Major Announcement

Since becoming a marathoner almost 4 years ago, I knew I was destined to run this amazing 26.2 mile distance again and again.  All it took was that first race, that first finish line.  I wanted more, in fact I craved it.

Every runner has a path.  My path has been very exciting, all the while learning about myself, my body and how to run injury free.  The path hasn’t always been easy, and I’ve made mistakes along the way.  Who doesn’t?  The main thing to focus on is the process.  How to get yourself to the starting line, and how best to cross the finish line.  To date, I have now crossed the marathon finish line 23 times.  I am full of gratitude just thinking about that number.  Each race offers a unique runner experience, and in fact, over the next few months I will be hopefully adding another 4 marathon finishes to my repertoire.  Asheville, All American, Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh, and Herald of Victory all by the end of May.  How lucky am I?

My marathon journey affords me chances to challenge myself beyond my wildest imagination.  It really is no joke to set out on a 26.2 mile run.  For my ability to run, I am so thankful.  My journey also gives me chances to travel to places I may not have  gone otherwise.  For example, I’ve been to Chicago twice now in two years, both times to run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.  I’ve only been to NYC once now in the past 18 years, and why?  Yep, you guessed it, to run the TCS New York City Marathon.  Marathons get me places, take me places and sometimes even put me in my place.  I’ve been to Colordao once in my life.  Yes, to run a marathon.  I’ve been to Utah once, again, for a 26.2.  Where to next?  I’ve never been to Boston, but I want to go!  (I’m working on it!).

Amazing marathons exist all over the globe, and I hope to have the chance to travel abroad to many great races.  I recently entered the lottery to run the BMW Berlin Marathon this year, but didn’t get in.  I’ll keep trying.  Eventually I would love to run all six of the Abbott World Marathon Majors.  As my marathon journeys continue, so will my chances to get into the final four majors that I haven’t been so lucky or fortunate to run yet.  What’s left on the list?  Of course the coveted BAA Boston Marathon, but also the Virgin Money London Marathon, BMW Berlin Marathon, and Tokyo Marathon.  This list leads me to my Major Announcement…..  I have been named an Abbott World Marathon Major Ambassador!!!  Yes!  So excited to help spread the word of marathoning and working with this great organization.  I hope you’ll enjoy this journey with me.

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New York City Marathon -Race Morning

It’s here, it’s here!

The planning has all been done, race morning logistics set.  The alarm has gone off, but believe it or not, I got almost seven hours of sleep.  A true miracle.  I feel good sitting here with my first cup of coffee at 3:17am.

This is how New York City looked last night as I went to bed.

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Pretty soon though it will look much different.  Full of over 50,000 runners!!!

Here is the plan for today…..  We are heading out at 4:30 for about a 50 minute car ride to the Meadowlands in New Jersey.  From there, we board a bus for Staten Island.  I think the bus ride is about 45 minutes.  This should put us at the starting line village at about 7am.  Almost a full three hours in advance of the start of the race.  It is then, that the main part of the waiting begins. The anticipation, the last few hours before the 2015 New York City Marathon officially begins.

Bags are packed for pre and post race, so really all that’s left is a shower and donning my race gear.  I AM READY!

A quick fundraising update before I hit the shower.  I got very close to my goal.  I am within about $400 with several donations over the past few days.  The kindness and generosity of friends and strangers has really blown me away.  I really, really wish I would have hit my goal by the time the race starts today, but there’s still hope!  If you’ve ever thought about donating to a worthy cause, please help if you can.

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Here is a link to my fundraising page.  It could be you that sends me over the edge!  The top of the hill, the pinnacle!  Wouldn’t it be fantastic if I were to cross the finish line in Central Park, and have a fully funded charity?  To my donors. You are all awesome!

New York Racecation Update

So, just a quick update for my loyal readers.

Wednesdays trip north from home was pretty much uneventful, except for clouds, wind and rain almost the entire 630 miles.  I never got tired, but did experience some back pain due to just sitting for that long.  I work on my feet, so I never sit for very long.  That 10 hours in the car kinda did my body in.  I did get to see some very beautiful Fall foliage though along the way, the most impressive area being my drive through the Shenandoah Mountains.  Just beautiful!

After getting to Dad’s, we relaxed.  Caught up on the journey, and what was to come before heading to bed.  I hadn’t seen my Dad in just over two years, so we did talk quite a bit.  He looks great, too.  For an 80 year old guy, he has recently really been watching his diet, and has managed to lose about 30 pounds since spending last Christmas with my sister in Ohio.  We took this photo together down at the bottom of the hill where he lives.

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Yesterday we went out for a late breakfast, and toured around some local favorite spots.  I moved away from the area about 26 years ago, and some things have changed a lot, other things haven’t changed a bit.  I miss my Dad, but I don’t miss where I grew up.  Moving to North Carolina was one of the best decisions I ever made.  The quality of life is just so much better where I am now!

After a quick trip to The Cider Mill, and buying some donuts, candy apples and cider, I had the chance to go visit my cousin Michelle.  It was nice to see her, even though we only had about a half hour together.

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Late yesterday afternoon we got packed back up, and headed out.  We drove back down into Pennsylvania, and then through the Pocono Mountains and on into New Jersey.  We are staying with my brother for race weekend.  He has lived in this area for years and years.  It’s too hectic here for my liking, but it’s certainly worth a visit now and then.  My brother was supposed to run the race with me, but recently got some bad news from his doctor that he needs a double hip replacement, and won’t run again.  It was shocking news, but he will be a spectator in full force.

Today is all about some rest, and my final shake out run before the marathon on Sunday.  I actually haven’t run now in a full week.  It wasn’t my plan, but between working right up until I left town, my sons soccer, and the rain, I just never got out for a run in the past week.  So, I am going to head out onto the Towpath here close to where my brother lives, and where Bob did most of his training for the race.  I’m looking forward to a peaceful and chilly four mile run.  I think I am going to take Dad along so he can get a walk in, while I run.

We are hitting the race expo in the city tomorrow morning early.  Lunch in the city, and then feet up, and preparations for the race.  I will update again when I have another chance.  For any of you running New York with me on Sunday, have a great race and enjoy!  The weather looks very promising at this point, so fingers crossed for perfect running conditions.

Fundraising Friday -NYC Marathon 9 days away

We’ve just crossed into taper madness mode.  We are now in the single digits of the countdown to the 2015 New York City Marathon.

I haven’t been running my whole life, but I’ve been running long enough now.  Over five years competitively.  Well, running became a passion of mine five years ago.  Each year the New York City Marathon has been run since I became passionate about the sport, I’ve always been envious of those runners.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to run this amazing marathon?  The biggest in the world.

I finally get my chance, and it’s just nine short days away!

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Its also Fundraising Friday.  The final push to reach my fundraising goal.  I still need all the help I can get to fully fund my charity partner with my pledge.

Today I start writing the names of all of my donors on my charity team shirt.  If you’ve donated already, watch for upcoming posts, as I will post pictures of my race shirt, and you can see your name.  If you haven’t donated yet, there’s still time.  You can make a donation in any amount you wish from $10 and up.  Every dollar helps in the fight to treat cancer patients. Please consider a tax deductible donation today.  I thank you!  The following link will take you directly to my fundraising page on Crowdrise.

And to all of the other runners out there running for a reason, happy Fundraising Friday!

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10 days til @nycmarathon

Only one race remains on my 2015 running calendar, and it’s a big one!  It truly has been another epic year of running for me, and I get to cap it off with another of the six marathon majors in just 10 days!

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Yes, the New York City Marathon is quickly approaching.  Deep into taper mode at this point, it’s really all now about the planning.  Logistics and mental preparedness.  The body is ready.  Legs have recovered from Chicago, and the only things that remain for me before the race are a few short runs, and a road trip to New York.

Tomorrow is my last day off from work until I leave on my NY journey next Wednesday.  I plan on getting my race shirt emblazoned with the names of my charity donors.  It’s not too late to donate.  I still have not hit my fundraising goal, so with any donation to my charity partner, the James Blake Foundation, your name will be proudly inscribed on my shirt!  Your thoughtfulness will get permanently written on my shirt so that you too, will get to run the streets of NYC with me.

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Click on the following link to be taken directly to my fundraising page on Crowdrise, where you can make a donation in any amount with just a few clicks.  Thank you so much for your help in the fight against cancer.

Because of the fact that I am going to absolutely slay this race, I have been placed into Corral 1, right along with all of the Professional men.  Yep, starting with the likes of Meb Keflezghi.  Yes, he is my special friend and inspiration.

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I gest.  Yes, we’ve clearly met, but I doubt I’ll even see him on race day.  Only in my dreams could I run as fast as he can.  :). I do, however, plan on giving this race my all.  I will be running with inspiration.  Running for my charity partner.  Running for those suffering with cancer.

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So, as the countdown to New York continues, tomorrow we enter the single digits.  It’s all becoming very real.  The countless hours I’ve spent fundraising, the countless hours pounding the pavement will all culminate as I line up on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge at 9:50am for a three hour plus run through the streets of New York City.  I couldn’t be more excited!  It all begins in just ten days.

$25 a day and a New York City Marathon Experience

Most of you know, if you’ve read previous posts on my blog, that I am running the New York City Marathon this November 1st.  There are a bunch of 1st’s for this race, and here are a few.

-My first time running for charity

-My first marathon in the state of New York

-The first marathon my Father will be a spectator at

-The first time both of my parents will get to see me cross the finish line

-My first time in NYC since 9/11

Race day is getting SO close!  Only 41 days remain until I toe the line in Staten Island and make my way through the five boroughs of New York.  The excitement is certainly building.  This race is so iconic.  Epic!

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I’m glad I decided to run this marathon for charity.  Let me tell you though, it has probably been more of a challenge though to raise the $3,000 I pledged than for me to run the actual race.  As NYC will be my 22nd marathon!  I’m so glad for this experience though, as my fundraising is helping cancer patients.  The research being done at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in NYC is being directly helped by the donations that all of my donors have made thus far.  I still have just over a third of the monies pledged to raise, and I need all of your help.

With just 41 days remaining until race day, that equates to an average donation of $25 a day that I need folks like you to donate to my fundraiser to hit my goal by race day.  If you could find it in your heart to donate, I would be ever so grateful.  All of the money goes to the James Blake Foundation.  Every last dollar.  I paid for my own entry into the race, so rest assured, the money you donate directly impacts the lives of those suffering from this debilitating and deadly disease.  Please donate today.  The following link will take you directly to my fundraising page where you can make a tax deductible donation in any amount you wish.

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What would also be a huge help in reaching as many folks as I can is if you would share this post on your own blog, or link to it on your own social media outlets.  I would love to exceed my goal before race day! Thank you for all of your support, encouragement and love!  I will be running New York for all of you!

Fundraising Update

It’s a new week.  Thankfully!

I spent most of last week at work.  About 65 hours on my feet, and I am paying for it dearly.  I haven’t had the energy, time or legs to even think about getting out for a run.  This all changes today, however.  I finally have a day off to think, to relax, and maybe even head out on a short run.

I wanted to share where I am at with my fundraiser for the James Blake Foundation.  Kind of a campaign update, if you will.  After two months now, and through the kind donations received so far, I am at 31% of my goal.  I am trying to raise a minimum of $3,000 for this charitable organization.  So, that being said, I have raised $930 to date.

I have been brainstorming, and trying to come up with more ideas for raising the funds lately, and as this is my first fundraising effort, I could use your ideas, as well.  Please feel free to share!  I can use all the help I can get.

I’m using the fundraising platform Crowdrise online, and making tax-deductible donations is as easy as pie.

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Now, doesn’t that look delicious?

Seriously though, it’s so easy.  Won’t you please consider a donation today?  Share or reblog this post and help me reach as many potential donors as possible.

You can learn about my charity here:  https://www.jamesblaketennis.com.

The following is a link that will take you directly to my fundraising page, and with just a few clicks, you could be a generous donor toward my fundraiser.

I am trying to make this…

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…out if this

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I can only do it with your help!  Please consider a donation today.  Yep, trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill.  Let’s do this!  Donating money to cancer research will make you feel good, and will benefit the countless numbers of people all over the world who have been affected by this disease.

Thanks!