As many of you know, I have raised money for The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp before! In fact, many of you have so generously donated money in my past fundraising endeavors. I have run New York Marathon 5 (or is it 6) times with THITW as well as several half marathons. As exciting and grueling as NYC Marathon has been,I feel that I am really kicking it up a notch and reaching for the stars in my quest to run the Boston Marathon.... for a couple of reasons! One--Boston Marathon?? Really? I have always been hesitant to even THINK about running Boston! Until a few years ago the ONLY way to get into Boston was to be a really fast runner , run a qualifying race and meet the strict qualifying time....AKA BQ! In the past few years though, the BAA has opened up some spots for runners to run with qualified charity groups. As I have mentioned before, there is some controversy in the race community over whether people who do not qualify with their time, should be allowed to run this particular race. Some of the more egotistical runners...seem to think that by allowing us slower folks in THEIR race...it might somehow take some of the glory away from them! Okay....let's NOT go there!! Let me just say that it took awhile before I came to the conclusion that raising money for a good cause (in this case....GREAT cause!) was a lot more important than some whiny, skinny....egotistical runners opinion of me! I'm not by any means saying that all "real runners" feel that way....in fact, one such "skinny- fast-REAL runner" helped convince me that what I wanted to do was indeed "qualifying" for Boston! I have also received support from many of my running friends on the issue!
Now, the second reason that I say I am "kicking it up a notch" with Boston is that I have put my fundraising goal at $10,000!!! THAT is almost as scary as thinking that I will be out there on the Boston course with SOOOO many people who LOOK like real runners and RUN like real runners.....while I myself definitely do not look like a "real runner" and because of my arthritic knees and asthma I don't run anywhere CLOSE to fast enough to qualify time wise for Boston! $10,000 you ask? WHY that particular number? Well, although the children who attend this Camp, do so absolutely cost free to them, the cost to send one of them to Camp is $2,500. Keep in mind how much is involved with running a Camp of this type...and it's not only a week at Camp for these kids...there are sibling sessions...parent weekends...hospital outreach programs and so much more!
When I first started running for charity....my main reason was Ginny Phillips--the beautiful little girl and daughter of my good friends Jeff and Deborah Phillips. Ginny lost her battle with leukemia at the young age of 10. I still think of Ginny and run every race in her memory.
As I have gotten more involved with The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, I have been touched by so many other children and their families that have become even more motivation for me to keep working so hard on supporting this amazing place---The amazing Amanda Garbatini, Aaron Baral, Mattie C, Ben Goldman, Ian, the wonderful Kayne family and so many more! I have also become so in awe of the wonderful people who not only work for Camp, but believe so strongly in this "different kind of healing".....
The people from Camp have become in a way....our family here in CT! It's amazing the bond you can build with other people when you have the same passion for a cause such as this!