It’s still 6 months away, but the Blue Afro is thinking about September. Where will you be this coming September 15th? The Blue Afro and I hope that you will be here in Boston, with us, with one of those cool Autism Speaks singlets on, sharing 13.1 scenic miles along the shore through some classic Boston-area neighborhoods.
That’s right, Boston 13.1 is on September 15th this year and once again Autism Speaks is the sponsored charity of the race.
I (not the Blue Afro) have been running every day in 2013, in part for #AutismStreaks, in part to train for the TARC 100 and Vermont 50, but also to make sure that I am in shape and ready to go in September to once again help lead a team of amazing runners.
Last year Autism Speaks fielded 250 runners and raised over $186,000.00! This year we are hoping to top that by recruiting 500 runners and raise at least $250,000. All that needs to be done is that every one of you who ran last year grab a friend, a relative, a stranger off the street and convince them that THEY TOO can run (or walk) 13.1 miles!
You may wonder why I am once again leading the charge for Boston 13.1. There is of course the obvious reason of running for a better, ever improving future for my little Brooke, but there is a less obvious answer as well. Last year, as one of the team leaders, I had the privilege of leading weekly training runs every weekend throughout the summer. Throughout the course of those runs I got to meet and get to know some pretty incredible people, many of whom I still interact with on at least a weekly basis, if not more often. These runners were all running for different reason – some were parents or relatives of autistic children, some were educators, some were family friends of someone affected by autism, others were researchers – they all came from different backgrounds, they all came with different perspectives, but they all came with the objective of making the world a better place for their autistic children, siblings, friends, co-workers, students.
Once again this year, I will be leading weekly “long runs” on the weekends leading up to Boston 13.1, probably starting sometime in late April/early May, and I cannot wait to share the pavement on a weekly basis with some friends, both old and new.
Just like last year, I am not asking for your money – my close friends will be getting the donation letter shortly – no, once again, I am asking you to donate yourself, your body, your time.
I want you to:
- help me raise autism awareness;
- help me fund programs that help newly diagnosed children and adults and their families;
- help me drive the research that could open the doorway to a better understanding of just what autism is;
- help me make sure that autistic adults live in a world that embraces their differences and understands that everyone can be a productive, integral part of society.
Will you running 13.1 miles in September make that much of a difference? It may not seem so at first glance – I mean, how far can the $500 raised really go, right? You would be surprised. You can fund 1 minute of research for as little as 10¢. If we hit our goal of $250,000, multiply that 1 minute by 2.5 million dimes! That’s a lot of minutes!!! Every rain storm is made up of droplets and we have all seen what kind of effect the cumulative power of rain drops can be.
So I hope you will join me and my Blue Afro this September (and if you’re local, come join us every weekend – distances and pace will be individually based so don’t worry about how fast or how strong you are!).
Here are the details (pretty much the same as last year):
2013 Team Up! with Autism Speaks benefits include, but are not limited to:
* Guaranteed Race Entry
* Team Up! with Autism Speaks Runners Tank or Long Sleeve Shirt and an Autism Speaks hat/visor
* Private Team Celebration Dinner for you and a guest on September 14th. Location TBD – where you’ll be subjected to a motivational speech by yours truly AND we’ll get to break some bread together!
* Customized online fundraising page
* Team Up! Facebook Page
* Virtual Coaching by a certified running coach
* Fundraising Tips and Opportunities
* Dedicated Autism Speaks staff to answer questions you have and assist
* Race Day Cheering Section
* Team Handbook – In a PDF form and downloadable for reference at any time.
**Team Up! with Autism Speaks does not cover travel expenses to and from Massachusetts for the race. We strongly recommend the usage of the race’s official travel partners for making all reservations.
Autism Speaks will have a block of rooms available for booking at a local hotel shortly.
Here’s the link to the registration page: http://events.autismspeaks.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1055963
And one last note – it DOESN’T MATTER if you are not a runner! Boston 13.1 is walker-friendly. I won’t lie to you and say it’s a leisure walk in the park; it is a faster-paced 16:00/mile walk, but I guarantee that if you start walking regularly today (or when Spring hits your neck of the woods), then YOU will be able to cover 13.1 miles in less than 3:30. So saying, “but Luau, I’m not a runner,” is not a valid excuse!
Join the Blue Afro.
Come out and have some fun. If you are from out of town, you’re going to get to see Boston at the best time of year and if you are local, well, you’re gonna be here anyway! I hope to see you out there. There were 500 slots – the Blue Afro just took one of them.
See you in September.
You can find the Blue Afro on Twitter at: the Blue Afro