Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mark Your Calendar for Runners Without Borders!

Many of you are aware of the ongoing crisis in the Horn of Africa, the result of a complicated nexus of war, famine, and a broad range of other geopolitical factors, both short and long term. Somalis have endured instability and factional violence for more than 30 years, well before the current Somali Civil War began with Siad Barre's ouster in 1991, but recent droughts and genocidal campaigns have made life much, much worse in recent months for Somalia's people. (All photos by Brendan Bannon.)

The easiest thing to do in a seemingly hopeless situation like the one in Somalia is to shrug your shoulders, sigh, and change the channel. After all, what difference could a single person make? Fortunately, that's not the approach of my friend Scott. A former Peace Corps volunteer, ultrarunner, and all-around good guy, Scott has decided to organize an event to raise funds for Doctors Without Borders, an international humanitarian organization that provides emergency medical care to populations in danger, in more than sixty countries around the world, every single year. That event, Runners Without Borders, will be held at Lory State Park on Saturday, October 22, 2011. I'll be there, and I hope you will, too.

The basic idea is this: Scott has designated two loops in Lory State Park (part of the trails also go into Horsetooth Mountain Park - see Scott's blog for a detailed map.) On October 22, between 8 am and 4 pm, for every runner (or hiker, or biker) who completes either of the two trail loops, Scott will donate one dollar to Doctors Without Borders. If you complete both loops, Scott will donate two dollars. If you complete one loop 2 times, that's two dollars. 10 loops, 10 dollars. You get the idea. Since then, a number of other runners have also stepped up to pledge funds to match Scott's gifts, so who knows how many dollars each loop may be worth by the end of the day.

I am pledging five dollars per loop that I run, and I'll pledge one dollar for every loop that you run (or walk, or bike), too -- up to fifty dollars. I wish I could give more, but truly, every gift counts. As an efficient, experienced organization, Doctors Without Borders can accomplish a lot with even a small gift. $35 provides two high-energy emergency meal-replacement biscuits per day for 11 children for a week. $50 provides vaccinations for 50 people against meningitis, measles, polio or other deadly epidemics. $100 means that 40 wounded patients can reap the benefits of infection-fighting antibiotics. And larger gifts can accomplish even more.

Perhaps you're already familiar with the trails at Lory & Horsetooth, but on the off chance that you're not -- and as an added incentive to participate -- Jasper and Gus decided to preview the "grande route" loop to show you just what a beautiful course Scott has put together for the Runners Without Borders event. Check it out!

Near the start of the loop, a view over the valley.

Near the trail junction of Towers and Stout.

Nice vista along the Stout Trail.

Doesn't this look like scenic fun?

Another great view, this one from the Mill Creek Trail.

Forested switchbacks on the Mill Creek Trail.

Descending toward the start/finish in Lory State Park.

Hope to see you at Runners Without Borders on October 22. See you on the trail!
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1 Comments:

Blogger Slush said...

Your support is so important to me, thank you so much! -Slsuh

10:24 AM  

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