Yesterday I had the pleasure of experiencing my first earthquake. Because I suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder and have my entire life, it was difficult for me. Since I can remember I have been obessed with the idea of perishing in a natural disaster or something like a fire or being kidnapped. This was 5.8 on the richter scale and I was about 30 miles from the epicenter when it occured. My mind was preoccupied with the earthquake and not so much about any other natural disasters (save for possibly Hurricane Irene which could be headed to Richmond as well).
Once I got home from work, I went out to my mailbox and found a nondescript envelope with no return address. Enclosed was a race bib, letter, and sticker. I was confused, as both races I am signed up for have in person packet pick up. Then looked closely seeing that it said, “Boomtown Half Marathon“. This was the half marathon that was cancelled just after the devastating tornado in Joplin, MO on May 22nd that left 158 dead and destroyed the town. I had entered after learning from Mark Remy’s blog that all entry fees would be turned into donation towards the clean up efforts and rebuilding the community.
The race director mailed out the bibs and a finisher’s decal along with a letter of sincere thanks for the support to Joplin. I learned that over 270 runners entered the race after it had been cancelled to show our support and over $20,000 will be given to the community just from funds raised from the Boomtown Run.
The letter also states that on race day 320 runners showed up and took part hands on in the clean up efforts. My favorite part of the letter reads, “As a runner, I know you are thinking, ‘But I didn’t earn this.’ By supporting the event in spite of it’s cancellation like you have, you have more than earned it.”
Runners are absolutely amazing.
If I had enough cash flow I would love to travel to Joplin for the 2012 race in May.