Thursday, November 3, 2011

Shamrock Whale Challenge and raising money for the LIVESTRONG foundation

     Back in 2008, I was deployed to Afghanistan. It gets REALLY boring over there if you had a job like I had. You have to be creative in what you do on your off time; find new things to do. This was my third deployment there and this time I brought my Fugi Cross bike with me. The base I was on had about an 8 mile paved loop around it and that's where we'd run/bike. I was online one day looking at races in the US and came across the LIVESTRONG events. They had run/bike events in a few major cities that year, one being in Austin, TX. I then got the idea that I could email the race director and ask them if I could participate in the Austin event, from Afghanistan. It can happen, right?
     Once I emailed them, they were all for it and wanted to do everything they could to help me out. I was going to raise money for them too so they sent me all sorts of things to help with that. I still have enough LIVESTRONG yellow bracelets to last me a lifetime and I still wear one everyday : ) I ended up raising $1700 for them and rode 50 miles on my bike. That was the most I'd ridden then and it was hard to ride over there once the traffic picked up. The whole experience was awesome and just can't be put in to words.

I conducted a 'ruck march' as one of the ways to help raise money. Me and about 10 other guys rucked around the 8 miles and I carried all of the donations in that ammo can : ) We started before the sun came up and it was amazing to watch it rise over those mountains.

     So now I want to run the Shamrock Whale Challenge in Virginia Beach, Virginia St. Patty's Day weekend 2012. This is the 8k on Saturday and the Marathon on Sunday. I ran the dolphin challenge last year which is the 8k and half marathon. LIVESTRONG is offering to pay the entry fee for those who will raise some money for them before race time. It is only $250 so I know I can raise that and hopefully lots more by then. I'm so excited to be doing this and hope that I can represent them proudly once again. This is about much more than an entry fee. It's hopefully a small little bit that can eventually help save millions of lives.

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