Ideally, I want a world without tragedy. But we all know that just isn’t going to happen. So I take much solace in the unintended “good” consequences that occur after tragedy strikes. If you haven’t seen this yet, Ashley is putting together a huge campaign to help a Staten Island based running blogger rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. She and her husband even created a “wedding registry” on Target.com for Jen and her family to help replace everything they lost (which was everything). She was even interviewed by ABC News and Good Morning America. Here’s the story.
I love this idea because it’s such a tangible way to help. Here is the link in case anyone is interested! I’m in the process of sending a small contribution of socks and laundry detergent their way (having some difficulties getting the shipping right but I’ve never claimed to be smart or good with computers!)
But another exciting unintended consequence of this horrible disaster is the number of runners who are snatching up vacant charity registrations in other marathons. Running for charity is a really awesome and rewarding experience (I ran the Shamrock Half Marathon last spring for Livestrong, and I’m planning on running the Rock’n’Roll USA Marathon this spring for Back on my Feet) and it is a major revenue source for important charities.
Number one – David is an incredible runner. If you don’t read his blog… you should. He is crazy fast and super talented. His race recaps are by far my favorite (they’re way better than mine but that’s not to encourage you to stop reading by blog of course). Number two – Covenant House is an amazing charity. They help homeless, abused, abandoned, trafficked, and exploited youth get off the street and change their lives. In addition to providing shelter and social services, they are huge advocates for homeless youth. Number Three – Mike and I will also be at Philly so maybe we can see David… woohoo!
Anyways, here’s my pitch. Please consider making a donation to help David’s cause. This charity needs help right now in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, as many homeless children are in great jeopardy, especially when you consider the potential nor’easter / snow storm that is set to hit the east coast. As David himself said – let’s get something good out of a bad situation!
Here is a link to David’s donation page: https://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/davidparkinson/2012-phillymarathon
Many people (most of them related to me) thought it was pretty stupid that I went to New York City last weekend. I don’t blame them for having that opinion, but I could not be happier with my decision to go. At the time, we did think the marathon was going to happen. We learned while on the bus to NYC (thank you Twitter) that it was not happening. I’m really not interested in discussing the politics of that decision here. The situation in New York and New Jersey is extremely upsetting. But I will only say this – In times of disaster, sometimes people just need someone to blame. I understand that desire to look for blame. But I was really disappointed to see so many negative comments and statements made towards the people who were going to run the marathon. I think that was just misplaced aggression. Times like these can, unfortunately, bring out the worst in some and that always makes me very sad.
That being said, in trying times such as these, even though I often feel disappointment in how some react, I am always equally if not more blown away by the resilient and enduring nature of the human spirit. I lived through 9/11 in New York / New Jersey. This storm has brought horrible destruction to these areas, but I have never doubted for one moment that they will emerge on the other end of the trial stronger than ever. So I went to New York with a heart full of faith and trust… and I had a blast.
One of the best parts of the weekend was getting to participate in the Run to Recover in Central Park. On Sunday morning, Mike and I walked over to Central Park to join thousands of other runners doing loops of Central Park. Some people were out there legitimately running a marathon (that would be over 4 loops of the park… woof). I have to give these folks SO much credit. If my marathon had been cancelled in the spring, I definitely would’ve just cried and ate ice cream. People were donating clothes, running to raise money for relief charities, and also getting out there and achieving a goal they set for themselves in the face of extreme opposition. I also want to say a big thank you to the people who came out to cheer in the park. That was by far the coolest experience of my life (never have I ever had thousands of people cheering for me during a training run).
I actually had an amazing run, which was just the icing on the cake. I was so pumped up by the crowds and all the inspirational people around me I ended up moving really quickly! At one point I looked at my Garmin and I was doing 8:30 min / miles! That is not something I do. People were also giving me a lot of shout outs for my shirt (which is, let’s be honest, amazing). Thank you New York for an amazing weekend. And for once again reaffirming for me that we are all stronger than an obstacle.
So like I said above, I’m not interesting in discussing the politics of Sandy, the NYC Marathon, or anything like that so unfortunately I will moderate / delete any comments I decide I do not want on my blog. I really try to keep this as a positive and constructive space where I share my life. Let’s leave the negativity behind and come together to support those in NYC and NJ who need our help. If you are interested in opportunities to help out in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy I’ve included just a couple links below: