Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We Are Together

self-esteem: $9
sense of belonging: $12
role model: $6
play: priceless
Right To Play is an international humanitarian organization that uses sport and play programs to improve health, develop life skills, and foster peace for children and communities in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world. Right To Play trains local community leaders as Coaches to deliver its programs in countries affected by war, poverty, and disease in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and South America.  Right to play is supported by professional and olympic athletes worldwide.  Their icon is a red ball which has come to symbolize the rights of children, all children, to play.  I blogged some thoughts about Right To Play last February.  Go here.  
"We Are Together" is a commercial venture by Roots and Master Card to raise money for the Right To Play movement.  I don't often endorse multi-national corporations (actually never!) but I make an exception for this one.  Hats off to Master Card and Roots for joining forces and raising the profile of Right To Play.  Watch the video; it'll take 1 minute, 3 seconds of your time.  It's powerful.  

It's a good day to play.  


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Athens Marathon, Race Report by Terry

Congratulations to Terry B. for completing his third Team Diabetes Marathon.  The sixty-five runners collectively raised $402,000 for the Canadian Diabetes Association and Terry raised well over $6000.  What follows is a guest blog race report by Terry.  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 8:  Woke up at 4:00 AM and grabbed a quick breakfast, ready in time to catch the bus to historic Marathon, Greece. Just prior to leaving the hotel it started to rain and finally as we were ready to leave it started to pour. We had a 20 minute walk to the bus and by the time we got to the bus everything and everybody was drenched. We all had wet shoes, socks, and running gear. After a 45 minute bus ride we were dropped off at the start line but we still had almost 2 hours to wait until the race started. The rain lightened up but continued to fall until well into the race. Every step was squishy and uncomfortable. We were all wet, cold and shivering until the race started. The race committee provided us with a plastic garbage bag to put over ourselves to keep us dry. Too little, too late.
9:00 AM and the race begins among a release of hundreds of balloons. I expected the Athens Marathon would be bigger than it was. There were less than 4,000 full marathoners entered, so it didn’t take us too long to get from where we started to the actual start line. It felt good to start running as I got warmed up very quickly. The Marathon to Athens run is basically split into three segments. The first 10 kilometers are pretty level but we all knew what was coming next. From km 10 to km 31 was all uphill. I had done a lot of hill training in Winnipeg so I felt pretty strong for the first 18 km of hills. At 28km I developed a cramp in my left calf and over the next couple of km’s because of favoring the left leg, I got a cramp in my right quad muscle. At that point I figured I better back off and for the next 7 kms I walked more than I ran. I was able to finish the last 5 kms running so I was happy with that. The last 11km’s were pretty flat and in fact the last km was downhill. We finished the Marathon in the original Modern Day Olympic Stadium which was pretty cool. This Stadium was built in 1896 and all the seats  were carved out of marble. They use marble in Greece like we use wood here in Canada. I finished the Marathon in 5hrs and 5minutes. My goal going in was 4hrs 45minutes so I was 20 minutes off my target. Finishing in that Stadium was the highlight of the course.
I am also going to ask that if any of you has any goals of running or walking a Marathon, half-marathon or 10 kms that you give me a call. Team Diabetes is looking for participants and it is a great way to meet new people, raise money for a great cause and visit parts of the World that you might not otherwise get to. Team Diabetes does about 6 events a year and I can fill you in on next year’s destinations. It would also allow me to sponsor you in appreciation of your support.
Thank YOU Terry for all that you do for the Canadian Diabetes Association.  You should be proud of your accomplishments; we certainly are!  Cheers,  Mike