On Monday, July 15, 2013, I will be competing against 100 of the world’s best endurance athletes in the Badwater Ultramarathon, a 135-mile race across Death Valley in California, where the air temperature can reach 130 degrees Farenheit and surface temps can hit 200 degrees. According to National Geographic (and many others), Badwater is the “toughest footrace on Earth.”
Badwater has been a goal of mine since I started running marathons a decade ago, and especially since I started running ultramarathons three years ago. I found out I was accepted into the race in February, and I have been training my butt off — literally 🙂 — since then in order to go out there and compete in the race.
My choice to run Badwater was just that . . . a choice. It was voluntary. And while some of my non-running friends — okay, most of them — think my decision is crazy, at least it was my decision to make.
For the many children in South Florida and around the country who are stricken with cancer (as well as their families), however, they are facing battles that have been thrust upon them, without any say in the matter.
Cancer strikes us all, and my family has certainly not been spared. And childhood cancer is cancer in its most egregious form.
So in order to honor the fight that these kids and their families display on a daily basis, the doctors and administrators at the Sylvester Cancer Center in Miami and I have partnered up in an effort to raise as much money as possible for Alex’s Place.
About Me and My Family:
My wife Alex and I have a beautiful and healthy one-year-old daughter, Zoey. We are truly blessed:
(Alex and Zoey at the recent Keys 100 race)
(Zoey helping out on a training run)
Regarding my running, I started running marathons about a decade ago, and after about 30 of them, I sought new challenges, and found ultramarathons. In the past two and a half years, I’ve run 9 100-mile races (winning 3), and have run many more shorter races (ranging from 50 to 81 miles). I am going out to Badwater in July with the goal to compete to the best of my ability and challenge for the win.
Alex’s Place at the Sylvester Cancer Center:
While my wife and I are grateful for our own health and Zoey, cancer is something that has touched our families in a powerful way. Both of our fathers are currently battling cancer. My sister had cancer. My aunt and grandparents died far too early of cancer. It feels like the list goes on and on.
So for the next 6 weeks, Alex and I are working with the folks at Sylvester to help focus attention on the amazing programs they have in place, as well as to raise as much money as possible for their pediatric cancer facility (Alex’s Place). Alex’s Place is a state-of-the-art facility where children receive treatment (such as chemo), but in an environment that is as “kid-freindly” as possible. The goal of Alex’s Place is to make the treatment process as enjoyable as possible for both children and their families. It is a wonderful facility, and for more information about Alex’s Place and it’s mission, here’s a link to their website: http://sylvester.org/cancer/pediatric
Donating to Alex’s Place:
For anyone who would like to make a donation to Alex’s Place (and 100% of all donations go directly to cancer research or to improve actual facilities at Alex’s Place), here’s the official donation link that the folks at Sylvester have set up for this project:
All donations are, of course, 100% tax deductible. The Badwater Ultramarathon is 135 miles long, and we are encouraging donations that reflect the distance. For example, a donation of 25 cents per mile would equate to roughly $34 dollars. A donation of 10 cents per mile would equal $13.50, etc…
Following The Race:
For the next six weeks of training, we will be providing updates/pictures/etc. if you’re interested in seeing how everything is shaping up in advance of Badwater. And during the race itself, my crew will be providing live updates/pictures/etc. Additionally, the race administrators will have a live webcast and Twitter feed throughout the race, which can be accessed on July 15-16 at www.badwater.com.
We thank you for visiting this site, and hope you will enjoy following our progress as we embark on this journey across the desert next month! We will be posting regular updates on my webiste [add address], as well as shorter updates/pictures on Facebook and Twitter.
Additionally, we have set up a Facebook page for the project, Badwater for Alex’s Place at Sylvester. Please “like” it to receive news/updates/etc.:
Also, if you are not already a Facebook friend of mine or a Twitter follwer, please feel free to “friend” or “follow” me!