Monday, February 9, 2009
Introduction and Background
Hello, and welcome to my blog... Thank you for taking the time to read some of my posts, and please make sure and visit the Hope For Kidz website (also linked below)... The kids need your help!!!
The starting point for understanding what this blog is all about is my involvement the last few years with the people of Haiti. Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, and the third poorest nation in the world. Despite that, the people there are a wonderful and friendly people. In particular, the children of Haiti have an amazing energy, and will capture you with their smiles and laughter. I have participated in annual trips there going back to 2005, and have grown to love the country and its people.
The second half of the equation is my passion (i.e. obsession) for endurance sports. I have been doing marathons and triathlons for a number of years, and each year I seem to escalate the level of insanity... There is a benefit to being healthy, both physically and mentally, but overall these pursuits can become a fairly selfish thing.
So, in an effort to balance my more selfish pursuit of marathons and triathlons with the less selfish goal of helping the people of Haiti, I am dedicating my racing this year to raise awareness and funds for a wonderful program that provides an invaluable service for the Haitian children.
The program is called "Hope For Kidz", and it provides desperately needed education for the children in Haiti. That is really the main source of hope for Haiti; their children simply must become educated in order to break the cycle of poverty and hopelessness. There is no free public education system there, and most families cannot afford to send their children to even the most minimally priced schools that are available. It is not uncommon to see children in their teens who have not gone beyond a first or second grade education. However, for only $200/year; Hope For Kidz provides a child with a full year of elementary education, all school books, two uniforms, a pair of shoes (often their only pair), medical checkups where available... and HOPE!
You can directly sponsor a child, or you can contribute funds to the program to help with the school facilities, supplies, teachers, training, etc. By the way, if you can't sponsor a child by yourself, consider teaming up with other family members, co-workers, church groups, etc. Every little bit helps!
I'm calling this campaign "500 Miles Of Hope". The 500 miles represents the over 500 miles of swimming, biking, and running that I will be doing in my racing events this year (see below for details). Keep in mind, that is just 500 miles for the actual races... In order to be able to accomplish that goal, I am estimating that I will log approximately 5000 miles or more in training. Not that such foolishness should be rewarded :) ... but hopefully it can at least serve a useful service and bring attention to some kids that really and truly need your help!
As I move forward through this year's journey, I'll be keeping this blog current with information about my races and training, as well as thoughts and updates on Haiti. So, make sure and bookmark the blog and check back once in a while, maybe even throw in an encouraging word once in a while :) By the way, no need to tell me how crazy I am... where do you think the "pocolocoman" moniker came from???
Please see this website to read more about the HFK program and to make donations:
RMI Hope For Kidz Website Link
January 11: RunTex 20 Miler (20 mile run) -> COMPLETED
January 25: Frost Yer Fanny Duathlon (27.2 miles run/bike/run) -> COMPLETED
February 15: Austin Marathon (26.2 mile run)
April 5: Lonestar 1/2 Ironman Triathlon (70.3 miles swim/bike/run)
April 20: Boston Marathon (26.2 mile run)
September 19: Redman ironman distanceTriathlon (140.6 miles swim/bike/run)
October 25: Longhorn 1/2 Ironman Triathlon (70.3 miles swim/bike/run)
November 29: Ironman Cozumel Triathlon (140.6 miles swim/bike/run)
*** There may also be a couple additional shorter triathlons (and possibly a 102 mile bike rally); but these are the main races that I am committed to.