Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Running for a cause

I will admit that I am selfish. Selfish when it comes to running. It is my thing. If I don't get to do my thing on a daily basis, then I tend to not play so nice with others for the rest of the day. It is the glue that holds my day together, sparks my inner child to remember what it is like to run free, and every so often gives me a creative thought.

That being said, for all the years that I have been running, it has always been about the next race, the next medal or the next tshirt. It has never been about running for a cause, or running to raise money and maybe that was all a result of being self centered and young. However, within the last year, my priorities have shifted. Yes, I am still selfish about my running, but now I have begun to focus more on giving back to the community that has given me so much.

It all started with viewing a couple of videos from Ashland Dave and The Finkelstein about their respective endurance events where they pushed the limits of their endurance. I know it was on a run, and couldn't tell you when, but when I got home, I got on the phone and called my sister. An idea had been formed.

I was nervous at first, because it as a subject we really didn't talk about anymore. You see, my niece, Madison, lived only a few short days before dying from Spina Bifida. According to the data, Spina Bifida literally means “split spine.” Spina Bifida happens when a baby is in the womb and the spinal column does not close all of the way. Spina Bifida is the most common birth defect that disables people for life. Every day, about eight babies born in the United States have Spina Bifida or a similar birth defect of the brain and spine. There are varying degrees of Spina Bifida with increasing level of complications that can affect a person's day to day functioning.

So, when I called my sister, I stated that I had this idea. If, I said that I could get video and pictures from my 100 miler, and put them into a movie format, would she be ok with it if I then talked about it and promoted the idea that I would send people a copy of my experience for free and if they chose to, that they could then donate money and all proceeds would then be donated in Madison's name. I told her it was just an idea and wasn't even sure if it would work out, but that I would keep her posted.

When I sat down and started working on the video, I thought I was on to something. Unknowingly, my crew had captured what I felt was the essence of my journey, and I thought it would be compelling enough that people would want to then donate. After giving my sister the first copy and she okayed it, I then talked about it on my last episode of the podcast. Now, I know there are people out there that don't listen to podcasts so I thought I would use my blog for a plug as well.

If anyone would like a copy of the movie that I put together based on my experience at the Burning River 100, send me an email @ or a DM on twitter @ dirtdawg50k and I will ship you a copy. I will include the instructions if you choose to donate.


Timothy Finkelstein said...

I can attest the movie is great and well worth the financial donation.

My last movie was sold simply to fuel my selfish endeavors (get me to worlds). However, through your idea and few others I am compelled to do "something for a cause" with my craft as well this season.

Thanks for the inspiration,

maddiesmom220 said...

Maddie would be so proud of her uncle and what he is doing. Thank you again so much for your brilliant idea and for supporting a cause so near and dear to my heart.

The Jackal said...

I was listening to your latest podcast, the one your recorded while wearing your vibrams...
You were running with your dog,right?
I was hearing this jingle from the dog-tag.The whole time I thought I was running with an invisible hound!
When I passed a woman with a young large lab.
Wow that was very weird as I though he was after me!

St. Croix Scenic 50 said...

The running for a cause thing is really catching on, and for me gave me a lot of motivation to finish. I got some local businesses to sponsor my season of two 50 milers (Collegiate Peaks & Silver Rush) and two 100 milers (Big Horn & Leadville) in '08. The money went to the local alternative high school's outdoor ed. program, and I knew I had to finish each of those races not just for myself.

Now I live in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, and I'm organizing the St. Croix Scenic 50 mile run ( Once it gets off the ground I'd like to link the race with a cause and donate the proceeds. Promoting the race, I've met all sorts of people running for different causes: Racing for Recovery's Todd Crandell is coming down and there is a woman planning to run coast to coast for MS, just to name a couple. Anyway, I think what you are doing is awesome and wish you the best of luck!