I have been remiss in thanking all of the wonderful people who helped support me as I trained for the Chicago Marathon and raised money for PAWS Chicago. From PAWS website:
PAWS Chicago (Pets Are Worth Saving) is the city's largest No Kill humane organization, focused on alleviating Chicago's tragic pet homelessness problem. Since PAWS Chicago's founding, the number of homeless pets killed in the city has been reduced by more than half ―from 42,561 pets killed in 1997 to 19,701 in 2006. PAWS Chicago envisions a No Kill Chicago and that dream is within reach because of important lifesaving work that is being done every single day.I encourage you to visit their website.
I have to tell you... I kind of did this whole “raise money” thing on a whim. At the beginning of marathon season, Meg forwarded me information about the opportunity to raise money for PAWS while training. I believe I thought something along the lines of, “I want a dog!!!!!” And there you have it, decision made. I did know that PAWS is a well-regarded organization through which many dog and cat owners havefound companionship. I knew and I still know that PAWS will be where MM and I will go to find our dog once we are ready to be pet parents. And, I figured that the goal amount of $600 was low enough that when I failed miserably at actually raising it, I could foot the bill myself and not go completely broke.
I have heard that many people who come to marathons and half marathons through the charity runner route count on the inspiration from the organization to get them through the race. This was never the case for me. I run because I love this life. The training, the racing, the being a part of this community moves me like nothing else ever has. Perhaps it’s because of this, that when I did finally suck it up and send out my, “please give me money,” email that it was so fulfilling when so many people stepped up to support me and PAWS Chicago.
To my surprise, my fear/prediction of raising next to nothing was way off base. Together we obliterated the goal of $600 raising a total of $828.40. And this is because of all of you:
- My family -- mom, Sarah, Ron, and Adrienne -- and Tina, MM’s cousin,and soon-to-be family
- Old friends from out of town and out of state -- my oldest friend in the world Keni and her husband Blake; my college roommate Gena; my sister’s BFF (who I’ve known for like… ever) Jen; and my wonderful friend and Europe traveling companion Laura
- The CES running crew -- Roisin, former (and best ever!) pace leader Celia; Jaime; and last and certainly not least, Lindy, one of my inspirations and favorite people, who somehow finds time to work full time, run marathons, ensure that I make it to the marathon finish line, raise two adorable girls, and make fantastic cookies
- Coworkers old and new -- Beth, Kathleen, and Freedom Runner (who ran with me during the marathon, miles 13.5 to 18.5. I am so thankful that FR showed up at my office door one day to question me about my bike. She has been an amazing support, and I hope I can return the support as she continues on her athletic journey)
- The neighborhood folks -- Alex and Erika, who both completed the 2008 Chicago Marathon; Bill; and @ (really, @ belongs in a league of her own, being that she and I work together, live in the same neighborhood, and run together. She generally is there and supportive of Lou for all things. I hope I do the same for her)
- Chicago peeps -- Al, Annie, Justin (2008 Chicago Marathon finisher), Jason, Nikkie, Sid, Kristin
- Blog Friend RBR
- CARA pace groupie Vanessa
- And some guy named John
So a BIG THANK YOU!!!!!!! Now please enjoy some photos of our furry friends...
Ariel, Freedom Runner and hubby's, pooch from PAWS. Ariel is fantastic. And I know this because she's actually spent a fair amount of time at our house being an adorable and well behaved dog.