“Where’s Chris Scotch” 2010-2011 Campaign – Year in Review June 24, 2011Posted by whereschrisscotch in Uncategorized.
The past few months have been spent in mostly blog-free, and mostly run-free contemplation – will I continue with the campaign? Will I keep running. Keep running Ultra’s? What will I run for? How will I motivate?
I ran the Chippewa 50km in April still mired in my contemplation. I didn’t announce the race, nor write a recap. I wasn’t sure of the direction my the campaign and my running were headed. It was a tough race – I had not run much since Arrowhead in the beginning of February, and I paid the price for my lack of training. I finished, and looking back I guess I can go with “no pain, no gain”.
Then, as I approached the Chequamegon 100 MTB race May 21, the night before the race, I wanted to recap the past year of my campaign for Katelyn Atwell and St. Jude. The Cheq 100 was the first ultra event I participated in for the Where’s Chris Scotch campaign in 2010. I never completed the recap before the Cheq 100, nor did I do a recap. Still mired in contemplation it seemed. Maybe it was the frequent races from July to February, or their increasing length and intensity, taking a toll physically and mentally. Maybe it was not having a clear goal for my fundraising this year. Or maybe it was was neither, but now, as I sit here in Sturgis, SD on the eve of the Black Hills 100km, I am see the direction I have been seeking. First, a look back:
As a St. Jude Hero I competed in 20 events from May 2010 to February of 2011. 10 “ultra” events. 3 Marathons. 2 100 mile events on a bike. A couple 10k races and 3 skijor events. Roughly 1150 race miles. Races spanning 5k to 150 miles. In addition, through the help of friends and family, I was able to host the “Sushi Soiree” at Tiger Sushi in Minneapolis – an sushi and saki tasting event with a silent auction. In total, we raised a little over $7,00 over the course of the Where’s Chris Scotch campaign in 2010/2011, on behalf of Katelyn for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
This campaign and the funds raised were inspired by Katelyn and her love of life. Her outpouring of positive energy has also been the catalyst for amazing changes in my life over the 2010/2011 Where’s Chris Scotch campaign.
“The possibilities are only limited by what we can’t conceive.”
Committing to a fund raising campaign with no prior experience and no idea where to start was a challenge in itself. But with the help of Aunt Mari and Jodi I steadily started to learn the ropes. Danielle K from the local St. Jude office helped me shape my ideas and helped support me from the St. Jude side of things. Mariah, a friend of mine, introduced to the wide world of social media, and patiently guided me as I started a blog, facebook page and twitter account for the campaign. And the challenge of using running as the vehicle to drive my campaign. Not being a runner, and not particularly enjoying running, I knew I would have to commit to something I preferred not to do in my free time. So it seemed I had a pretty big uphill battle as I started to put things together last April, but Katelyn’s inspiration more then sufficed to get the ball rolling.
My vision for Where’s Chris Scotch, while always evolving, is long term. I will continue to raise money and awareness for St. Jude. And I will continue to run, but not because I want to challenge myself to do something I don’t enjoy, but because running is now something I embrace. The confidence I have gained in my running has spilled into my life. My outlook has changed and I feel happier. Trail running in particular, instills such a sense of joy. Ultra running will continue to challenge me, and there will be plenty of times that it will be down right tough, but that is part of the embrace. And I will continue to be active in the local ultra community, because without them, I wouldn’t have dared to push the limits to the lengths I have. The local ultra community is a group of people I feel immensely proud to call my friends. They support, they teach, they share, they churn out the long miles with you and they are genuine. There are too many to name personally, but if you have ever been a race director at a race I have run, or shared a pop tart on the trail with me, or gave kind words of support as you passed me on the trial, or offered advise on how to pack my sled, or trained with me, or helped watch Cooper while I was off running, or helped me pick out my gear, or offered your product to me to use, or fed me at an aid station, or cheered me on from the trailhead, or attended the Sushi Soiree, or donated to St. Jude, you know who you are. Thank you all.
I have discovered new places to explore while re-discovering old places. I have been to Oregon many, many times over the years. Last July I pondered the possibility of running an ultra in Oregon as part of my campaign and narrowed in on Where’s Waldo. By happenstance I knew that some people from Minnesota were signed up for Where’s Waldo. As a complete stranger, I timidly reached out to one of the runners, not really sure if I would get a reply. Little did I know that she would reply, but that my life would be completely changing from that point forward. Helen not only gave me advice for Waldo, but to this day is still trying to teach me to run, among other things. Helen and I hit it off from the moment we met last July the night before the Voyageur 50 – she had kindly offered to save some room at the campsite her and some friends secured. The weeks leading up to Where’s Waldo in August were spent getting to know each other and by the time we touched down in Oregon it seemed we had been friends for a lifetime. I have never met anyone that simultaneously supports and challenges me to the extents that she does in a way that always seems so natural. So you might say that because of Katelyn’s inspiration, I have discovered paths that I couldn’t fathom, and someone to run those trails with for a long, long time.
From the beginning of the campaign, through the challenges, the discoveries and all the crazy ideas I have come up with, my parents have been by my side. I can’t thank them enough, but I will try. Thank you for being at my races when you could. Thanks for crewing. Thanks for driving for hours. Thanks for putting up with my cranky moods and my post race complaints. Thanks for letting me cultivate a love for winter by raising me in northern Minnesota. Thanks for instilling a sense of adventure in me and fostering it as it sprouted. Thanks for being you.
In a few hours I will be waking up to head to the start line of the Black Hills 100km. And Helen will be at my side, at least for the start until she pulls away, and she will be there when I finish. I will see others of the MN ultra community and we will encourage each other throughout the day. I will run for St. Jude Children’s Hospital because of Katelyn’s inspiration. And I will run with a smile because I will be happy.