with over 40,000 participants running through all five boroughs and one of the five World Marathon Majors races, it's incredibly hard to get into. The only ways to secure entry if you're not a sponsor or elite runner are to 1) run 9 qualifying New York races the previous calendar year (how I always earn my way in), 2) get in by lottery, or 3) run for a designated charity.
Why didn't you just run for a charity?
My knees hurt. Also, it always seemed weird to me to combine a personal accomplishment with fundraising. Sitting on my ass and bribing you, however, is a perfect match.
One more thing...
For my whole adult life, running has been my sport, my routine, my community, my therapy, my spiritual outlet. Thanks for supporting me over the years, from Facebook likes to getting out there on race day -- every word of encouragement was felt and appreciated. Especially the glitter posters!