Thursday, May 23, 2013

First Stop: DreamBank

When researching the proposed route for my Dane to Davenport, I came upon a very interesting place that I will pass in Madison, Wisconsin. It is called DreamBank and it is owned by American Family Insurance. Let me quote from their website to explain what Dreambank is all about:

"DreamBank is a place for dreamers to come together to help build successful and sustainable communities. We believe in the power of individual dreams – those ideas and passions that enrich our personal lives – to be used for positive change in our families and our communities."

To say I was dumbstruck by something which basically embodies everything about my passions, let alone this specific journey, would be an understatement. Before long I was on the horn with the wonderful people at DreamBank.  They were as excited as I was to be speaking to one another. As such, my first stop on my trip from Dane to Davenport will be at this innovative community that is making the most of every day.

On Wednesday evening, Sept. 18th, after having run 50+ miles, I will hightail it back to Madison to inspire others to plan out their own dreams, catch them, hogtie them and move onto more dreams. I might be a little more eloquent than that but then again, I will have just 50 miles.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Kick Off Party

Last week, the Quad Cities Marathon held a kick-off party to thank all the people involved with putting the race together and get its runners excited to be part of the 16th annual race weekend. I was honored to be asked to attend and unveiled my Dane to Davenport run for the first time.

At this event, the mayors of the Quad Cities (including race director Joe Moreno, a mayor once himself and one any city would be glad to have representing them) were in attendance. They acknowledged how
wonderful the event's past is and how glorious its future will be.  They also noted how the recent events at Boston only made the running community more resolved to rise up and show how marathons unite people and cities.

I had the opportunity to meet with some runners who had run every single rendition of the Quad Cities Marathon: so-called "streakers". While there are a few races I do like to run more than once (obviously QCM is one) I am always intrigued by what makes these runners tick.  Why do they return to the same race again and again to test their legs when there are so many races around the country to run?

When I told those in attendance of my plans to run from Dane to Davenport, there were lots of cheers.  I am not thinking those cheers were for my endeavor only but rather for how I plan to use what I do well to encourage others to find their own talents.  In addition, runners can relate to the struggle of mile after mile, regardless of the pace.  They may not be able to do 55 miles a day but they remember when they did their own jump from three miles to five. They recall going for a run that once was thought to be impossible.  They were, in part, cheering for themselves.

I like that.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dane to Davenport

When I finished the Pacific Coast 350 last year, I was almost immediately struck with the idea  to reach out and do something similar but in a different part of the country. I wanted to be able to speak to even more children about pursuing their dreams, ignoring the impossible and doing what I can to help fight the obesity epidemic in America.

One of the truly fun things about being one of the many runners who has traversed great distances on foot is being able to look at a map and think: "Yeah, I can run there from here." Having been given a rather unique name, I have know about the existence of Dane,Wisconsin for quite some time.  But how I would go about incorporating it into some sort of run to be more than just something to say I had either been there or run from there was another question.

That's where the Quad Cities Marathon comes in.  Having intimately worked with the race on numerous occasions, I am always looking for a reason to go back. Now I have it.

So from September 18th-20th, I will run approximately 165 miles from Dane, WI to Davenport, IA, stopping along the way to speak to schoolchildren, organizations and runners. I hope to make them think about what they feel are their limitations and then throwing any of those ideas out the door. While I have run further than this without stopping, I knew a one shot deal would not create the same opportunities to meet with as many people as possible.

As such, I devised the plan to do 55 miles a day for three straight days, ending at the Quad Cities (Davenport) on race weekend. Each day of running will contain at least one special stop somewhere along the route to spread my message. After finishing the run and presenting at both the expo and the pre-race dinner, I will take part in the race on Sunday, capping off a run across one of the more beautiful portions of mid-western America.

All told, it will be another opportunity for me to personally be inspired by this country and its inhabitants, all while I hope to do the same for those I meet and come across.