Thank you to Michael Cassidy

A nice story!  Mike Cassidy, a local runner, emailed me that he was to run the New York Marathon before it was canceled.  Mike comes from Staten Island and runs for the Greater New York running team.  He's never been to Kenya but wants to help there, and has as you will read in this story about reaching out and helping in a big way, on both sides of the Ocean:  So here is Mike's marathon story,

PS: They raised $6,500 WAY more than their $2,620 goal

Michael Cassidy, "In ONE day, we EXCEEDED our goal.  (Clearly, I underestimate the generosity of my friends.)

But the mission has just begun. Spread the message - let's see how far this thing can go! Hurricane Sandy devastated Staten Island.  Homes were destroyed, lives lost, and communities upended.  Thousands remain hungry, homeless, and struggling to rebuild their lives.  The pain is deep.  Healing is slow.  The recovery will be measured in months and years.

But the storm also inflicted damage of another sort.  With the cancellation of the 2012 ING New York City Marathon, professional runners from Kenya and Ethiopia lost their primary source of income.  

In East Africa, where poverty is a way of life, runners are the economic lifeblood.  Entire communities are dependent upon earnings from international marathons.  Prize money builds homes, schools, and hospitals. Sadly, Sandy's Staten Island victims lost more than many Kenyans and Ethiopians will ever gain.

Two continents, united in suffering.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, running became part of the problem.  I want to show how it can be part of the solution.

I'm running the Philadelphia Marathon on November 18.  I'm fortunate to have this opportunity, and I want to use it to do some good.  That's why I created A Run for Staten Iten, an intercontinental fund raiser for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.  

Half the money will go to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation to benefit suffering Staten Island families.  The other half will go to Shoe4Africa, a charity dedicated to improving health and education in Africa.

I've pledged $262 plus 100% of any prize money I win. My goal is to raise $2,620.  But like any running goal, it was set to be broken. Please do what you can to help.  Running may labeled an individual sport, but as any runner knows, true success comes only through community.

I encourage you to visit each foundation's link to learn more about their missions.

http://www.tunneltotowersrun.org/

http://www.shoe4africa.org/

(Oh, and Iten?  That's the little town in Kenya that just happens to be home to about three-quarters of the world's top marathoners.  It's kind of like what Staten Island is for pizza.)

POST-RACE RECAP

 

The 2012 Philadelphia Marathon is in the books.  Sadly, it did not go as well as I had hoped.  I finished 11th in 2:22:35, well off my goal of 2:17.  

Unexpected hamstring tightness just 10 miles into the race curtailed my ambition.  Nevertheless, I am proud to say I finished - and proud to honor the commitments of everyone who contributed here.  The whole experience taught me valuable lessons.

But in large part, the battle was won before the race even began.  We more than doubled our goal of $2,620  

Running, like many things in life, is about enjoying the process as much as focusing on the outcome. It is nowhere more true than here. I may not have achieved the running outcome I had hoped for, but the Philadelphia Marathon provided the pretext for months of training that I enjoyed and thousands of dollars that will improve the lives of Staten Islanders and Africans alike.

Thank you all for your generosity and your well-wishes.  At this time of Thanksgiving, I am grateful to know people like you.