Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I am very fortunate to have extraordinary friends who give so freely of themselves and their hard won knowledge! This morning, I spent some time on the phone going over Badwater fashion tips with Lisa Smith-Batchen. We chatted about shirts, pants, skirts, compression shorts, socks, hats, packs, bottles, food strategy, mojo and being a girl in the middle of the desert in July. It is so wonderful to share the fun and worry of preparing for this amazing event. Isn't it true that each foray into the unknown is so much richer when it is shared?
Monday, April 14, 2008
On April 1st, I was notified that my name was not selected in the Nike Women's Marathon Lottery. This is the second year in a row that I have been denied entry into the race. Ironically, within the same notice, I was informed that I could still enter the race through the Team In Training Program.
For 2007 & 2008, Western States 100 Mile Endurance Race has also returned my race entry check.
I don't race. I am a participant. However, that doesn't make these rejections easy to tolerate. With WS 100, I know I will get to run in 2009. It is their "third time you are in" policy. As long as I qualify, I get to run in 2009. Yippie! It gives an average Jane like me access to the extraordinary. I am less forgiving of the Nike Women's Marathon. They are holding the event hostage to a corporate fundraising machine. Now, before I get tons of hate email, think about this.
When did charitable giving become a mandate? That is what it is if its the only way to gain entry. I have nothing against helping others. I most often give anonymously. It is a great joy to help others. Yet, I completely reject the idea that participation in an event be limited or severely restricted to those who fundraise for the sponsored cause.
That brings me to Badwater. When I applied, I wanted to honor the race by also fundraising for its charity, Challenged Athletes Foundation. Badwater Ultramarathon doesn't require fundraising of its runners. It does offer encouragement and support. This month I have been fortunate to have some very frank conversations with potential sponsors. It brings to mind Aesop's fable of The Goose Who Laid The Golden Eggs. What I have learned is this. The unending solicitations that businesses are subjected to aren't sustainable. How can we help the organizations doing the work we believe in? I donate my time and my own money. I share with others my interest in a particular cause. But I won't ask others to give money in my name so that I can enter a race.