Announcing the 2010 RunningBrooke Beneficiaries!

Dear Friends, Family and Neighbors-

I'm very excited to announce the charities I've chosen to run for in 2010.  As you know, I've committed to running a marathon on every continent, in each of the 50 states, and the five marathon majors -- a marathon a month -- to raise awareness of and raise money for local Alexandria charities.  I pay all of my own travel expenses and related fees; a donation is 100% tax deductible.   I've partnered  with ACT for Alexandria, a 501 (c)(3) organization which collects charitable dollars and directs them to the organizations I ask.  As promised, every dollar I raise stays in Alexandria, benefitting at-risk children and their families here in our community.

Without further adieu, the 2010 RunningBrooke beneficiaries are:

  1. Girls on the Run (GOTR).  This innovative organization has the mission of educating and preparing girls (8-13) for a lifetime of healthy living through training for a 5k running event and self-esteem enhancing lessons that encourage positive emotional and physical development.  Programs can be found in many Alexandria Elementary Schools.
  2.  Community Lodgings.  Community Lodgings helps lift disadvantaged families from homelessness to self-sufficiency through the Transitional and Affordable Housing Programs, and youth and adult education programs held at the Fifer Family Learning Center.  They operate in the Arlandria area and are very neighborhood-based.
  3. The Reading Connection.  The Reading Connection opens books and changes lives by creating literacy-rich environments for at-risk children.  Volunteers read aloud to children at shelters and community centers and free (new) books are given.  There are literacy workshops for the adults in the family.
  4. ACT for Alexandria.  The ACT Community Fund pools charitable dollars from people throughout the city, and directs funds to support and strengthen existing programs, as well as create new collaborative solutions to the city's pressing needs.  Every dollar from ACT's Community Fund helps people in our own backyard.
  5. Child and Family Network Centers (CFNC).  The 2009 RunningBrooke beneficiary -- I granted $20,000 to them in February of 2010 -- is an invaluable center which provides free preschool and free social services for at-risk children and their families.  The centers work in local communities within Alexandria and provide preschool, ESL classes (English as a Second Language), job training and social services, such as hearing and vision screening.

    Me and kids from one of the classrooms at CFNC's Birchmere location.
I'm feeling great!  Since January, I've run a marathon in Orlando, FL (Jan.), Sedona, AZ (Feb.), Las Vegas, NV (Mar.), Oklahoma City, OK (Apr.), Eugene, OR (May), The Great Wall of China (May), and Duluth, MN (Jun.).  Australia --The Outback -- (Jul.) is next!  In August I'll be in Anchorage, AK, in September, Akron, OH, in October, Denver, CO, in November, Raleigh, NC and December, Kiawah Island, SC.  Phew!

Feel inspired to CONTRIBUTE?  I pay all of my own travel expenses and related fees.  100% of you donation goes to those in need, and is 100% tax deducible.  Remember to designate The RunningBrooke Fund in the comment box (online) or in the memo line (snail mail).

Birds-1, Brooke-0

I'm a Nature Lover -- one of the reason why I run; seasons, landscapes, unexpected beauty that suddenly unfolds.  I'm a Nature Nurturer.  Proof positive by these eggs I've been watching, actually protecting.

But I'm mad.

The birds and I are in a grape war.    I water and I tend.  I watch, they watch.  We wait.  One day, all is well.  The next, the birds attack.  They attack and eat and splatter grape juices along the house wall.

Proof.  And I'm so very mad...

Realistic owls perfectly positioned don't phase them (so last year).  2010 Plan.  I've strung fishing line, a lot of fishing line, across and in front of (see picture below) the grapes (birds are frightened when their wings touch the string).  But the sneaky devils quickly learned to attack from the top and the bottom (not from the front).  I guess I'll be stringing more line tomorrow, a lot more line...

My counter attack.

Cheers; it's a beautiful day for a run, or a pool run...


Wardian breaks World Record!

Mike Wardian did it!

Arlingtonian and Super-Dad Mike, attempted to and beat the indoor marathon world record last Thursday at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center.

Running inside, with ongoing volley and basketball games center court, Mike ran around, and around, 211 times to blast through the old record of 2:34:54 (Boston, 1928).  Mike came in at 2:27:21 with his family (wife, parents and two sons) and friends cheering him on and regular rec-center users staring in disbelief.

I made it 10 miles before finishing up my long run with 6 outside.  I don't know how he did it.  After 100 times around, those turns were killing me.  But I made it back in time to see Mike finish.  Awesome!

WardianWinning.jpgMike setting his world record.

Mike and me warming up...

Cheers and by the way, Mike was the one who came up with the idea of my running a marathon-a-month!  And we're still friends...