In May I will run my part of the distance across the US for a great chairty- MS Run the US. Runner one will leave from LA on April 11th, 4 more will go after them, then it will be my turn. 12 more will runners will continue to journey on to New York after me. We each have a huge journey in front of us. Not only because of the physical distance we must cover over 6 days time, but the fundraising goal of raising $10,000 each! In some ways that is a bigger challenge for some of us than the miles we will run, both training wise and during our segment. $10,000 is a LOT of money! The whole package is no easy task. Each of us who were picked for this event filled out an application of interest with questions asking us “Why” we wanted to do this and went through a phone interview with the non-profit that stressed the commitment of the training AND fundraising. This is not just a “I think I will do some ultra running because it would be cool to run part way across the US”, but a commitment to put just as much effort into fundraising.
High school friends!
I’ve never wanted anything more than I have wanted to get picked for this relay. I wanted it so much that I actually started planning my first fundraiser and actually started raising money BEFORE I even had my interview and was accepted. I figured if I didn’t get in I was still doing something good and I would donate all the money to one of the runners who did get accepted. But thankfully Ashley accepted me and knew how committed I was to the challenge. I had an official fundraising page before I was accepted as part of the team because I was already planning my first fundraiser. It was my 60 mile run-a-thon which I completed in October. I made the very first donation to my page on August 21st, 2014 of $50. Since that day the donations have continued to come in in spurts.
Last night was my last big fundraiser and it has put me within $500 of my goal of $10,000! I got up after less than 5 hours of sleep to write this blog because I knew I had to write it while the emotions are still running high or it just wouldn’t be the same. Sleep can wait, this is way more important. Every event I have done so far has been an amazing experience because people have been SO supportive. When I ran 60 miles in one day so many people came to be a part of it and a LOT of people donated. It got me over $5,000. Last night was another great example of all the amazing people I have in my life. But the great part was that I didn’t have to do anything crazy like run 60 miles to get people there. I could have a great time, talk to people, socialize and eat food rather than burn them! How wonderful!! 🙂 The amazing staff at karma volunteered their time to do the work to make this event great. I just had to get people there.
Good running friends!
And WOW did they come! I have spent the last month talking up this event to anyone and everyone: family, friends, clients, friends of friends, etc. I do not have an exact count but a LOT of people came last night to be a part of this great event. So many people that we more than DOUBLED my expectations for this fundraiser and the amount that it raised! At the end of the night after everyone had left Danny gave me the grand total and I almost fell out of my chair with excitement and disbelief. $1,125.50! WOW, so AMAZING!
My parents made it 🙂
I cannot believe what a room full of good friends and family can do! Who knew this adventure would be so REWARDING!? When I first signed up for this I had no real idea how raising $10,000 would feel! It has been 6 months of hard work to come up with all these different ways to raise that much money, but I have loved every second of it! What rewarding hard work it has been! I truly feel that being a part of the MS Run the US relay and having this fundraising goal has changed me as a person. I in no way think I was a bad person before, but I definitely did not have the giving spirit that I do now. Now that I have experienced first hand how many people in my lift care and have given to my run without even batting an eye, there is no way all this good hasn’t rubbed off on me!
Anyone who comes to me and needs anything or is raising money for something, there is no way I wouldn’t give to help them feel the way I have over the past 6 months. I have learned so much about how quickly giving even a small amount can add up to something BIG! And really, there is nothing better to spend money on then something that will make you feel good inside for weeks at a time. The coffee I buy, or the new running attire I would spend my money on doesn’t make me feel the same joy, that’s for sure!
I want to thank the Karma staff who worked this event out of the goodness of their heart and gave up their HARD EARNED tips to MS Run the US and pretty much working for free. Our amazing bartenders and servers included Katie, Heidi, Grace, Danny and Ari! I cannot thank you enough. I think the world of you all. I am honored to know people who would work their asses off for over 5 hours to make sure we were all having a great time and cater to our needs in the name of GIVING to others! WOW! Blows my mind. Everyone should be as caring and giving as you 5, this world would be a different place, that’s for sure!
This is also true of the people who came and gave their hard earned money in the form of tips and 50/50 raffle tickets. We all work hard for every dollar we make, and giving it up for others is an amazing thing. Not all people are willing to do so! I am glad that fundraising for this charity has given me the opportunity to constantly surround myself with those who do. It has changed my view point on life and people. I have run a lot of miles in my life, but running a lot of miles AND raising money for a good cause to go with it has been life changing for me.
Now that I know I am going to reach my goal of $10,000 VERY soon (I have less than $500 to go and many sponsors who will be giving in the near future to get me the rest of the way!) I can focus on training for this beast of an event. I still have the most grueling part left… getting my body ready for over a marathon a day for 6 days in a row… in the mountains. EEKK! But thanks to all of you who have given to my cause and helped me reach my goal 3 months early I can train without the $10,000 goal still hovering over my head. Instead I will worry about how in the world I am going to run all those miles while holding a full time job, teaching yoga, walking dogs, having a social life, etc. Yikes! Oh well… bring it on! I am up for the challenge and have promised to do the best I can to complete the distance.
So thank you to EVERYONE who made it last night, made it to my 60 mile run, made it to my charity yoga, offered to be a sponsor of the week, or just made a donation (or multiple!!!) over the last 6 months! Thank you for opening my eyes to giving and making me less selfish and changing my views on money and how irrelevant it really is if you can’t share it with others! Can’t take it with us when we die, so why not use it to help those less fortunate than us?! There is no way I can give a shout out by name to everyone who was there last night, there were just too many people! But I do want to thank my parents for making it as well as Bryan’s family who have become like a family to me as well. It meant a lot to have you all there! Thank you to those people who came who don’t eve know me very well, but were invited by someone else and still decided to come and show support! I which I would have had the time to talk to each and every person for longer. Time just went so fast and there were SO many people! 🙂
I owe a lot to Dan, he has been an amazing help from the beginning!
Ok, I know I have a problem with talking to much, so I will finally wrap this up. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart I cannot say it enough! You all have touched my life in such a positive light and made me a better person just by showing your support. WE DID IT!! Together we have raised a crap-ton of money for MS! 🙂
Keep Giving and Keep Running! 🙂
My Bobble Head for the MS Run the US website! 🙂
Didn’t get to make it last night but still want to donate!? It’s NEVER too late! Thanks for helping us make a difference in the lives of those living with MS!
Use the following link: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/nikkicahen/run-a-thonforms
Sam and I