This year I am running the LA Marathon for the 3rd time with a very good friend Kirsten Retz. Neither of us need much of a reason to run, but when this race is finished our sweat, with your help, will result in more than two medals. We are both running with Train 4 Autism specifically to raise money for the school that supported my son Jake for over 14 years.
The Pyramid Autism Center (PAC) is a California Department of Education State Certified Non-Public, Non-Profit School founded in 1998 that is dedicated to serving the needs of children and families touched by autism. www.pyramidautismcenter.com
I don't like to even hint anything negative in connection with such an inspirational event, but the school is concerned about safety and wishes to add a few more security items, video equipemnt mostly, to help. Enough said right? Wonderful school. Lisa and I owe them so much for all they have done for Jake.
The first year I ran the LA Marathon I had a tough race. It rained like it never rains. There were floods and roofs collapsing from the gallons that poured from the sky. I felt terrible and felt alone in the sea of runners. I noticed many runners were on teams and had support along the course and wondered why I decided to go it alone. The following summer I ran accross Train 4 Autism. They were a welcoming group of runners that I had something more than running in common with. It was obvious pretty quickly I'd found what I needed to stay motivated and run LA again.
A lot of things went better last year at the LA Marathon. It didn't rain for one. I did miss my 4 hour goal by 3 minutes, but I had knocked 50 minutes off the effort I gave a year before, made a lot of new friends, and raised over 1800 dollars for the charity. I was apart of something instead of a lone runner. BTW - I did finally break the 4 hour mark later in 2012 thanks to a lot of support from Train 4 Autism, the many running partners, coaching staff, and a little competition from my good friend Kirsten.
This year I'm trying to pay it forward a bit more. Besides deciding to make the LA Marathon my annual fundrasing event (I wouldn't dare ask every time I race) I've been helping runners wanting to run for a cause and coordinate with the LA Marathon's charity team for T4A. We have a number of first time marathon runners and I'm getting inspired on our weekly runs seeing so many people shed pounds and reach distances they didn't imagine possible when the training season started.
Of course, you remember at the end of a long run not only how much your feet may ache, but how lucky you are to have the opportunity to expand your limits. I know Jake, his mother, and teachers all keep trying even when it seems some tasks Jake may never master. Knowing me and many others I run with are improving, even at our age, makes it clear that effort is important to overcoming our challenges. Thats why I believe autism will improve with focus. So we are trying to support teachers and wear a banner in a race to serve that cause.
If you have a little money to spare to help us help a school please do. If you have more than a little please help a little more. If you don't please wish us good weather and times.
Note if you scroll through the pictures you'll an example of a bag Jake made. He has learned to sew. Those that donate and ask will get one. There are only 7 now and a few of those have some screening flaws as we tested this out for the first time, but maybe I can get a few more made before the race if demand is high.
More about Train 4 Autism: Our mission is to support and empower parents and children touched by the disorder by involvement in endurance sport. Many Train 4 Autism participants are persons competing in their first athletic event ever or athletes that choose to walk a race instead of run – everyone is welcome!
What is Autism? Autism is a devastating neurological and biological disorder that typically affects children between the ages in 18 months to five years of age. Autism currently affects 1 in every 110 children today. It is estimated there are over 1 million people in the United States alone with autism. Autism affects each individual differently and at different levels of severity. Some people with autism are severely affected, cannot speak, require constant one-on-one care, and are never able to live independently. While others who have less severe symptoms, can communicate, and eventually acquire the necessary skills to live on their own. There is currently no cure.