Wednesday, July 26, 2006

People are awesome.

I'd just like to say that.

People rock.

2 days ago I sent out an email, which I'll put below, in order to sort of "dedicate" my IM to something bigger than me. I knew I wanted to do this from Day 1, and have been working with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to try and make it work. A few months ago, I got an email from TriEric about much the same thing--but his plan was to donate to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Like-minded-people, we triathletes are, eh? And I know that many of you: Curly Su, E-Speed, Okolo, Walchka, Kim, and I'm sure I'm missing a bunch more, are all Team in Training people. I've wanted to help Team in Training for a while but they don't sponsor any Ironman Events, so I asked them if I could sort of make my own event here.

Eric had a great idea which I am sort of 'stealing' from him--hope that's OK Eric!--to take names of people who are battling or lost their fight with cancer along with me that day. I did something this for the MS 150 Pedal to the Point in 2003, and when Eric brought it up in his letter, I thought it would be a great thing to do for IM MOO. Sort of keep me in check and keep things in perspective, you know?

OK--anyway, I sent this email out TWO DAYS AGO...and my goal was to raise $1,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

And right now, because people are AWESOME, I'm at $476.00.

I love good people. Thanks to all who have generously donated and given me names and stories of loved ones battling cancer or who are survivors. They inspire ME.

My list, unfortunately, at age 29, is way too long: just my list alone includes 10 people that I know personally who are currently battling or have lost their battle to cancer. I wish I could explain to you how special my Great Aunt Betsy was to me. She was the grandmother I never really had, and she was an amazing and loving woman. To hear the other stories of courage from my friend's loved ones and race with their names really means a lot to me.

Okay, enough rambling. Here's the email I sent out, and I know I'm TOTALLY preaching to the choir here, as so many of you are TNT'ers, but if you'd like to make a donation feel free to click the link in the email. No amount is too small.

And people are really good. Rest assured tonight that with all the bad people in this world, the good outnumber them what seems like a million to one.
Dear friends and family,

As many of you know, I signed up for Ironman Wisconsin last year. A lot of people have asked me why, or if I've had my head checked lately. :) The best answer I can give is that it's been a life dream of mine, and I wanted to see if I could. In a little less than 50 days from now, I'll find out.

The race involves a 2.4 mile swim in Lake Monona, followed by an 112-mile bike ride on rolling Wisconsin country roads, and a 26.2 mile run that ends in front of the Capitol Building in downtown Madison. I will have 17 hours to finish this race. You can see more information about the race here. This is, without a doubt, the hardest thing both physically and mentally that I have ever set out to do. It's been a life-changing experience for me so far, and I'm very lucky to have such a supportive team of my husband, family, and good friends behind me.

Whenever the going gets really tough and I start to wonder if I will be able to cross that line, I am reminded by the constant struggles of people in their everyday life. In the past year, I have been both saddened and inspired by some of my friends and their loved ones who are battling cancer. It has really kept me in perspective--that this race will undoubtedly include pain, but nothing like the pain that fighting cancer can bring. The struggle I will feel at various points on that day is nothing compared to the struggle that I am witnessing some people fight every day.

I just turned 29, but I've seen too many people lose this battle. I knew from the day that I signed up for this thing last September that I wanted to make my race day much bigger than me. I decided I would like to dedicate my race to all that are fighting cancer, and would raise money to help an organization that fights Lymphoma, the blood-related cancer that took my Great-Aunt Betsy's life in 1999. She was an amazing, loving, and enthusiastic woman whom I will never forget.

I am writing to ask if you would help me reach this goal of helping others battling Leukemia and Lymphoma. I will be pushing myself through 140.6 miles on September 10th. If you could pledge just 10 cents a mile, or $14.06, it would mean so much to those whose everyday struggle is infinitely harder than mine will be on that one day.

I'm also collecting names of people that I will be racing in honor of or in memory of. I will put these names on my bike and on my uniform while I'm running. When I'm hurting, I can just look down and see the strength that others have, and I know this will help me get through it. Please let me know if you'd like me to race in honor of or in memory of a friend or loved one!

My goal is to raise $1,000.00 to donate to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I have created a website that makes it very easy to donate, and all donations are tax-deductable. The link for this site is here:

Thanks for being such supportive people--I am looking forward to September 10th with a little fear and a lot of excitement, and I am honored to be able to help make this day about much more than a race!



Running Rabbit said...

Sometimes I forget just how lucky I am. Thanks for smacking my ass to help trigger my memory!

Scott said...

Lovely gesture on your part Sara.

I've donated a mile to the cause.

BuckeyeRunner said...

What a great idea. I am sure that you will break that 1000 goal you set.

Is it really just 50 days or so away? I can't believe it...I am so glad I was able to follow you on this incredible journey. Thanks!

E-Speed said...

second time in two days I have cried because of good people :)

Way to go making this event bigger than yourself! Maybe they will let me do the same for JFK!

DaisyDuc said...

You are going to break that $1000 easy! How fortunate we are to have so many good people in our lives!!

Jessica said...

Hi Sara - I made a donation to your cause...and my company will double it if you could possibly find out the tax ID number for the chapter of the L&L Society you're donating to. Could you possibly do that? You can email me at jessica @ jethereal . com to let me know...Thanks!

Widget said...

- long time lurker finally speaking up. I wish you the best of luck, I'll be out there cheering for you out on the hills of the course while I quietly decide whether or not to register for next year. I just completed my first half distance last weekend.

Thanks for sharing your stories, I'm sure you'll hit your goal and I'm glad I could help.