Dear Friends and Family-With the holidays here, you reflect on the things which make you grateful, but sometimes search for that something larger...that bond or connection with others and the chance to make a difference. As you know, The runningbrooke Fund is all about giving our at-risk neighbors the education and life-skills needed for independence. Since May of 2009, we(you and I) have raised and donated over $90,000.00 and helped hundreds realize their dream. You're awesome!
*Thank you to ALL that have made this happen. Each time you give, a child's life is changed. If you haven't had a chance to donate this year, here are the top five reasons to give to The runningbrooke Fund:
- 100% of your donation goes to 5 proven Alexandria, VA-based charities. These charities arm our at-risk neighbors with a pre-school education/high school tutoring, job training, social services and much more.
- Your gift is 100% tax deductible. Get that much-needed end-of-the-year tax credit. ACT for Alexandria will send a receipt for your tax purposes.
- While we've raised $41,000 so far this year (as of 9/30), we have 9K left to meet our 2011 goal. Can you help? 9K equals 18,000 new books to kids that have none (no kidding).
- Donate $250+ before 11:59 PM on December 31st, and receive 2 free tickets to the Zumba Explosion event-of-the-year (1/29/12 -- see side bar for event details), major recognition and some cool runningbrooke paraphernalia!
- People feel happier when they give. 79% of Americans agreed that they'd rather get a gift in their honor than receive a gift they can't use. 4 in 5 Americans agree that helping someone less fortunate is part of their holiday tradition. Make it yours too... (American Red Cross website)
** RunningBrooke Announcements **
1. I'm excited to join the Allergy & Asthma Network, Mothers of Asthmatics(AANMA) Board of Directors. AANMA is a national nonprofit patient education and advocacy organization that provides consumer-friendly information about asthma and allergies. Many of you may remember our work together at Asthma Awareness Day on Capitol Hill last Spring.
2. Zumba Explosion 2012 -- a runningbrooke fundraiser. Dance off those holiday pounds and keep your New Year's resolution! Join Alexandria's ownrunningbrooke and five Zumba instructors from X-Factor Fitness (for personal attention and questions) for a rockin' time.
A fun-filled Sunday afternoon (NO football -- this is the weekend in between the Play-Offs and Superbowl) for everyone. Bring your friends and learn something new. Get the details HERE!
*Special MC, Maureen Bunyan ABC7/WJLA-TV.
**All proceeds benefit Alexandria charities**
3. Antarctica Countdown. T minus 76 days! The Antarctica Marathon race director emailed this to me the other day... **"Your Antarctica adventure is less than 90 days away. Please review the following..." -- and then he said:
"You are traveling to the coldest, iciest, windiest and most remote corner of the planet and a most inhospitable location for a running event."
Yeah, BRING IT ON!
4. Evening in the Heart of Alexandria Video. Thanks again Volunteer Alexandria for the honor and recognition!
and now, without further ado:
The Rehoboth Beach, DE Marathon
(12/10/11 -- state #31, marathon #42)
Delaware is the second smallest state in the Union -- only Rhode Island is smaller -- and is the lowest lying state -- it is flat! -- with the average elevation of only 60 feet. Located in the eastern section of the Delmarva Peninsula, between the Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay, Delaware is a straight shot from the DC beltway (home base). No planes, no layovers, and took the regular-sized toothpaste -- small pleasures make me happy.Once over the Bay Bridge, we passed through miles and miles of farmland and then mostly closed-for-the-season fruit and vegetable stands. Delaware grows a variety of fruits and vegetables and is a U.S. pioneer in the food-canning industry. Corn, soybeans, potatoes, and hay are significant crops, and Delaware's broiler-chicken farms satisfy the consumer chicken demand for big Eastern markets. Fishing and dairy play an important role too.
Random DE factoids in random order:
Factoid #1: English ship captain Samuel Angall named the river and bay separating Delaware and New Jersey after the governor of the English Colony, Lord De La Warr. Delaware takes it name from that river and bay and became our first state in 1787.
Factoid #2: The state bird is the blue hen chicken and the official state bug is ladybug.
Factoid #3: Since 1950, the spotlight at the annual Delmarva Chicken Festival has been a 10' (in diameter) frying pan that holds 180 gallons of oil and fries 800 chicken quarters at a time.Factoid #4: DuPont -- maker of chemicals and pharmaceuticals -- is Delaware's second largest employer (second only the Delaware state government).
Rehoboth Beach and the Marathon. Though very quiet in December, it was easy to imagine sunburned families eating ice cream while strolling on the wooden boardwalk. The main avenue is built and ready for the summer vacationers. But in December, it's cold -- about 35 or 40 degrees -- and perfect marathon weather! There were more runners than I had expected as we gathered around the bandstand for the 7 AM race start. I looked for people whom I knew were there too -- friends from Pacers Running Stores in Alexandria, Paula from ME, Dave and his wife from MA, Jane from Alexandria, VA, and Frank from Arlington, VA. Ken and Kath from FL rode with me after flying into Reagan National. I didn't see anyone, then heard "Brooke!" It was Frank -- we are friends on Facebook but have never met. Frank is an athlete of heroic proportions whose workouts often include running with logs and/or tractor tires on his back. Wow. It was 26.2 miles of laughter hearing his crazy stories. In addition to the camaraderie, it was a beautiful day for a run. The course is scenic -- through quiet towns, along sandy wind-swept roads and through silent parkland. At about mile 20, I connected with two of the Pacers' Running Store ladies -- one of whom was trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon and needed to run a sub 3:40. I was supposed to run with her the whole way, but we didn't connect at the start... I was lucky to find her and run the last five miles together. Way to qualify Heather!
(that turned good)
The Speeding Ticket. I've been a little unlucky in this department recently but that day, the gods were smiling, and I got off with a warning!
The Ugly (no ugly, sorry...)
RunningBrooke Sponsor Highlight
Mark G. Anderson Consultants (MGAC). Mark and his team are ready to manage the complexities of any design and construction program -- locally, nationally, internationally -- with precision, capability and focus. They provide project management services to a diverse group of unique clients. Ever been to the International Spy Musuem in Washington DC? Yep, that's MGAC.
Happy holidays to you and your family -- see you in the New Year!
|Near Rehoboth Beach, DE -- photo by Paula Jean L. from ME.|
|Back in Alexandria and with Kath and Ken from FL.|