If you want to go far, go together

Pledge your donation to Breakthrough Central Texas by completing this Google Form by October 24. My 6-hour run will occur that day.

Every race I’ve run in has had a finish line. 5k to 50k; there was always a destination. I often wondered, “What would happen if I didn’t stop?” 

Through the anxiety of a global pandemic and the greatest civil rights efforts in the past 50 years, I’ve found the healthiest thing for me was to get outside and exercise. As my Saturday long runs through this summer and fall slowly increased in distance, I pondered the pain of mile accumulation.

Was my life pain-free to the extent that I volunteered for it by continuing to push myself to go farther? I thought of those with preexisting conditions who couldn’t risk outdoor exercise. I thought about Ahmaud Arbery. I thought of my former students who are navigating and inheriting a world that feels uncertain. I thought of Tommy Rivs who went from almost qualifying for the Olympic Marathon to battling lung cancer. Running is inherently a privilege. I spent a lot of miles feeling this. Then I spent a lot of miles wondering what to do about it. 

What if I start running at 6 am and end at noon? How many miles would I log? And what if every mile I run means something tangible? 

Help me find out. 

On October 24, I’m running for 6 hours straight. I am asking friends, family, and strangers to make a “Pledge Per Mile”: You choose the amount to donate per mile, and I’ll run as many miles as possible within the 6-hour timeframe. I anticipate I’ll cover somewhere between 35-40 miles. The amount you “Pledge Per Mile” is then multiplied by the total number of miles ran, with 100% of pledges benefitting Breakthrough Central Texas. If you pledge $0.50 per mile and I run 36 miles, your donation will be $18. If you pledge $1.50 per mile, your donation will be $60.

Breakthrough Central Texas creates a path to and through college for students who will become the first in their families to earn a college degree. Breakthrough supports hundreds of traditionally underserved students’ educational journeys. Through COVID and recent economic downturns, that meant doing more than their typical advising and leadership programs — it meant providing students with hotspots and families with food. For the high school class of 2019 Breakthrough students, 90% enrolled directly into college. Students participating in Breakthrough are 7x more likely to earn a college degree. Educational achievement and enablement is imperative to improve access and equity. And hey, maybe one of these students can become the next Dr. Fauci.

So what do you do next? Go to this Google Form and make a pledge. After my run on October 24, you will be notified by email with your donation total and directed to a unique page on Breakthrough’s website to complete the donation.

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