Another week in the books…and a bunch of news to share from both the SMA and endurance sports worlds. As usual, I’ll first briefly discuss a couple of updates on Spinal Muscular Atrophy (“SMA”), and then I’ll summarize some interesting races that went down over the weekend.
At DAWS, we realize that there are a number of charities that are dialed in to fighting SMA – the number one genetic killer of kids under the age of two in the world. Each charity has its own niche – it’s own way of fitting in to the fight. Since DAWS was founded by a group of runners that united for a common goal, our niche within this fight is raising awareness and donations through fund raisers that are geared toward running to assist with research and help families. When other SMA charities announce something interesting, it’s in the best interests of the overall fight against this disease to share such news with anyone that reads this blog. So without further adieu, here we go:
DAWS: our current event – a virtual 5k simply called The Fourth Awakens – has sold out! Proceeds will help us toward our goals of providing help in the fight to finding a cure…and helping SMA families all along with way. I want to thank everyone that signed up, making our fourth virtual run another success! Please check out our website at www.doawaywithsma.org.
Fight SMA: No new news this week.
Cure SMA: Another research grant was issued, helping in the fight for a cure, to a doctor at Johns Hopkins University.
The SMA Trust: a U.K.-based charity has several challenge events on the calendar – I’ll mention them below. In addition, they are funding a UK SMA Research Consortium for SMA over the next 3 years. The consortium will consist of world-class research/clinical experts based in Oxford, Edinburgh, London and Sheffield Universities. The intention is to form an initial nucleus that will, in time, draw together other leading UK scientists.
Spinal Muscular Atrophy Support U.K.: Another great U.K.-based charity, they issued a new book called SMA Type 2 and Me, which is written for children and provides a basic understanding of the disease. (I’m going to leave this update within my blog posts going forward, in the hope that people will use this book for educational purposes.)
Upcoming SMA Events
May 10th 2016: Cure SMA’s NYC chapter is holding an event called An Evening of Hope in the west village section of Manhattan. Wine and chocolate tastings are a part of the fun!
June 16th – 19th 2016: Cure SMA is holding its Annual Conference in Disneyland. Here, parents and SMA kids as well as researchers from all over the country can meet up and be a part of numerous sessions that focus on research progress and sharing of information.
July 12th 2016: (and I think this a great idea!) The Spinal Muscular Atrophy Support UK is sponsoring a Shoesday event. Here – I’ll let their web page speak for itself: http://www.smasupportuk.org.uk/shoesday
September 14th – 18th 2016: The SMA Trust will take part in the London to Paris Bike Ride!
September 29th 2016: DAWS, alongside the gang of the WDW Today podcast, will hold its inaugural World SlowChase. The event will take place at Walt Disney World’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival, as we slowly chase each other through Epcot to taste and sip the offerings of the International Showcase Pavilions. As part of this adventure, you will receive a custom WDW Today Bottle Opener, a lanyard, a backpack and other goodies. (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wdw-todays-world-slowchase-a-do-away-with-sma-benefit-tickets-21967847423)
October 2016: DAWS will have representation in the Chicago (10/9), Nationwide Childrens’ Hospital (10/16), Marine Corps (10/30) and TCS New York City (11/6) Marathons in order to raise awareness and donations to fight SMA. If you’re in town, come on down to the courses and hand out some high fives!
The SMA Angels Annual Charity Ball is scheduled to take place on November 21st 2016. Please feel free to check out their website for additional details.
If you know of any other SMA news that you’d like us to share, just let us know!
OK – thanks for taking a moment to check out our update on the fight against SMA. Since DAWS was founded by a bunch a fun-loving endurance athletes with a special fondness for running, we’re focusing the remainder of this weekly blog on a synopsis of some big races…and a preview of things to be on the lookout for this coming weekend.
There were some fantastic races last week, the biggest of which was the London Marathon – another of the World Marathon Majors. In addition, marathons at Big Sur, Madrid, and the Gettysburg took to the roads! Let’s talk about them briefly, one by one…
We’ll start with Gettsburg. This is a fantastic, small, scenic race that allows the runners to challenge themselves with hills throughout the run. This is a very quiet, beautiful course that less than 400 people finished last weekend. I ran this race in 2012, and I can tell you that it’s small-town charm and the tough early hills makes this course a challenge – a very worth-while challenge to experience. The winning men’s time was 2:53, and the winning female’s time was 3:13.
Runners also got to waddle through the streets of Madrid, Spain this weekend. The Rock n Roll Marathon series came to town in this lovely European city, and along with it came the music stations that is the centerpiece of this race series. The winning men’s time was 2:33, and the winning women’s time was 3:06.
Let’s move on to Big Sur. This is a race that sells out within a day, has incredible vistas, and challenging hills throughout. One of the best moments on the course, in my humble opinion, is the gentleman playing a grand piano on a part of the course that overlooks the Pacific Ocean in an absolutely breathtaking way. This race is worth the effort to get in, all the hard work to prepare for the course, and the achiness that accompanies the effort that it takes to cross the finish line. The winning men’s time was 2:35 and the winning women’s time was 3:01.
Last but not least, let’s talk about the London Marathon. This is one of the World Marathon Majors (along with New York City, Boston, Chicago, Berlin and Tokyo), and its reputation is second to none. The course itself is fantastic – a runner tour through history. It’s also one of the best marathons for charities, as THOUSANDS of runners toe the line to raise money for important causes. If you are ever going to travel for a European marathon, London is one of the best to experience.
The highlight of the day was provided by Tatyana McFadden. The female pishrim champion won the Boston Marathon on Monday, then flew to London and held off the competition six days later. Simply an amazing feat. Another great moment came from the men’s professional field, as the winner missed a world record marathon time by 3 seconds, finishing in 2:03:05. The winning women’s time was 2:22:58. As you can see, London is a great course to shoot for a Boston Qualifying time, if that’s one of your personal goals.
NOTE: If you want to sign up for the lottery for the 2017 London Marathon, it opens on Monday, May 2nd and closes Friday, May 6th. So log in, sign up, and cross your fingers….until October, when the results are announced!!!
Our podcast – Running Coast 2 Coast (available on Itunes!) – will have one of the London Marathon finishers, Emma Godbold, on with us to discuss the course and the day’s events! Stay tuned!
There are some great marathons going on this upcoming weekend, including:
Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon
St. Jude Rock n Roll Country Music Marathon in Nashville, Tennessee
The North Face Endurance Challenge arrives in Bear Mountain, New York
The Flying Pig Marathon
Long Island Marathon
The New Jersey Marathon
The San Luis Obispo Marathon
The OC Marathon in Newport Beach, California
The Tacoma City Marathon
The BMO Vancouver International Marathon
Is that a list, or what???!???!!
Are there any races coming up that you’d like us to blog about? Let us know! Until next week: may all your hills be downhills.
Check us out at:
Facebook: Do Away With SMA
Podcast: Running Coast 2 Coast (available on Itunes and www.buzzsprout.com)