Thursday, September 1, 2011

Running to Help Others

Many of of you know that after the disaster that took do many lives last March here in Japan, I wanted to do something to help. I decided to create the "Running to Help Japan" project. This was something I could do by myself to help raise money to help the kids in northern Japan. I am a teacher and have made my career caring for and teaching children. I also have a young son and my heart broke to see so many children, so close to me, who no longer had anything.

I did some research and decided I would work to raise money for Save the Children.

This is an organization who works to improve the lives of children throughout the world. They had set up teams here in Japan immediately after the earthquake and tsunami to help the youngest victims. They seemed like the perfect fit for my fundraising goals.

 Although I know I am not a gifted runner, I am a decent one. I am a "mid-pack" marathoner with an incredibly high pain threshold and stuborness. I am also a runner who day dreams often of running distances far beyond that of a regular marathon. This was my chance. This was a chance for me to push my body and mind to a place they had never been before.

At the same time, raising funds for a good cause. On June 25th, 2011, I ran 60km or 37.5 miles in the blistering heat here in Kobe. It took me more than 6 hours, but I did it. In the process I raised $3917.00. It was an amazing experience. I have never felt so many emotions all at once. I felt pain, joy, pain, excitement, pain and did I mention pain?

This was something I never could have done without the support of my You Tube viewers, my Facebook friends, my real-life friends, family, Twitter followers and of course the article written about Running to Help Japan in the Cape Breton Post. I have to give a special thanks to the sports writer, T.J. Colello. His story really got the financial ball rolling for this charity drive and really got the fire lit under me!

I also have to thank several friends of mine in the Japan You Tube community who supported me so much. I have to thank (these are their You Tube names): qiranger, WarmothStrat (Mully and Misses Mully), softpapa, FindMeInKurume, Gimmeabreakman, DimPerrin, Ozzy78, Micknfumi and the many others who helped.

Another special thanks goes out to Edward at the Japan Talk podcast for his amazing support and shout outs for my ultra marathon. It is now September and I am now smack back in the middle of training again.

On October 30th I will run in the first ever Osaka Marathon. 3 weeks later, I will run in the first ever Kobe Marathon.

What will happen after that?  

I am thinking about something big. I am thinking about running to help a new charity and am thinking about something even grander in scale than the last time! 80km? Maybe a multi-day event? Should I walk across part of Japan? It will be something big for sure. I want to push myself more and more. I also want to raise funds for a worthy cause while doing so.

Any suggestions on my next adventure? (leave a comment)

 A little more about why I did what I did. Here is an amazing song by another Canadian living in Japan. "Blackwater" is a song written and performed by John Jenzen who lives in Nagoya, Japan. He wrote it after reading about an entire bus filled with kindergarten children was swept away by the tsunami.



Kurt said...

Keep it up, Kevin! You are doing wonderful things. ~Kurt :-)

Scott Brown said...

Really hard to listen to that song knowing the truth behind it. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

As for your next big project you could run/walk a course that started with a town's or city's name and spelled out the message you want to get across. A sort of acronym like RUN FOR THEIR LIVES!

Sure you could find towns with those first letters that would link up to 80K or so.

Frederick said...

Hi Kevin
Like Kurt wrote, you are doing wonderful things! The song made me start crying because I do remember what happened!
I still hope to be on October 30 in Osaka to support you by shouting "Go Kevin! Go!" at the Osaka marathon.

QiRanger said...

Glad we were able to help out! I think you need to get off that island you call home and run in another country. Maybe tie in a Canadian marathon on your next trip home?