Friday, January 15, 2010


Back again! Another cause another run. After my last marathon in Berlin, in September 2009, I hit my max. I had it with running marathons. The road leading up to Berlin was particularly rough as I trained while trying to change my life 180 degrees. Paola I and decided to leave New York back in August, which was a difficult but necessary decision. New York is a great city, almost too good, which is precisely the problem. You never want to leave. And that's dangerous, because there's so much to see in this world. We loaded our apartment into a U-Haul and set off on a road trip, first across America. Five months on, we are still "on the road." Now living in Istanbul, we've embraced the nomadic life.

Returning to the Berlin marathon - training for a marathon in the summer sucks. The temperatures and humidity prevent optimal training, you always feel drained and dehydrated, and your weight due to water loss fluctuates constantly. On top of it all, I'd made it a personal goal of mine to run the marathon under 3h.11min in order to qualify for Boston. So the pressure was on, I was no longer just running to enjoy myself, but I was out to prove something. Stupid. A year of constant running also had other physical and psychological consequences - my iron levels were low and my running tank was dry. It was a struggle to convince myself on a daily basis to keep on going. When it's no longer fun, you better do something else, and how true that is. I thought about pulling out of the race, but I made a commitment to run it, and had put in all this training already, so I convinced myself into doing it - against all the signs. To make a long story short, Berlin was a disaster. I pulled out of the race with crippling stomach pains. Sick I know, but it's scary when your marathon turns into a toilet run. That was that. I decided on a long break, and technically, I'm still sticking to my decision. I probably won't run another marathon before the Fall of 2010.

But running has invaded my veins and provides me an escape from the daily life. My brother tells me it's an addiction. I suppose it is. And I'm trying to moderate it. Not running every day, and running shorter distances, but I keep running all the same.

Haiti, ladies and gentlemen! What a disaster! I feel so sorry for the Haitian people, who already have suffered so much. If there is a time I question God's justice, it's in moments like these. Why is it that the poorest of us, those who have already been served the short end of the stick, continue to suffer the gravest disasters -- floods, earthquakes, wars. Are some nations, some people, doomed forever? What a morbid thought. So, I figured I need to do something to help - it is my human duty to help my fellow citizens for we are all one, stuck on earth - at least for now.

About the Haiti relief project:

- Haiti most needs medical equipment, doctors, food, water, and sniffer dogs (for rescue operations).
- To help, Paola and I signed up to run the Barcelona half-marathon (Feb. 14, 2010) in order to raise money to buy medical supplies for Haiti.
- Partners in Health is a US based medical NGO which provides and, has been providing, medical assistance to Haiti since 1987.
- We will buy the medical supplies from Balton, a producer of medical equipment. Balton has agreed to give us a 20% discount on their distribution price (which comes out to around 50% discount on retail price) for all medical equipment we purchase for Haiti.
EDIT: - The medical supplies will be donated We are raising funds for direct donation to Partners in Health, a US based medical NGO which provides and, has been providing, medical assistance to Haiti since 1987.
- Partners in Health are on the ground in Haiti now, with doctors, mobile hospitals and medical supplies.
- The more we raise, the more medical equipment we can buy and the more lives we can help save.

EDIT: We've changed our fundraising approach because PayPal was wasting our time, and Partners in Health indicated they could better use cash donations than medical equipment. So, we've transferred all the funds received thus far directly to PIH and are continuing our fundraising efforts with FirstGiving. Your donations processed by FirstGiving will go directly to PIH for their immediate use. We've unfortunately had to cut Balton-- the Polish medical equipment supplier-- out of this equation, but this is the most transparent way of ensuring that your donations are promptly and efficiently used.

*A word about accounting. We wanted to set this up through JustGiving, as we did when we raised funds for WaterAid last year, but that structure wouldn't allow us to take advantage of the discount that Balton has offered to us on the medical equipment. So, we're doing this through PayPal. 100% of the funds we receive will be used to purchase medical equipment from Balton, in coordination with Partners in Health. We will keep you posted as to how our fundraiser is going.

Our objective: 10,000 Euro.

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