Thursday, February 3, 2011

Atacama Extreme, Beast of Burden 100 mile Taper, and the I Believe Run

I can't seem to find the right words to say about my amazing friend and coach Ray Zahab, who is currently running across the Atacama desert in Chile! Things started out mentally tough in the beginning. His friend and partner for the expedition had to back out after his father became ill. Ray decided to continue with the expedition as schools were signed on to follow the adventure. So on he pushes, alone for a good deal of time - but not completely alone thank goodness. He's got a great team down there helping him out which includes Impossible2Possible's Bob Cox (who is also running with Ray at various points). The team is posting really incredible videos of the journey at - check them out! One of Ray's wishes during this expedition is to bring awareness to the NEXT expedition, Expedition Jordan. 4 youth ambassadors will be selected to go along on the journey at no charge, all the while communicating with schools all around the globe via video conferencing and an interactive website. All schools who participate do so at no cost, so if you're reading this and are an educator I would encourage you to sign up now! Such a fun way to learn, and I continue to wish I had something like this available to me when I was in school! (long long ago in a city far far away).

To apply for the youth ambassador position go to the following:

Schools/teachers if you'd like to follow along at no charge (includes video conferencing, interactive website, blogs, education modules, class exercises, and videos) go to:

I can't believe it's almost here. So many times throughout training I wondered if I should quit, back out - be done. I'm glad I didn't back out. I had so much support along the way, my amazing runner partner Crystal Basich - so experienced, supportive, and patient with my slow self! My husband, for waking up to come on early runs with me and sometimes running longer than he really wanted to himself. Excellent friend Charlie Bolek, who braved some long runs with me - always with a smile on his face and never a complaint. My son - for waking up each weekend to his "list" (haha) of studying and chores to do until I got back. Tanya Cady and Daniel Bellinger - tons of experience between them and always ready and willing to give tons of advice. Sandi Nypaver, Rachel Nypaver, Steve Hawthorne - for their kind words, support and one last good running weekend! And certainly a big thanks goes out to my coach Ray, who despite a tough couple of months of his own - dealing with the death of a close friend and dealing with his own crazy schedule - has supported me through training. (Especially on my completely awesome "I QUIT" breakdown day. OH YEAH - CLASSIC!) I couldn't do this stuff without all of my awesome friends and family! THANK YOU!

List of registered B.O.B runners can be found here:

I don't know how Beast will turn out, but I know one thing. I'll be trying my best and giving 100%. Trying my best at running, and trying my best to have tons of fun. Thanks so much to everyone who's sent me well wishes already, your support means alot to me and I'll be thinking about all of you as I run! xoxo! (I think by the time Beast is over I'll finally be over the snow and ready for the warm Canyons of Mexico!)

A great group came out for the Nypaver's I BELIEVE run this past weekend. Driving to the starting location I was getting a little nervous because it was cold and rainy, but luckily the rain stopped. Even though I was wearing my smartwool socks it took a few miles for my feet to warm up, but eventually they felt cozy and all was good. Our group laughed and ran the whole way, and I'm grateful to have been able to participate in the last few miles of their run. Sandi and Rachel raised an incredible amount of moeny for the United Way. The twins are amazing role models for not only our youth, but really society as a whole. Excellent job you two! The grand finale was at Edgewater Park, where champagne and homemade cookies were waiting for everyone. After that we took a trip to Johnny Mangoes, where the twin's mother paid for every one's meal. Congrats Rachel and Sandi on an excellent run, and for raising so much money for a great cause!

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