Weekly update: 28 races!

We ran two races this weekend, bringing the total to 28 for the year. Our fundraising is stuck at $42,764 on our way to a goal of $52,000. Help!

Weekly stats: 54% of the way to our running goal, and 82% of the way to our fundraising goal


What happened in the past couple of weeks?

A couple of weeks ago, Sam McNaughton and Nicole McDonogh donated a very generous $150 to the cause. They were joined by Sam’s kids Oscar and Molly, who both very generously donated $5. What an awesome family effort — and it’s going to a great cause. Join me in thanking them!

We ran two races this weekend, our 27th was Troy’s Annual Almaden Hills run, and our 28th was the 12th annual 10k on the Bay. That’s progress, but we’re still behind — the plan is to run another couple next weekend, and maybe even a mid-week race. Anyone want to come for a run in SF on Wednesday night?

See you soon…

Race #28: 12th Annual 10k on the Bay

Today’s race was the 12th Annual 10k on the Bay.  Perhaps surprisingly, you can choose between a 5k or a 10k, and both meander through the foreshore of the San Francisco bay next to the San Mateo bridge in Hayward.

Shoreline 8_201405071147043259

It doesn’t matter where you live, you know your main topic of weekend conversation is the weather. We spent most of the past two weeks complaining about heat and humidity. Especially the humidity, which we never get. Oh, and especially the heat because it was, well, hot. Today, we complained it was cold and breezy. It really wasn’t. But it smelt seaweedy.

Looking slightly cold before the start of the race
Looking slightly cold before the start of the race

We ran the 5k. We thought about the 10k, and thought again, and decided the plan right now should be to run lots of races (and get us closer to 52 races this year). I’m sure there’s a few 10ks and maybe a half-marathon in our future this year.

We took it a little easy for the first mile, and then got somehow caught up in the racing. The end result was Selina was the 2nd female (about 30 seconds behind an 11-year-old speedster), and I was about the 10th guy. We were both the first in the 40-49 age groups, so that made us feel good.

Onward and upward… we’re hoping to run two races next weekend too!

Race #27: Troy’s Annual Almaden Hills Run 5k

I’d been lurking for while on Troy’s website, checking out his race calendar. Today we dived in and tried his Annual Almaden Hills Run, and put Race #27 for the year in the history books. And what a great experience it was!

We're going up those hills in the background
We’re going up those hills in the background

If you love well-organized races, trail running, hills, small crowds, and a friendly vibe, this race checks all five.  It starts and finishes just inside the beautiful Almaden Quicksilver park, and climbs the peaks to offer amazing views of the Silicon Valley. You’ve got the choice of the vaguely sensible (5k, 10k, 8 mile) or the slightly crazy (half marathon) or the completely bonkers (21 miles, 50k). Even the 5k offers 600ft of elevation gain in the first mile.

600 feet of elevation gain in the first mile. And that’s just the 5k!

Troy told us at the start that the cutoff time for completing the race was eight hours, but he’d hang around for nine hours just in case. I’m not sure that I’d want to be out in the late August summer heat (it was mid-80s Fahrenheit today) for eight or nine hours and running 50k. But, hey, you’ve got to admire those who can do that.

Anyway, getting back to reality, we wanted to run today and tomorrow, and I’m even contemplating a mid-week race in San Francisco to get this 52 race challenge back on track. So, 5k it was today for us. And that was plenty to be honest.

I came third overall, and was the first man. I am not entirely sure there was a second man in the 5k race. Talk about girl power! Selina came fourth overall. We didn’t entirely cruise the race, but we certainly held something back given we want to race again tomorrow. I got a nice certificate, and headed on my way.

Love Troy’s races after a sample of one. We’ll be back for more. See you for tomorrow’s report!

Weekly update: HALF WAY to our racing goal!

Great week! We’ve reached the half-way milestone of 26 of the 52 races for the GBS/CIDP Foundation. We’ve also raised another $150 to bring our total to $42,479.

Weekly stats: 82% of the way to our fundraising goal and 50% of the way to our running goal.

Ready to start the race -- very dusty and dry in the California drought
Ready to start this week’s race — very dusty and dry in the California drought

What’s happened this week?

It seemed like an awesome idea in January to run 52 races in 2015 to raise awareness and funds for the GBS/CIDP Foundation. What I didn’t factor in is injuries and travel — and what I’ve learnt is that it’s harder than it sounds. But this week, the half way milestone is here! We’ve run 26 of the 52 races, and now it’s time to count down from 26 to 0 and complete this challenge! Yeah!

Bill Brewer and Levi Nitzberg both donated $25, and we had an anonymous donation of $100. Please thank Bill and Levi, and send warm vibes to our anonymous donor. More great folks joining a special circle of people. That takes us forward $150, and that little bit closer to our goal of $52,000. I need to get scheming on how to zoom it forward more — if you’ve got ideas, I’d love to hear them.

Here’s the race report for the truly magnificent Crystal Springs Trail Run that we ran today.

Have a great week!

Race #26: Crystal Spring Trail Run 5 Mile

I’m going to retire from road racing and run only trail runs from here on (maybe!). You can’t beat the feeling of running on a dusty, shaded trail through towering redwoods in the Santa Cruz mountains. It’s so magnificent that the 1,000 foot climb even seems like a reasonable trade-off. What a great way to celebrate the half-way mark — we’ve now run 26 of the 52 races we’ve committed to run as a fundraiser for the GBS/CIDP Foundation.

The magnificent trails of Huddart Park near Woodside, CA.
The magnificent trails of Huddart Park near Woodside, CA.

Anyway, today’s race was the Crystal Springs Trail Run 5 mile. The race starts at Huddart Park near Woodside CA, and meanders mostly on single-track dirt trail through the woods. The race starts with some downhill — a nice warmup — and then climbs for around three miles, and finishes with a near-sprint on a fire trail for a mile.

The elevation profile of the Crystal Spring 5 miler.
The elevation profile of the Crystal Spring 5 miler.

The first mile or so was steady and slow. It’s a very narrow single-track, so there’s pretty much no overtaking, and we were way back in the pack and it wasn’t too fast. We left plenty of room in front of us so we could see rocks and roots on the trail, and navigate them carefully — at least two or three people twisted ankles or had other mishaps from going a little too hard or getting a little too close to the person in front. You’ve got to take it easy when trail running.

Ready to start the race -- very dusty and dry in the California drought
Ready to start the race — very dusty and dry in the California drought

After the mile, I probably passed 20 or so people during the climb on the wider trail. In the end, I finished 15th or so, and Selina finished 20th. We certainly weren’t trying to do a great time or win the race, but my mountain goat legs certainly help me get into contention when there’s hills involved.

It’s been a monster week for exercise in our family. It’s time for a rest, recharge, and some planning for next week’s racing. Have a great week!

Weekly update: $42,479 raised, and a quarter of a century of races!

Hello! I hope you’ve had a great week. We certainly have.

We now have less than $10,000 to go to raise $52,000 for the important work of the GBS/CIDP Foundation.  Here’s your big chance to donate again and drive us home, or to convince that family member, friend, or your workplace to help us get it done. We won’t stop when we get to $52,000 — imagine how much we can raise if we make the goal with four months to spare!

Weekly stats: 82% of the way to our fundraising goal, and 48% of the way to our awareness-raising running goal.

These feet are ready to race
These feet are ready to race

What happened this week?

Selina and I decided it was time to put our money into the cause. We donated $5,000, and we’re feeling great about it. My friend and colleague Ramkumar Rajendran generously donated $50, and Alex Rapp donated $10. Thanks you Ramkumar and Alex!

You know, I often think: what if every LinkedIn and Facebook connection I had donated just $1? We’d be about $3,000 further ahead, that’s what would happen. And imagine if they each donated $10. Wow. It’s really the smaller donations from more people that could make the difference — so please do encourage folks to donate, even if they can only afford $1 or $10.

We ran a race too! The Emerge 5k really tugs at the heartstrings, and I’ve written up a race report over here. That’s 25 in the books — big celebration next week when we reach half way to our goal of 52 races.

Race #25: Emerge 5k

My fastest 5k time in living memory was a 20:50 at the 2012 Emerge 5k at Lake Almaden. That day hurt a lot — I raced after a couple of speedsters for 2/3rds of the race, and then couldn’t keep up the pace I’d set — that last third is still etched in my memory as a painful experience. For a while there I was on pace to break 20 minutes, but I was still happy going under 21.

Getting ready to run the 2015 Emerge 5k at Lake Almaden
Getting ready to run the 2015 Emerge 5k at Lake Almaden

Fast forward three years, and the 2015 Emerge 5k was yesterday’s Race number 25 of my journey to 52 races in 2015 to raise awareness for the GBS/CIDP Foundation.

One of the great things about running 52 races for charity is that we get the chance to see others raising money too. The Emerge 5k is a fundraiser that tugs at the heart strings. Six years ago, Jessica was driving her car, was hit by a speeding car, and suffered a traumatic brain injury. This race is a fundraiser for not only her, but also for others who’ve suffered serious brain injury. Her parents are amazing folks — they’ve cared for Jessica at home since her injury, and done so without a ton of help from government funding.

Back to the race. Selina and I promised each other “we’d just cruise” and a good measure of that is whether or not we can chat while we’re running. I’d say we chatted 2/3rds of the way, and didn’t chat so much for the last 1/3rd — there’s something in us that just makes us go faster when folks around us are racing. Anyway, while it was mostly a cruise, Selina (yet again) placed as the 2nd woman overall, and I came 10th (and 7th in the 40 to 99 age group!).

Lake Almaden is a nice place to run. The trails are mostly flat and shaded, and there’s plenty going on with bikers, walkers, runners, and dogs. It’s got a nice community feel, while not being too busy to race. If you live in the South Bay, it’s worth a visit.

In reality, it was a pretty cruisy race relative to 2012 and a few other races we’ve run this year. I’ve decided that it’s more important to get on track to run 52 races than it is to run fast in every race. So, while I’d love to get close to my 21:06 for February, I’ll settle for a 24 minute cruise and the near-certainty of being able to run next week!

Have a great week.