I ran my second 5K this morning, the Jingle Bell Run to benefit the Arthritis Foundation. I signed up for the race with two goals in mind: I wanted to raise over $1,000 for the Arthritis Foundation and I wanted to better my 5K time from the first race that I ran in October. Kudos to Lori, my running buddy/coach/partner, for encouraging me to pick this race. Running makes a great way to start the day but it improves hugely when you can run while helping others big time. I registered for the race and paid my $25 fee, assuming that, like most races, at least a portion of that fee would go to the sponsoring charity. Beyond that fee, I committed to raising $1,000. I had no idea whether I could actually do it or not.
(BTW, if you are reading this on Facebook, please click through and read this on my Cheerful Curmudgeon web site. You will not see the pictures properly on the Facebook page.)
After signing up for the race, I sent a message to several mailing lists that I am on. It explained what I was doing and asked the recipient to visit my Jingle Bell Run page and make a contribution. Several generous souls responded with a total of $245. Though “a little” shy of my goal so I clearly needed a next step. I considered sending out several nag notes at decreasing intervals and with increasing levels of urgency as race day approached but could not get excited enough about the idea to send the first note. I am a pretty shameless guy and do not mind abasing myself to ask for money but I hate spam as much as the next guy and could not bring myself to repeatedly spam my friends and associates. Instead, I decided to send exactly one message and to send it on the last possible day, the morning before the race. The message was short and direct.
The Jingle Bell Run is Sunday morning. Help us reach our goal!
Tomorrow morning I will be running the Jingle Bell 5K to support the Arthritis Foundation. The running is great but what they really need is money (doh!) to fund research into arthritis cures.
Please help! We only need a few more dollars to reach our goal. I promise that, after you contribute, you will float through the rest of your day with that warm, fuzzy, satisfied feeling of knowing that you have supported a worthy cause.
Follow This Link to visit my personal web page and help me in my efforts to support Arthritis Foundation, Eastern Missouri Chapter.
I exported every email address that I had in my Thunderbird address book and imported them into the Arthritis Foundation’s fundraising site. Their tool let me send the message to 30 addresses at a time. It took me a couple of hours to work through 2,700 addresses but it paid off in spades, er, hearts. I am awe-struck by the huge number of loving people who contributed almost $800 in less than a day. Thus far, my total stands at $1,336. Thank you to all of you!
From all of those messages, I heard back from several people with whom I have not corresponded in some time. That gave me the unexpected pleasure of swapping personal notes and catching up a bit. Only three people sent “take me off your list” messages and only one was rude about it. Tempting though it is to name him, I will not. Suffice it to say that I do not believe sending exactly one message to the man warranted the response that he shot back at me. Maybe he was having a bad day and I was a convenient target.
Lori encouraged all of her friends to sign up for my Jingle Bell run team, which helped even more with the fundraising aspect of the race. Candy and Kevin joined in as well. All told, our team of 17 people accounted for almost $1,500 in donations. Saying “thank you” hardly seems enough but it comes from my heart so it will have to do.
Part of the fun of race day is dressing up like a nut. We all had jingle bells tied to our shoes. Silly me, Lori talked me into wearing a tutu if we got ten people on the team. When I agreed to it, I did not realize that Lori knows half the people in St. Charles county so ten people was no sweat for her at all. Here we are, just before the start. Next year, Lori, you will need 20 people to get me into the tutu.
Here is the entire festive Cheerful Curmudgeon team, ready to go. Most of us (blue numbers) are headed for the 5K run but several of us (red numbers) are signed up for the 1 mile walk.
With 1,600 people at the start, our team got separated pretty quickly. Cori (red “Fleet Feet Sports Training” shirt in the middle of the picture) and I queued up together, since we ran at the same pace a week ago on a training run. I lost track of Candy and did not see her again until the finish. Kevin stayed with Candy but had to head home before I finished so I did not see him after this picture.
My running goal was to beat the 34:17 time that I hit in my first 5K on October 9. Cori and I started out strong at about 10:30-ish pace and I managed to hold that until about 1/2 mile from the end when I petered out a bit and had to slow down. I was overjoyed to crest the levee at the end of the course and see that the finish line was not at the start line, which would have entailed an uphill climb to the end. Instead it was a left hand hairpin and easy downhill into a different parking lot. Oh heavenly day! My official time was 32:57 at 10:38/mile. Here is my GPS track at Garmin Connect.
Goals accomplished, both fundraising and racing! On to the next race. And one more thing, it is not too late to contribute to the Arthritis Foundation on my Jingle Bell Run page. Please click the link and give what you can. Thank you.