As you may know, I do an occasional long distance kayak or canoe race. While preparing for a 100-miler taking place over Labor Day weekend, I was presented with the opportunity to drop my solo plans and instead race tandem with a Wounded Warrior. I jumped at the chance, and I feel privileged to be involved in this partnership.
Here are the details:
The race is the Colorado River 100 http://coloradoriver100.com/
) and starts at 07:10 on Saturday, September 1, for tandem recreational class participants. We follow the Colorado from Bastrop (east of Austin) to Columbus (west of Houston) and should finish in the 22-24 hour range. Yes, that is straight through. No, we do not stop to camp or sleep.
Here is why you should care:
I got invited to participate through an amazing charity http://www2.operationcomfort.org/home/
) that helps our Wounded Warriors make the transition from military injury to normal civilian life through activities that they once enjoyed, namely sports. Operation Comfort has programs based exclusively in San Antonio at both Brooke Army Medical Center and Audie Murphy VA Hospital that attempt to show our wounded men and women that they are appreciated, valued and respectedproviding rehabilitative therapeutic programs for them while they are recoveringand a family financial assistance program which helps the families get over the financial burden they encounter while taking care of their loved one. What this means to the 22-year old Marine that I am racing with is that he has the opportunity to attempt and complete an endurance event in which many able-bodied participants would falter. What this means to me is that I am racing with someone who will not quit, ever, due to his already surpassing the expectations of those betting against not only his recovery but his very survival. In the first conversation we had, he made it clear that he did not expect this race to be a charity event for me, that he was planning on pulling his own weight. Seeing how he had already mentioned that I was older than his mother, I told him that not only did I expect him to pull his own weight but to carry me as well. Apparently Marines and firefighters get along just fine.
Here is what I am asking of you:
Follow our race. I have a Spot Tracker GPS unit that sends up an electronic ping every 10-15 minutes. You can check out our recent training runs on Google Earth http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0pRcuzTqnP7b7DoIaIo7jrd9GhusqlVPW
) as well as follow our race in real time. If we know that 4 people are watching, we will work harder. If we know that 40 people are watching, we will try to negative split. You can also contribute to the cause. This is a 100-mile race, and I am asking you to consider sponsoring us for 5-cents or 10-cents a mile. Thats 5 or 10 bucks if we finish. You can either click the Operation Comfort link above to donate online and get a tax deductible receipt or just throw me a Lincoln or a Hamilton the next time you see me. I will collect all cash and donate 100% to Operation Comfort at the end of September.
Thanks for your support, and I will see you on the water