Here's something I am thinking of doing. I'd put notice of it on the main page of AP. But I just want to be sure it's not a bad idea for some reason I might not be aware of. Comments welcome.
PG at Boston -- Extra motivation needed
On Monday April 20 I hope to be on the starting line in Hopkinton, MA, for the 119th running of the Boston Marathon.
The race has a large dose of sentimental appeal. Twenty years ago at the age of 50 and with a history of close calls (3:01 and 3:02, among others) but no success at breaking 3 hours, I had one of those days at Boston when the legs were light and the energy never flagged. The 2:57 that day is still one of the fondest memories of my life.
Sometime a year or two ago I got the idea of running Boston one more time, when I was 70. You have to qualify, but for an old man they give you plenty of time, 4:25. I ran Burlington (VT) last May, 3:47, and then sent in my entry to Boston last September. Ahead, I expected, were many months of training.
But the fates don't always make things easy, and problems with an Achilles tendon that lingered and lingered meant there was minimal training between mid-November and early March. But hope springs eternal.
Unless something flares up in these last few days, I expect to start. I also will be woefully unprepared. My original goal, assuming good training, was under 4 hours and a good placing in the 70+ crowd. That has gone out the window, But there is still the hope for a decent race.
And this is where I need some help. I expect I will run out of gas miles and miles before the finish. I have always had a fair bit of determination. I have done my share of suffering on the way to the finish lines of very long races. But, when the willpower is fading, some extra motivation can really help.
So I have decided to challenge myself to use the race to raise a little bit of money for a group whose progress I have greatly enjoyed watching the last couple of years -- OUSA's Junior Team. My plan is to donate to them $10 for every mile I do, and to double that if I finish, and to double that again if I finish in under 4:15. So I am potentially on the hook for 26 x 10 x 2 x 2 = $1,040. But if that was to come to pass, I would very happy to make the donation. And as the miles go by, I can imagine myself thinking, Come on, keep going, it's not just for yourself, think of the good things the juniors are doing.
So there it is. And the question -- anyone else want to sign on? The donation per mile is totally up to you, as is whether to add a bonus for finishing, as is whether to add another bonus for finishing in any particular time. If I know there are others out there who are backing me, it will be that much harder to quit. And that is what I need.
The process is simple. Just make a pledge here on AP (or if you want to do it privately, e-mail me, firstname.lastname@example.org). And then, assuming I make it to the start line and make it at least one mile, send in the appropriate donation for the juniors. No middlemen, no complicated process.
And maybe we can put together a nice sum for the generation that is going to be running the sport when I am running in M80 or M90. :-)
Thank you in advance to anyone willing to participate.