Please Come to Boston (the details)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Previously on {the ivy project}...

Katie is not athletic. Katie starts running. Against all odds, Katie gains entry to the 2016 Boston Marathon.

So now you're all caught up.

The truth is, I did not qualify for Boston. The qualifying standard for my age and gender is a previous marathon time of three hours and 35 minutes. Registration for qualifiers closed yesterday, but initial reports are that it wasn't enough to simply qualify this year. Runners needed to beat that standard by several minutes. And given that last weekend I ran a two hour and 39 minute half marathon, I wasn't so much close. It's elite for a reason, you know?

But here are two things you should know about me:
  1. I love a good challenge, particularly if it's quite prestigious and uncommon.
  2. I care deeply about communities impacted by tragedy. Scan back through {the ivy project} to learn more (hint: start with the April posts). I wrote a 75,000 word dissertation on learning from tragedy. I grew up in Oklahoma City. I am a New Yorker. I know amazing people in Boston. It matters.
Once I realized I could actually run New York, all I could think about was Boston. I know, I know. But you kind of already expected that, right? Knowing I would never be one of the 24,000 qualifiers, I sought ways to make one of the remaining 8,000 entries mine. 

Enter the 2016 Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge Team.

Charity entries are common in the world's top marathons. They guarantee accessibility for non-elite runners and support the marathon's community in meaningful ways. Each marathon designates a minimum fundraising amount for charity team runners. Runners pay a higher entry fee (which provides a few perks on race day... cool gear and heated tent in the start village, anyone?) and fundraise for their organization. It's still a fairly competitive, application-only process.

So fast forward a few days, and I'm officially on Run DFMC 2016, with 100% of my funds raised supporting the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. It's Harvard's cancer research institute, and y'all know how I love a good Ivy League connection. But more than that, I love that their goal is to eradicate cancer, AIDs, related diseases, and the fear that comes with them. I have friends who lost children to cancer or who are currently battling cancer. My grandmother lost her battle with lung cancer when I was in high school, and my uncle passed away from the same disease less than a year ago. Fundraising for this marathon is a huge commitment, but it also seems like the right thing to do. Because what if there was a world without cancer?

From now until April 18, you can find out more (or, you know, donate) at rundfmc.org/2016/katie, or just click "Boston Marathon" at the top of the page. If you want to give me a holiday/birthday/Tuesday/just because gift, maybe do this instead please. And yes, 100% of donations are totally tax deductible. Yes, I'm paying all the overhead costs, so all donations go directly to cancer research. No, I will not become super annoying and beg you for money. Yes, I will annoy you with super cute pictures of Little on his first trip to Boston.

So that's the plan, and it's going to be spectacular. 

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