Final update: $59,506 raised!

It’s over! As promised, fifty-two races were run, and more than $52,000 was raised for the GBS/CIDP Foundation. In the end, we beat our goal by over $7,000.

Final stats: 100% of the way to our running goal, and 114% of the way to our fundraising goal!

That's it! Done running for the year, and feeling pretty good about it...
That’s it! Done running for the year, and feeling pretty good about it…

A word or two of thanks to you

I thank you for being along for the journey — whether you donated first, last, once, three times, a lot, or a little, you were an important part of doing something good. It really is the thought that counts.

I started this adventure with trepidation: how would people react when I shared the story that I had GBS and, being practical, could I possibly raise that much money in a year? When I look back, it’s you who I remember most about this fundraiser — you told me stories of why you contributed and you supported me along the 52-week journey. It’s very humbling to know you all. I hope I can support a cause that’s close to your heart some day soon.

The Last Two Races

Last time I updated you, I shared the story of running in a polyester Santa Suit in Sydney’s summer. Ridiculous. Since then, we ran races 51 and 52. Race 52 was our one and only half-marathon this year: we thought we’d go out with a bang (figuratively, was hoping not to do a hamstring). In the end, while we were a little stiff and sore, race 52 was one of the highlights: here’s the race report.

What’s Next?

I’m looking forward to working closely with the Foundation to help them spend your donations, and to continuing my relationship with them in 2016. I know that what they do matters — people need support when they get these conditions, more research is needed, and advocacy is necessary to make sure there’s support for everyone. I’ll send out one more post in the future, just to let you know what happened next. (By the way, if you’d like updates on their work, Like their Facebook page.)

What are we going to do with our weekends? Well, I suspect we won’t run anywhere near 52 races in 2016. But I do suspect we’ll run more than a handful — maybe we’ll see you out on the trails?


Race #52: Brazen Almost New Year’s Half Marathon

We said we’d finish the running with a bang, and we picked quite the race! A half-marathon that had a bonus 0.3 miles (so, a total of 13.4 miles or 21.6 kilometers), and around 2,000 ft (or 610 meters) of climbing.

That's it! Done running for the year, and feeling pretty good about it...
That’s it! Done running for the year, and feeling pretty good about it…

The race was at the Lake Chabot Regional Park, and was a counter-clockwise loop of the lake with a long detour through some of the most beautiful woods in Bay Area. It’s such a gorgeous run that the first few climbs — maybe even including the 600 feet in the third mile — didn’t hurt. I can’t quite say the same for the undulating terrain after the 10-mile mark: by then, my thighs were telling me they’d had enough climbing for one day!

Why does she always beat me? Crossing the line after a tough 13.4 miles
Why does she always beat me? Crossing the line after a tough 13.4 miles

Come to think of it, maybe the first few miles didn’t hurt because it was *freezing*. It was near on freezing when we started, and the grass was crispy with a frost. My fingers were so cold in my thin running gloves that they hurt, and I didn’t feel my feet for at least five miles. Even crossing the finish line I was still layered-up with three layers of running gear on top. Still, these freezing days are some of the most beautiful — there was barely a cloud in the sky and barely a puff of wind. Gorgeous!

While I’m whining, I should note that we should have trained harder for a half-marathon. It’s a decent step up from our diet of 10k races over the past few months, and came on the back of a quieter couple of weeks. Still, we made it, and 2 hours and 23 minutes isn’t too bad for a 13.4 miler with 2,000 feet of climbing! But, wow, was I stiff and sore for the next three days — if you saw some old guy hobling around, it may have been me.

All in all, an amazing way to finish a pretty special year of raising money for the GBS/CIDP Foundation, and getting the message out about GBS and related conditions. I’ve no idea what we’ll do in 2016 without all this fundraising and running — I’m sure we’ll think of something…

Race #51: ZombieRunner Quarry Lakes 10k

There are three weekends left in the year, and only two races to run to complete our 52-race challenge this year! And so it is time to get race #51 in the history books…

Hamming it up before the race
Hamming it up before the race

We decided that #51 would be the ZombieRunner Quarry Lakes 10k in Fremont, CA. This is the fourth or fifth time this year we’ve run a race organized by the Coastal Trail Runs folks, which made it an easy choice — they run nice, mid-sized races that are well-organized, have a great vibe, and also nice medals and shirts!

It’s also the third time we’ve run at Quarry Lakes this year, including recently for Race #49 and also for Race #21.  When you run 52 races in a year, there’s bound to be a few visits to the same locations (I’m also looking at you Hellyer Park and Vasona Lake).

Hamming it up some more...
Hamming it up some more…

Anyway, this was a fine 10k race. We didn’t run it too hard, and finished in 48 minutes and change. It was *cold* for California — probably just a few degrees above freezing at the start, and with a relatively stiff breeze off the lakes chilling everyone. The race itself was half on dirt trails (which I prefer) and half on asphault / pavement (which I don’t). But all of the race was pretty flat and friendly, and the scenery nice under any conditions.

Really hamming it up now...
Really hamming it up now…

So, that’s 51 races done, and 51 race reports written. Just one more race, and one more race report for the year! If anyone is actually reading this, I appreciate you being along for the journey! Onward to the 52nd and final race!



Weekly update: $45,704 and 50 races!

We’ve now raised nearly $46,000 for the GBS/CIDP Foundation. That’s pretty amazing, and I owe a ton of thanks to all of you who’ve contributed. There’s still 18 days to go, and I’m still just over $6,000 short — but I’ve got a good feeling we’ll make it!

Weekly stats: 88% of the way to our fundraising goal, and 96% of the way to our running goal!

Selfie with a few hundred Santas
Selfie with a few hundred Santas

What’s been happening?

There’s been a flood of donations from amazing people in the past couple of weeks! Please join me in thanking Lisa Wong, who donated a huge $250. Thanks Lisa! Please also thank Jock Cheese (I knew it was you, James McGinty), Naren Chittar, Rodney O’Donnell and Vipul Dalal for donating $100 each. A bunch of good men! And thank Dennis Fetterly for his kind donation of $50. Add to that generous anonymous donations of $250, $150, $100, and $50! Thank you to all of you — I know who you are, and I appreciate it a ton!

Lots of running too. Perhaps the most amusing race this year was a race around Sydney past the Opera House and under the Harbour Bridge, dressed as Santa Claus. It was hot, humid, and the cheap polyester santa suit wasn’t pleasant going. But, 2,000 Santas for a good cause was pretty amusing. Anyway, 50 races are done, and there’s now just 2 to go!

Race #50: Santa Run 5k

This year I’ve raced in Buenos Aires, Colorado, Washington State, Arizona, and forty-five times in California. To add a new location to the list, I raced this past weekend in Sydney, Australia! That’s the 50th race this year, and now there’s only 2 more to go — and about 3 weeks to get them done! Barring injury (touch wood), we’re looking really good…

Anyway, yes, I was in Sydney last week. And so I dragged my brother, his wife, and their eldest son down to the SantaRun 5k. It was billed as a massive race, and 2,000 people showed up. The novelty was they were all dressed as Santa — in the cheapest Santa suits ever made. Trust me, they were cheap — and polyester, and they made me sweat like I hadn’t in a long time. Mix Sydney’s warm summer weather with humidity and a santa suit, and you’ve got a recipe for smelly, hot running.

It was even hotter in the snow globe...
It was even hotter in the snow globe…
Found Santas ready to race
Found Santas ready to race
Selfie with a few hundred Santas
Selfie with a few hundred Santas

We chugged along past the opera house, under the harbour bridge, and around the Rocks area. No land speed records were set, but we had a fun time as the photos show! Two races to go!

Race #49: Quarry Turkey 10k

We ran on Thanksgiving, and decided to back it up two days later on Saturday at the Brazen Racing Quarry Turkey 10k.  That’s 49 races this year, and just 3 more to go — and all in support of the GBS/CIDP Foundation. If you’re still not on board as a fundraising supporter, just head over here and make a donation.

A little cold at the start of the Quarry Turkey 10k
A little cold at the start of the Quarry Turkey 10k

We took it a little slower in this race. It was freezing at the start, enough for me to pull on the running gloves. We sat on a pretty gentle pace until the last mile, and then picked it up and brought it home — some guy was racing me, and I decided he needed to be thrashed at the finish line.

The race itself was at Quarry Lakes, a nice little park with a few lakes in Fremont, CA. We’ve run here once already this year in Race #21: The Zoom Quarry Lakes 5k. This time around there was probably five times as many people, and the parking lot was full. Brazen Racing is turning into quite a crowd puller indeed.

Anyway, we’re both feeling great about being well-and-truly on track with the racing. It’s been a tough few weeks to get back on schedule, but 52 races is now within sight!

Race #48: Zoom Turkey Trot 10k

There’s a monster 20,000+ Turkey Trot race on Thanksgiving in downtown San Jose. We ran it last year and, frankly, once per lifetime is plenty. This year we ran the smaller Zoom Turkey Trot 10k and that’s more our cup of tea. Either way, It’s a good idea to go into calorie deficit on Thanksgiving!

Zoom Turkey Trot 2015
Zoom Turkey Trot 2015

We didn’t talk too much about pacing before we started, and I decided to pick it up a little out of the gate. The 4th and 5th miles were a little tough as a result — but we still did a pretty nice time of just over 46 minutes. All up, a nice way to spend the morning!

That’s race 48 done, and now there’s just 4 to go to reach our goal of 52 races this year!


Race #47: DSE Bayfront 5k

I was talking to friend the other day about interviewing candidates at tech companies: his thought was that you should sleep on your feedback on the candidate, rather than writing it up immediately. He’s found that he captures more nuances the next day. Interesting, I’ll give it a try.

I look like I just got out of bed. Which I did.
I look like I just got out of bed. Which I did.

This may also be true with race reports. In hindsight, Race #31, the Awesome 80s race, was actually pretty crap. We paid way too much to get slightly lost on a bad course, though the costumes were amusing and they took one photo of me that i got for free. I still don’t understand why they didn’t do an out and back along the Brisbane Marina, rather than weave us in and out of a bunch of ugly office buildings.

The good news is the Dolphin South End runners fixed all these problems for Race #47 last weekend. (Their motto: “Start Slow and Taper Off”.) Same start location, straight along the Brisbane Marina, turnaround, retrace steps, finish. Cost of entry for non-members: $5. Very mellow crowd of good people. Perfect!

We did our usual warmup (walk to the start line), started at our usual pace (slow, the hamstrings were sore), deployed our usual tactics (get caught up in the racing, and speed up), and crossed the line in a blistering time (for an 8 year old kid). End results are over here.

That, my friends, is Race #47 done and dusted. Only five to go, and then I’ll do something else with my weekends — but I plan to look back fondly, and feel really great about how we’ve helped out the GBS/CIDP Foundation international. If you want to donate, I’d sure appreciate it — we’ve still got around $7,000 to go in a month!

Weekly update: $44,454 and 47 races run!

We’ve raised $44,454 for the GBS/CIDP Foundation! There’s five weeks to go in the year — and still around $7,500 to go to hit our goal of $52,000. It’s time for me to start shaking virtual tins in the street…

There’s good news on the running front — we ran race 47 today, and so with five weeks to go, there’s five weeks to run! Eminently doable!

Stats: 85% of the way to our fundraising goal, and 90% of the way to our running goal.

So, what’s been happening?

It’s been a great month. Our generous friends Gretchen DiNapoli and Gene Cook both donated $250 for a *third time*. I am so grateful to both of these amazing people! Wow. My friend and eBay colleague Imran Khan donated $100 — another act of incredible generosity! And, last of all and certainly not least, an anonymous donor sent in $500 — I know who he is, and I’m thankful for his kindness as always. All in all, a huge leap forward in our fundraising over the past couple of weeks…

I love the photo above of Selina running through the woods in the recent Whiskey Hill 10k. We’ve certainly been running a ton to get our promise of running 52 races this year on track, and today we are exactly that — five weeks to go, and five races to run. If you head over to the left menu here at you’ll find race reports from our recent adventures.


Race #46: Terraloco TrailCross Bayfront 5k

We tried something different this morning — orienteering blended with running in the form of trailcross. And it’s a fun challenge — and this race was well-organized by terraloco.

Ready to try some trailcross racing
Ready to try some trailcross racing

We looked like amateurs. Well, we looked like road runners. We wore shorts and t-shirts. Lots of other folks had hiking boots, gaiters, compasses, fancy looking map holders, funky headbands that make you look like you know what you’re doing, and generally looked like pros.

There were two maps today, and here's the first one
There were two maps today, and here’s the first one

Anyway, it goes like this. Fifteen minutes before the start, you get a chip and a map. On the map are marked stations, and idea is you run them in the order shown on the map. You can take any path you like, and a straight line isn’t always the fastest way to get there. When you reach a station, you scan the chip on an e-punch device that’s mounted on a little windsock like thing. Once you’ve visited all the stations, you e-punch at the finish line.

We had a fun race: Lucy and Selina both came along. We won the 5k race, though in fairness the field was small and most were doing the 10k. But we won — we were the first across the line, and therefore the first in the team category too! The prize was free entry to another race, and I’m looking forward to that.

Well, that’s 46 races done. Can you believe there’s only 6 to go in this crazy year?

I am running 52 races in 2015 to fight Guillain-Barré syndrome

%d bloggers like this: