MARK BALLOU’S 2014 NYC MARATHON FUNDRAISER: In Support of His Nephew RIPLEY and AUTISM SPEAKS

THE SHORT STORY:
Sunday, Nov. 2nd 2014, I will be running the NYC MARATHON, my 2nd! Please donate and sponsor me in support of my super cool nephew, Ripley Ballou, and all those touched by Autism!

THE LONG VERSION:
After a 2 year hiatus, TEAM PROCRASTINATION IS BACK! This time we’re raising funds for AUTISM SPEAKS.

Though I’ve been running ever since, I haven’t run for a charity since my last marathon in 2012. Those of you who participated know what a remarkable feat we all accomplished back then, raising nearly $4K in only 10 days for Hurdle Jumpers!

Over the last 4 years, running has become a deeply personal experience for me. It’s a meditation, an opportunity to connect body, mind and soul. Not a run goes by where I don’t have a little magic moment: a sunset, the smell of flowers, a deer crossing my path, or sometimes simply the joy of good company on a group run or the soothing solitude of a late night solo.

But in all that, I realized as much as running has given to me, how much had I been giving back? In early June I ran my first 50K (30+ mile) trail race in Big Basin State Park. As much as it was a major accomplishment, I felt very much alone out there. On the contrary, when I ran the 2012 LA Marathon, I felt like I was running with ALL OF YOU! It’s time we do that again! And what better cause to support than something that touches my family deeply?

Please donate! And don’t delay. I need your support NOW!

HERE ARE THE MILESTONES I NEED TO MEET, AND OBLITERATE:
8/1 – Halfway deadline of $1500 (MET!)
8/15 – Race Entry Deadline of $3500 total (MET!)
10/15 – Fundraising Deadline (INSERT INSANE AMOUNT HERE)
11/2 – Race Day!

Thanks everyone!!

-Mark Ballou
www.events.Autismspeaks.org/nycmarathon/markballou
www.tiny.cc/run4rip

PS- In true TEAM PROCRASTINATION form, if you, or someone you love, has been touched by Autism, along with your donation, please let me know and I will include their name on my race bib.

IT’S MORE FUN WHEN WE ALL RUN TOGETHER!

ABOUT RIPLEY: On January 12, 2009 Ripley Ballou was born to my brother Scott and his lovely wife Denise. As Ripley was nearing age two, Denise, who works with children with disabilities, started to notice some telltale signs in Ripley. As she puts it, “We enrolled him in a local preschool, hoping that would spark some social awareness. He really didn’t care. The most painful thing I’ve ever experienced came when I arrived early to pick him up from school one day. All of the kids at the daycare were joining in this activity, head and shoulders, I think. Rip was oblivious to the whole event. He was running in circles around the whole group, screeching and toe-walking. Around and around and around… it didn’t end until I stopped him, only because I couldn’t stand to watch anymore. He was barely 2. I cried that night harder than I ever cried before. Because I knew he was different and that the road was going to be so much harder than it should be for him. But he has shown us so much, so much of what he is capable of. It is the potential of what he is capable of, what he already is, that drives us.”

But Autism doesn’t define Ripley. Ripley is a spirited and intelligent boy who loves to play with his Matchbox cars, sing songs, roughhouse with his brother Russell, swim in the pool with his dad and go to see musicals on Broadway with his mom. He likes his macaroni and cheese, and, when he visited us in California last year, to play with “Stanley the dog!”With the support of parents like Scott & Denise, and the awareness and resources that Autism Speaks make available to those who are diagnosed on the Autism spectrum, his future is bright!

ABOUT AUTISM SPEAKS: At Autism Speaks, our goal is to change the future for all who struggle with Autism spectrum disorders. We are dedicated to funding global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for Autism; to raising public awareness about Autism and its effects on individuals, families, and society; and to bringing hope to all who deal with the hardships of this disorder. We are committed to raising the funds necessary to support these goals. Autism Speaks aims to bring the Autism community together as one strong voice to urge the government and private sector to listen to our concerns and take action to address this urgent global health crisis. It is our firm belief that, working together, we will find the missing pieces of the puzzle. Autism Speaks. It’s time to listen.

DONATE @ My Official Autism Speaks Fundraising Page
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My Running Links
How much does he really run?
DailyMile | Runkeeper | Strava | Nike+ | Garmin | My Race Data | Big Basin 50K

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