326 days: Napa or bust!

Quick recap: I have a plan to raise $10,000 for some awesome organizations by Sept. 22, 2013 – the day I run in Ironman Lake Tahoe. Over one month in and so far we are on track. Raised so far: $1,025!

Ragnar team members, others who have accepted a race sponsorship challenge, and those that are hosting an event, I’ve set up a page to describe how to get started. Go check it out: fundraising.

On Monday I challenged you. To challenge me. So I could challenge you. Which will challenge me… we can go on like that all day… in order to stop the vicious cycle go check out the challenge. By Nov. 9th I want my race calendar filled with red circles around certain dates.

Yep. You all are AWESOME! The challenges are rolling on in!

My little brother James had a deer in the headlight look as I told him, “You WILL race in a triathlon next year.” Well, I assume that was the look on his face as he received my text message and responded with a simple reply of, “Call me ASAP.” He will be on board, because I know Elizabeth will make sure he does – she is on our Ragnar team!

My cousin Paul is signed up for the Issaquah Triathlon, his very first triathlon. Awesome! And he is already set up on Crowdrise. Plus he is already halfway to meeting his fundraising goal, in a mere few hours. His race is in June. With progress like this… he MUST join us for Ragnar!

I am <<this close>> to getting a super supporter of this cause to come down to California to run in the Napa Valley Marathon on a TfaC sponsorship. As I like to call it: a marathon in paradise. With sorbet served at about mile 23, when you need it most, by our friends at the lovely Oak Knoll Inn. (Note: water and sports drink, not wine, is offered for your on-course hydration needs. Sorry about that! We can hook you up with some post-race libations if you so desire, though.)

I’ve added a race calendar here on the blog. If you go to this race calendar you’ll see that some race commitments are falling into place rather quickly. Over the past 24 hours I have registered for two more races. Yes, I WILL be racing in the Napa Valley Marathon on March 3rd. Yes, I WILL be racing in the Pasadena Rock ‘n’ Roll  Half Marathon on February 17th. And, of course, Ironman Lake Tahoe on September 22nd. Plus I also intend on participating in Ironman 70.3 St. George in Utah next May.

All of these “big” races will be paired with a specific charity. I ran the 2011 Napa Valley Marathon to raise funds for the Sarcoma Foundation of America – and I’ll be doing that again. I might need one more “big” race… I am going to use the Pasadena 13.1 as a training run and won’t push it too hard…

Have you already registered for an event next year – an event that scares you a little bit? That stretches and pushes you a bit beyond what you think you can do? It isn’t too late to jump in on the racing sponsorship challenge and raising $$ for charity together. Let’s have a conversation… If you choose one of my charities, you’ll raise 2.5x the entry fee for charity via Crowdrise (details are on the fundraising page here on the blog). BUT YOU’LL ALREADY BE AHEAD OF THE GAME! Since you’ve already paid your entry fee, I will go ahead and donate what you paid for the entry fee to your Crowdrise page… If you choose one of my charities that means you only need to raise 1.5x now! You had already prepaid part of your fundraising pledge without even knowing you did it! Pretty cool, huh?

So, to recap, here is what I’m asking you to do:

  1. Find something that challenges you. It doesn’t have to be athletic – be creative and tackle other crazy challenges! Ask me to sponsor you. Let’s have a chat. Get you registered or otherwise set up for the challenge. And get you started on your fundraising and training. Hopefully I can participate in the event, or be there to cheer you on!
    — For example, Lauren and I are headed to the race track with some buddies in a couple of weeks to do a NASCAR racing experience that we purchased on Living Social. I would be glad to sponsor something like that! You race in circles, I pay for it, and then you go raise money for charity! Yes, I am being serious! AND you get to raise money by doing fun, kick-ass things.
  2. If you’ve already registered for something that challenges you, but want in on this fundraising thing, let’s have a chat. I will help you prepare for the event, and kickstart your fundraising effort.
  3. Think of some way to challenge me.
    Challenge me to a game of H-O-R-S-E, the loser (sorry, last place finisher) donates $25 to the ASPCA.
    – Challenge me to a game of “Words with Friends” – the non-winner donates $25 to HerShe.
    – We are both racing in marathons this year. At different times. Different places. Challenge me to a PR or target time race! If you beat your PR (or target time), I donate $25 to LIVESTRONG. If I beat my PR (or target time), you donate $25 to the Sarcoma Foundation.
    – You get the idea… all options/ideas are open
  4. Help me fill in my race schedule, hopefully with races that you are participating in as a fundraising challenge! Don’t be shy!
  5. Can’t think of a challenge? Or if you are up for a whopper of a challenge… commit to joining the Ragnar Relay team! It is one heckuva good time! Let me know if you’re on board and we’ll get you set up on your fundraising and training!

Yeah, I know… a lot to digest. Close your eyes. Let it soak in for a minute. Look deep into your soul. Go watch that video I posted yesterday. Or the video on the day I kicked off the TFAC series, whatever floats your boat. Yep, now you are pumped up! Now face up to that challenge that has always intimidated you! Let’s go do this!

As I mentioned when I shared the plan, I am willing to put my money behind this as motivation. To get you involved. To raise money for great causes. And this is putting a huge hole in my pocketbook. I am not a wealthy guy. But I believe in these causes. I believe that if I can invest $100, get some people active and motivated, and have it turn into $250 of charitable contribution, that is $100 that is very, very well invested.

You don’t get returns like that on the stock market. Not even close.

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