Dustin’ off the Cobwebbs (5k results!)

This year, we ran for Team Alan.

While this was a “run where you are” event, I didn’t receive any pictures/times from 5ks out in the world, but you did something more important — you donated. When I announced the event last week, Team Alan still needed $1500 to make their goal. Now that number is down to under $800. I’m told this last stretch was largely from people who donated during our final push here, so if you donated at least $25 and I owe you a signed book, please let me know via my contact form.

In Denver, we had a team of five runners and one dog.


Here we are celebrating with a beer after the finish line, and I have to commend our runners who weren’t used to the altitude and/or had too much fun celebrating Halloween the night before.

You might have also noticed that I shaved my beard. You know that Halloween fun the night before I mentioned? Check out my costume:


Know who I was for Halloween? Leave your guess in the comments below.

Thanks again to all those who donated or helped spread the word!


Worldwide WP 5k — For Alan!

Yep, it’s happening again!

WordPress, the site I use to host this blog, is doing their annual online 5k. It’s a physical event without a singular physical location; that is to say, you run/walk where you are, but through the magic of the internet, it’s one cohesive event.

I joined in a few years back, along with some of you–Dear Reader community–and then blogged about the results. But I haven’t joined the event for the last few years because I’m pretty bad at staying consistent with this whole social media thing. (Anybody remember when I used to do Humpday Hypothetical or Trivia Friday on Facebook? Yeah, me neither.)

But this year, it’s even more important to join in!

When I saw the WordPress announcement email, I thought of one person in particular–my US Air Force Academy classmate, Alan Martinez. He was hit by a drunk driver in 2012 and his recovery has been slow, but steady (like some of us on our 5ks). His family still needs our help. Here’s how we can step up:

The Worpress Worldwide 5k “runs” from now until Novemeber 1st. You can run or walk 3.1 miles (5 kilometers) anytime during this window and be part of the event. But get this: The Martinez family is already hosting a virtual charity run. So, as an online community, we get to run a race together for a great cause.

Your To-Do list:

Results will be posted on this site and the #1 racer of each gender will have an extra $25 donated in your name for Alan.

Here’s the real kicker: Team Alan still needs to raise around $1500 to pay for Alan’s recovery, and specifically, his speech therapy. So, if we can rally to raise the money, I…will…shave my head and beard. And I’ll record a video and post the excruciating results of my looking like a freshly-shorn lamb.

Want to see what this face looks like naked?
Want to see what this face looks like naked?

Interested?  Hit me up with a comment below or drop me a line to let me know you’re in or for more info/questions.

UPDATE: The results. See how we did!

UPDATE 2: The Martinez family is still accepting donations, so hop on over and contribute and I’ll extend the offer to shave my head. Hair today, gone tomorrow….

“Run for Alan” Sponsorship

Almost 18 months ago, one of my Air Force Academy classmates was hit by a drunk driver. He was lucky enough to survive but recovery has been difficult. Alan lived just down the hall from me at USAFA, so when I learned that his family was raising funds for his recovery, I knew I wanted to help spread the word.

Per-Mile Fundraiser, Jan 8 - Feb 28

Now through the end of the month, you can go to the Run for Alan fundraiser site and pledge support for Alan or get others to sponsor you through running or walking throughout February. New people who join and raise at least $25 I will send a signed book.

Just to reiterate, if you raise at least $25, I will sign a copy of either MURDERED or INFECTED and mail it to you, free of charge. If you already own the book, I’ll send it to whoever you’d like.

From the website:

In September of 2012 Alan Martinez (US Air Force Academy C/O 2006) was hit by a drunk driver on his way to work. He suffered serious brain and body injuries. Over a year later, Alan has been making incredible strides towards a full recovery. In order to get to his physical therapy treatments, however, his family is in great need of a handicapped-accessible van.

This fund-raiser will directly support the family in purchasing the much needed van. The proceeds will go through the local non-profit church, enabling your contributions to be tax-deductible.”

If you’re unable to donate yourself, please spread the word by sharing this blog post or the direct link to the charity event: https://www.athlete.com/events/177/run-for-alan

Thank you!

A charity that’s no monkey business

Author’s note: From time to time, I have promotions on twitter.  When @Weaverwerx became my 300th follower, I offered a prize.  Highlighting this charity was his request, which I am pleased to honor.

Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary is a  501(c)3 non-profit organization, located on 12 acres in Gainesville, Florida.  Their mission is to rescue and offer a permanent, safe haven for monkeys from around the United States who have been abused, confiscated by authorities, retired from research, or who are ex-pets.

In a way, this issue strikes me on a personal level.  I lived in Great Falls, Montana for a number of years.  There was this little pet shop downtown with a glass facade where the same captive monkey would look out at passers by with a blank stare.  Among my friends, we lamentably called him “the saddest monkey in the world”.  Mostly, the monkey was kept in the back and the few visitors who happened by could clearly see the poor little guy had lost his mind.

monkey behind glass
Such is the life of a captive monkey.

Fortunately, Montana no longer allows the sale of monkeys for pets.  However, that pet store still has a supply of monkeys “for out of state buyers.”  If Jungle Friends aims to end such cruelty, this is a mission I can fully support.  From their website:

Jungle Friends discourages the keeping of primates as ‘pets’ and we hope the practice of stealing baby monkeys from their natural mothers will end. Baby monkeys are literally pulled from their protective mothers, sometimes when they are only three days old, to be sold as ‘pets’. It is not hard to imagine the horror both baby and mother monkey must feel during this traumatic and forced separation. Sadly, it can take a lifetime for the grief-stricken mother to come out of a depression brought on by this thievery and there are always scars left on mother and baby from such cruelty.