Race Across New Mexico
Organized by: Charles du Preez
EVENT DATE Feb 14, 2015
For a couple years now, I have wanted to do something amazing for my birthday that also benefits others. Last year, I had the idea of putting on a "birthday" clarinet recital in order to raise money for the Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, located in Lyons, CO (greenwoodwildlife.org/). Unfortunately, this idea did not come to fruition :(
On February 21 of 2015, I will turn 30 years of age, and I have found an opportunity to do something amazing by helping to raise awareness of childhood obesity. The “Race Across New Mexico” is a 390 mile journey from the western border to the eastern border of this beautiful southwestern state. The 16-day trek in which I will be participating is just a part of the entire "Race Across the USA," which will be completed by an elite group of endurance athletes running the entire 3,080 mile route in 140 days (raceacrossusa.org), with the goal of sparking a renaissance in childhood health and fitness.
It is a requirement for all participants to raise money for this cause. Along the way, I will have the opportunity to speak to kids of all ages about the importance of being physically active. In this age of technology and unhealthy eating, it is a sad fact that a lot of children deal with obesity, and having a positive stimulation (like
hearing a group of runners speak about the joys of running across an entire state, or the entire country!) could have the potential to have a serious and long-lasting impact on the youth of today.
Upon completing the trek, I want to continue to use this experience by sharing with kids wherever I may go about the benefit of staying physical active. The 100 Mile Club is a program that urges and challenges kids to be active, by running 100 miles in a school year (100mileclub.com). I hope to be able to be a “spokesperson” for this program, and go into public schools around the area, and near my home in rural Nebraska, to inspire kids to lace up their shoes and get outside!
Please help me make this a run to remember! In addition to raising money to fight childhood obesity, I am also asking for monetary assistance to help with travel, lodging (the cost will be split with up to 4 runners per room), food, and helping with the crew members and volunteers.
More about me:
I have been running marathons since 2006, and ultramarathons since 2007. Upon qualifying for the Boston Marathon on my first marathon attempt in April of 2006 (2:57), and running a satisfying 1:18 half-marathon a couple months later, I quickly lost interest in trying to set PRs. For this reason, I decided to extend the distance of my runs.
I completed my first ultramarathon, the PsycoWyco 50k, on a February morning in 2007. The temperature was around 18 degrees at the start and there were volunteers putting screws in the runners’ shoes in order to provide traction on the snowy, slippery, rocky single-track trails. You don’t see this at any road marathons. After wiping out multiple times, uncontrollably sliding down a hill while my legs were painfully cramping up, and proclaiming the course to be “treacherous,” I finished the race at a pace that was 3.5 minutes slower than my marathon pace…and I loved it! It was basically the most fun I had ever had!
Since then I have run many other ultras, ranging from the gnarly "Cedro Peak 45k" near Albuquerque (where a dude was offering free shots of tequila at mile 26 and where there was a self-serve beer keg at the finish), the 44 mile "Brew-to-Brew" ultra from Kansas City to Lawrence (if beer is involved, I am definitely in!). While in college I did a 50 mile run in and around Lincoln, NE on a weekday when I didn’t have classes. Recently, I have completed multiple back-to-back marathons on consecutive days, and am now looking for a greater challenge.
Why I Chose the “Race Across New Mexico”
The "Race Across New Mexico" will be, for me, the ultimate challenge (15 marathons in 16 days), and it will give more meaning to my running efforts. I could use the next couple of months to run another sub 3 hour marathon, or try to run a 2:50 marathon, but this will do nothing but fulfill a selfish, egotistical goal. I want to use my ability of running long distances to raise money for the good of humanity! The "Race Across New Mexico" will be a new beginning to my running career so far. After I complete the New Mexico run, I plan to do other endurance events to help support various causes. The "Race Across New Mexico" will be special for me because it will allow me the opportunity to talk to kids and motivate them to start the healthy habit of running.
I am always very inspired by athletes who raise money and participate in events for a good cause. A main reason why I wanted to start running ultramarathons was because I read Dean Karnazes' first book, Ultramarathon Man. In this book, he recounts how he set out to run 200 miles, and how he was using the opportunity to raise money for a little girl in need. This was very inspiring to me! There are countless other stories about people doing Ironman triathlons to raise money, and even a lot of 5k runs held in an effort to raise money. Now, as my 30th birthday nears, I am wanting to do something to make it a day to remember! I have been toying with the idea of doing a week-long supported bike ride across Colorado, or (a couple weeks after my birthday, in March) completing the "Dust Bowl Marathon
Series," which is five days of five marathons in five different states. In 2012, I did the first and last marathons of the series, and I loved it! To do the entire series would be awesome, but it only serves to satisfy my personal goals. I want to do something more meaningful.
As outlined in his first book, Dean Karnazes had a life-changing 30th birthday, where he made the choice to run 30 miles, and also change the path of his life. Now, he runs for Karno Kids, making a big impact to get kids outside and to lead an active lifestyle. At first, he ran for himself, but then, he wanted to run for others. This is where I am at right now in my own life. It has become boring (and a little pointless and not fun) trying to set PRs, and now I run for the experience of being outdoors, meeting other like-minded individuals, and trying to get others to do the same!
By being offered the opportunity to run across the state of New Mexico (I had to complete an application, as well as write a couple essay questions), I will be doing more than simply fulfilling a big running goal: I will raise money to bring about awareness of childhood obesity, and have the opportunity to speak to kids and motivate them to get outside and get moving! I could think of no better way to spend my 30th birthday
Allocation of Funds:
40% directly to fundraiser
25% lodging for 16 days ($19 each day, shared room in hotel)
15% food for 16 days ($11 each day)
15% transportation to and from New Mexico
5% to help with crew member and volunteer costs
I will be paying for the registration, supplements and other nutrition, additional gear, etc (approximately $600). In total, doing this event is rather expensive (around $1,800), so any aid you can give will help.
Thank you for considering!