Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sophia gets a Bedkit Photo

Thanks, Sophia and Muggle Sam.

And click here to see the video in high quality.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

Post-Race Report: Think Big!

Gary Comerford is a regular donor of Sleeping Children Around the World bedkits. Last year he raised around $10,000 and this year, he's expecting to double that. Here is a report he recently sent to his friends who helped him raise the money this year.

Columbus, Ohio:
October 19, 2008

It was a perfect morning for a run, 37 degrees Fahrenheit at 7:33:07 when I started the run and an estimated 60 degrees at the end. No wind to speak of and a perfectly clear blue sky. If I wasn't about to run 26.2 miles it would have been a very pleasant morning. Now they say that a gun went off, but I didn't hear it. In fact, the first I knew that the run had begun is when I saw the huge crowd in front of me begin to move. I hit my watch to get the GPS system working and to my great horror it couldn't find the satellite. Where is the US military when you really need them?  By the time I reached the starting line the watch was working, the MP3 player had Robbie Williams Live and my heart was pounding fast. Would this be the day that I would qualify for Boston? Seven years of marathon running, eighteen months of constant training, now came down to the next 3:59:59. Did the right Gary show up for the race?  Only time would tell.

The first mile was slow as the half marathoners and full marathoners were all running together at this point. John McCain was in town and I half expected to see him shaking hands at the starting gate, but what I really wanted was to see Sarah cheering on Johnny-six-pack from Columbus. At mile three, the Governor of Ohio was out on his front lawn waving an Obama sign in front of his mansion. Enough politics.

At mile four, I started to get serious about the run. The extra shirt came off, but the gloves stayed on. I had placed a temporary (theoretically) tattoo on my arm with the exact split time for every mile. At mile 10, I am right on the money [1:25:49] and feeling strong. Leonard Cohen's Closing Time is setting the pace and I'm visualizing the women in polka dots. But I digress. I'm beginning to realize that this is not a flat course. I wanted a flat course. I remember this as being a flat course! Where on earth did all this undulation come from? Has there been an earthquake in Ohio in the past 12 months? At the half-way mark I'm still right on time [1:52:30] and still feeling strong.

The next four miles is straight as an arrow along one of the main roads in Columbus. At mile 16, we begin to enter the area where they changed the route from last year. Yes, they changed the route, but was it for the better? I would soon find out, as the whole point of going to Columbus again this year was because I knew the course and it was a flat course.

So, off we go through Ohio State University, a beautiful campus that apparently has no students. Well, at least there are no students at 10 AM on a Sunday morning. They must all have been at church or hung over from the Buckeye victory the previous day. They sure we not out cheering us on.

Then at mile 19 the real marathon began. I have a fleeting visual of Sarah Palin giving high five's at the finish line: I must be starting to hallucinate. There was always an uphill climb in Columbus but this went on for four miles. When I got to the top and looked down on the city of Columbus, it was as if I was standing at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. OK. I'm exaggerating just a little for effect, but there were hills and we ended up with a view. At this point I'm beginning to fade and start to fall a little off my pace. I realize that if I'm going to do a sub-four hours I need to suck it up and charge on.

Thank God for Sir Isaac Newton. What goes up must come down. At 22 miles it's more or less downhill, but it seemed to me less than more. Now the crowds are beginning to get loud and boisterous. At every turn there is a group pushing you on. No Brazilian in a thong like Berlin, but lots of bands and cowbells. I prefer the Brazilian. It's now mile 24 and what, to a non-marathoner, would appear to be a sure cakewalk home, turns into the hardest part of the run. My legs are like rubber and the walking wounded are all around me. This is the point where the mind is saying one thing but the body has another point of view. It's now mile 26, with .2 of a mile to go. I'm running full throttle (it's a big downhill) and can't believe that, what was once a very distant dream, was going to become a reality.

I crossed the finish line in 3:56:13 well below the 4:00:59 required to qualify for the Boston marathon. Seven-and-a-half years earlier David Tetreault, my next door neighbor, stood in my driveway and said: "Gary we'll never be in the Olympics. We'll never play in the World Series. And we'll never play in the Stanley Cup, but we can run the Boston Marathon if we try. I thought he was certifiably nuts.

Thank you David. You were the one who first thought this was possible. On Sunday, David and I both qualified for the Boston Marathon. He for the third time and me for the first. After crossing the finishing line, there were my running buddies from Canada Fit giving high five's. What a support group. A very special thanks to coach Ed.

Thanks to your incredibly generous support, we are once again north of $20,000 raised for Sleeping Children Around the World and the cheques just keep coming. It's still not too late to contribute $35 for a bedkit and the joy you will feel when you get your picture will make your day.

Cathy says she can tolerate one more Marathon, so, Lord willing, I'll run Boston in April 2009 or 2010. It will be my last full Marathon.

So what's the lesson learned here? Think Big, no matter your age!

Gary Comerford

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ready for Bed Week: 26th October to 1st November

Ready for Bed Week has been initiated by Worlds Apart, to encourage parents to take the time to focus on establishing a good routine.

It also aims to help support the international charity Sleeping Children Around the World (www.scaw.org) which was set up to provide bed kits for children in underdeveloped and developing countries, who are not fortunate enough to have a comfy place to sleep.

Worlds Apart has posted some useful tips and links plus a downloadable Ready for Bed Week reward chart on its website, www.readyforbedweek.com.

For every 100 unique downloads of the chart during Ready for Bed Week (26th October – 1st November), Worlds Apart will fund² a bed kit from SCAW so it’s hoping as many families as possible will get involved.

The reward chart helps parents record and acknowledge good work and behaviour when it comes to cleaning teeth, tidying toys, settling down in good time and of course, staying in bed until it’s time to get up.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Junctional Rhythm: Live @ The Wave

  • Do you like music?
  • Do you like saving the lives of children around the world?
  • Are you interested in talking to medical students about admissions, interviews, and applications?
  • Do you enjoy FREE DRINKS, FREE FOOD and PRIZES?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, be there.
When: Saturday October 25, 2008 - 8pm
Where: The Wave, University of Western Ontario,
     1151 Richmond St., London, ON N6A 5B8
What: The Junctional Rhythm - Rock Band made up
     of members of UWO Meds class of 2011
Cost: $15 for tickets at the door
     include food and 1 free drink

Tickets cost $15 and every dollar will be donated to Sleeping Children Around the World, a charitable organization dedicated to providing bedkits to children in developing countries, allowing them a good night's sleep and protection from malaria.
   (Plus, each ticket is good for one free drink and free food.)

Contact Information: Elise Dalton