Someone mentioned at some point "Follow this cool guy Sam who is doing 60 marathons this year". What?? I had to check this guy out. Sure enough, Sam Felsenfeld is running 60 marathons (like the established, timed kind) in order to raise awareness and fundraise for Autism. His son Jack, now 6, was diagnosed 3 years ago, and Sam had to do something. He calls his mission "Operation Jack" and you can find his website at www.operationjack.com.
So, I followed him on twitter, how could I not, I'm a sucker for endurance junkies. And you know, the guy is great. He's passionate, thankful, and one bad ass runner. Two weekends ago he did a double. He ran the Mississippi Blues marathon in 3:18 in 19 degrees. Then Sunday he was toeing the line at the Firstlight Bank Marathon in Mobile Alabama in 23 degrees. Sam ran a 3:21. Seriously, this dude is motivated. He is on a rampage, and I think he's going to make a difference.
Sam has a great fundraising deal. Check out his page here. If you donate 26.2 dollars (the distance of a marathon) he will send you an operation Jack t-shirt. Donate $100 and he'll send you a t-shirt, a running shirt, and a sweatshirt. Seriously! You could get a whole new wardrobe.
Sam is of course running the Pheonix marathon that Troy and all my other friends went to this weekend. I asked Sam if he wanted to come to dinner, and HE SAID YES. Like I said, it's awesome when people I don't know become people I do know.
So, Saturday night, before Sam's 4th marathon of 2010 he came to the pasta party I put together. We had 30+ people show up to the pre race feast (a fact that made me realize that party planning makes me nervous) and it was awesome to meet Sam. He's hilarious, and likes to pretend that he's not the crazy one. Ha! It was great to hear about his love of ice cream (he once ate ice cream every day for 110 days) and his love for his family. His racing schedule is well crafted so that he doesn't miss a single birthday or family occasion.
So, I can say from the bottom of my heart, Operation Jack is a very worthy cause, with a very dedicated dad behind it. Support Sam, support his cause! Follow him on twitter @operationjack. There will come a time this year when Sam is going to need our support to keep him going. His travel plans are CRAZY and he's spending lots of time away from home putting his body through the ringer. If he is coming to run in your town, email him or leave a message on his blog asking how you can help him out. Put him up for a night, or pick him up from the airport, and by all means, think about a donation to his cause.
Sam is hoping to create a network. The success of his cause will come completely down to exposure. Go, SAM!! Go Operation Jack!!
Oh, and Sam ran a 3:13:56 in Phoenix. Seriously awesome!