Monday, October 29, 2012

Why run for a cause?

Why do people run for a cause?  Why is it that so many nonprofit organizations utilize athletic activities as fundraising strategies?  In 2006, over $1.5 billion dollars were raised in the US for various causes through athletic fundraising events!!!  That's a bunch of super effective sweating!!!  

In fact, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's main source of revenue is through the Team in Training Program (the same through which Dash for the 'Stache is running in January), which just goes to show how important our upcoming race is - it is so much more than a run.

There is a lot more research I would like to do about fundraising through athletic events, but  every time I get my shoes on and run, I reflect on why I am actually doing this.  Sure, signing up for a big commitment such as a half-marathon that one has to raise $3600/person to even participate in puts some fire in the engine, but it's not really about being able to run.  For me, the running is a time of focus, a way to remember why you're running.

I've run many 5k races, the type that are usually themed around something fun and entertaining, and I really sign up for the people-watching more than for the opportunity to run.  

Tim and I take off for the
Day of the Dead 5K
For example, Tim and I ran in Centro's "Day of the Dead" 5k this past weekend in Raleigh, and, being a sucker for dressing up in costume, and for the beautiful history surrounding the celebration of the Day of the Dead, we were sure to have fun.  All it took was a $25 entry fee and we got nice tech shirts and a morning full of fun and fellowship, with all proceeds going toward the Boys and Girls Club in Raleigh.  

This run was amazing, with a wonderful celebration for both the adults and the kids alike, and I feel like the event really reflected on the beautiful mission of the Boys and Girls Club to "inspire and enable all young people to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens" of their communities.  
Kids' Fun Run about to start

Kids Fun Run blastoff! 

I feel that runs like that are very important tools for raising tons of funds and bringing communities together, but the scale of the run and the fundraising for the Disney Half-Marathon causes me to reflect on athletic activity fundraising in a very different way.  For me, this run is requiring such a different level of focus and dedication - every step I take I think of how lucky I am to have a body fit enough to do these strenuous activities, I think of how short and precious life is, and how I am running for so many whose bodies are too weak from their battles to be able to do what they enjoy doing.  Every day that I run and pile on more miles, what it means to me changes and grows, and I look forward to the journey to come!!

Help us help others strike back against cancer and help make a difference in other peoples lives!  Donate to Team Dash for the 'Stache today!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Autumn Running + Inspiration

Running is hard!  I've always thought I couldn't do it, always thought my knees were those of an 80 year old woman (yet there are plenty of women more than twice my age that are more than twice as fit as me!), always thought running was a high-impact, joint-ruining waste of time.  Yet so many people around me loved it, and put stickers all over their car for it, and would get up with the morning song birds before dawn and wear neon tights just to go do it every day.  What were these people thinking?

Today was one of the best runs I've ever had, and I went farther than I have ever gone - 5 miles!  May not seem like much, but to me it is a universe away from what I thought I could do.  But why and how did I get started doing this in the first place?  The run we're doing in January is the obvious driver, but we're running for much so more than to say that we've done a half-marathon.  My reasons, and I'm sure my teammates' are similar, are much deeper and farther reaching, and still being discovered every day.

I've been in and out of exercise my whole life, mostly diving into activities that allow me to be outdoors or to get from point A to B (functional exercise).  With regard to organized events, I've participated in a small handful of 5K's and short bike races, but my first real appreciation for large, organized fundraising athletic events was with the Bike MS ride in New Bern, NC to raise funds for research to help fight MS and find a cure.  My good friend Grayson was my amazing riding partner, and we did 50 miles for 2 days in a row, for a total of 100 miles in one weekend on a bike!!  My bottom hurt more than my quads, but my heart was full of encouragement and inspiration with regard to not only long distance athletic ventures, but for a critical mass of warm hearts coming together to make change happen.

So, how is the running compared to the biking?  This time, the event I'm running toward is very much closer to my heart, affording a boat-load of motivation and internal emotional support for the early morning runs.  However, I'm starting to discover, after months of bike training, and more than a month of gradual and well supported run training (go TNT!), that ... I ... actually ... LOVE RUNNING!!!  

It's glorious - endorphins pumping, sleeping better at night, seeing gorgeous countryside on bright and crisp fall mornings, meeting amazing people.  It's splendid - and running with Team in Training - hearing their Mission Moments each week as to why each individual is part of this team, what motivates and inspires them - makes me so proud to be a part of this.  What's more, my cousins and my husband and I, along with the whole family behind us, are coming together and doing so much more together than we could have done alone.  And our regular skype dates are pretty rad too!

So, kids, lesson is - 


Mucho love ~ Leslie


Help us help others strike back against cancer and help make a difference in other peoples lives!  Donate to Team Dash for the 'Stache today!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

It's Mo-Vember in Baltimore!!

Time to kick cancer's butt and have fun while doing so! 

Team Dash for the 'Stache is teaming up with the good folks at Bad Decisions to bring you an evening of fun and facial hair! 

Come join us for drink specials, prizes, and of course the all-important mustache contest to crown the gent with the finest lip accessory in the city! (Ladies, take the men to task as part of the Miss-tache competition for best faux facial fur!)

So get growing! You've got until November 30th to sprout your whiskers to impress the judges!

Tell all your friends to head down to Bad Decisions in Fells Point after work, spend a few bucks, win a few prizes, and help Team Dash kick cancer's backside. See you there, and remember:

Friday, November 30
5:30 PM until dawn!

Bad Decisions
1928 Fleet Street
Baltimore, MD 21231

Who is this mysterious team...?

Hi, all! We thought we'd take a second to explain a little bit more about who and what Team Dash for the 'Stache is all about...

"Dash for the 'Stache" is named after our Uncle Dennis, who is currently conquering Leukemia. We run not only for him, but his 'stache--which he has had for 37 years--and for all the men and women who give up their hair in their fight against cancer.

On January 12th 2013, Tony, Adrienne, Leslie and Tim -- collectively known as Team Dash for the 'Stache -- will join thousands of others to run the Walt Disney World Half-Marathon. Family and spouses are coming together to work with Team in Training (TNT) and the Leukemia Lymphoma Society (LLS) to raise money to help others strike back against blood cancers!
The Proud (& Gorgeous) Members of Team Dash for the 'Stache:
(L to R) Leslie & Tim, Adrienne & Tony

Fighting cancer is a battle that has touched all of us. Every 4 minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer. When our uncles, aunt, cousins, and other loved ones were sick, we felt like we had no control or any concept of what they were going through. However, through running and raising funds for cancer research, we can work together to make a difference!!

Since 1949, 500,000 participants running with TNT and LLS have raised and invested over $750 million in research to help the over 1 million people currently living with blood cance. LLS funds about 400 researchers each year, and their research leads to breakthroughs in all types of cancer.

Help us help others strike back against cancer and help make a difference in other peoples lives! Team Dash for the 'Stache plans to raise at least $15,000 to help find cures and more effective treatment for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma. As a team, we can accomplish great things towards cures for blood cancers!

Your contribution is 100% tax deductible. No amount is too small and all donations are

What will your donation do for those battling cancer?
  • $25 pays the cost of a cancer patient's drug prescription’s co-pay
  • $50 registers one person to become a bone marrow donor
  • $75 provides bone marrow typing for a family member
  • $100 provides a patient with transportation from a cancer center
  • $500 provides research funding to help find a cure

Join the fight today! You can pay securely by credit card through this web page, or send a check made out to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society before December 1st to:

Leslie Bartlebaugh
3107 Stedman Drive
Raleigh, NC 27607

Check if your company will match your donation!
and send your company’s matching gift form our way!

We are HONORING the following people through our run. Honoring them means that we don’t have to be afraid of reaching our goal. They’re with me every step of the way!

Uncle Dennis Giarnelli
Uncle Dennis (our Teams' namesake) was diagnosed with leukemia in September, 2012, and is currently undergoing intense treatment. He's a strong one, though, and is kicking cancer's butt with his family and friends at his side!!

Uncle Chuck Andrews
Uncle Chuck has survived five--5!--battles with cancer over the past 30 years, including 2 rounds with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and 3 with prostate cancer. He is an amazingly strong and positive inspiration in our lives and in the lives of many others!!

Aunt Dolly Giarnelli
Aunt Dolly survived her fight against breast cancer in 2011 and 2012.
She is a strong, beautiful mother, daughter, wife, aunt, and friend -
and a wonderful champion against cancer!!

Cousin Joe Wiley
Dr. (our cousin) Joe Wiley lost his battle with cancer in 2008.
We run in memory of a great friend, a wonderful father, a talented healer, and
just an all-around amazing human being who left us too soon.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Join us as we prepare for the Dash for the 'Stache!!!

Greetings 'Stache fans!

Welcome to our journey to collectively run 52.8 miles (we're each running a half-marathon) and raise at least $15,000 for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society (LLS) by January 2013!

Crazy undertaking?  Maybe, but it's also a venture that is bringing us closer together as a family and allowing us to be a part of our loved ones battles against cancer by helping in the best way we can: running for health and to raise money that will go toward vital research that has led to great advancements in the fight against all types of cancer.

At first, the thought of this was extreme for my husband and I - both the running and the hurdle of raising so much money was such a daunting task.  But after many discussions with each other and our cousins, and after researching blood cancer further, and after having so many amazing, strong people in our lives understand the battle of cancer all too well, we decided it was worth it.  

The running has been a blast (it's really great to actually get up early, get the blood flowing, and feel the autumn sun rise through the fog on Saturday mornings!) and the creative problem solving that is vital to effective fundraising has been a wonderfully challenging and fun task as we work together as a family.  

We'll continually update this blog with news on fundraising events and to take you through our journey as we run and collaborate toward a cure!!  Your support means EVERYTHING!!!!