For the past few weeks I’ve been thinking about how I can help a fellow runner. What started this thought process was reading this runners blog about how she slept in a rental car the night before a marathon due to budget concerns (read here). It got me thinking how committed I am to this running thing… would I do the same? In a certain situation I guess I could see it happening… but for this runner, making that decision was the easy part. The following morning, not only did she have to run a marathon, but she had to run #30 of her 52 marathons in 52 week quest.

You may remember Dana Casanave, we interviewed her awhile back and she also appeared on Pure Fit Radio. Recently during the San Francisco Marathon, I got the chance to “officially” meet and her. As she is running a marathon every weekend, she is also raising money and awareness for 25:40 — Saving South Africa’s AIDS orphans. The easy thing for me would be to donate money and consider my “helpful-task” complete. But nothing is easy about what Dana is doing. So I’ve been thinking of a better way to use the money I planned to donate… so here is what I’ve come up with:

I’ve committed to donating a certain amount to 25:40 on behalf of Dana. (and no, I’m not going to tell you the amount, it would ruin the fun.) But rather than donate it directly, I plan to use that money to raise EVEN MORE money. I did this a couple years ago when my sister ran her first marathon for Team In Training. I took the money I committed to donate and held a Wine Tasting party and raised 4x as much. Same idea.

So here is the plan. Anyone that donates to 25:40 on behalf of Dana will receive something from me as a thank you. I’m not asking you to donate $30 or $50 (although it wouldn’t be frowned upon). I’m hopeful that most people can donate $5. That’s a cup of Starbucks and a pastry. If you can afford $7.50, that’s great. More? Better. But I know times are tough and budgets are tight. After all, a tight budget is what started this process. But if you can donate $1, then my mission is on it’s way to being complete because If I can get 878 people (the number of my facebook friends) to donate $1, then I have done more than my original donation could have done.

So with my donation money, I plan to purchase books, Starbucks gift cards, LIN socks, Runner’s World subscriptions, running shirts, CDs, anything that will serve as a way to thank you for taking the time to donate. Over the next month or so, I’ll be posting links on Facebook about special giveaways if you donate. Here is our first one:

Everyone that donates at least $1 this week, will receive a “runner’s playlist.” A CD comprised of great songs that will get your feet moving on your next run.

On top of that, the first 5 people that donate (at least) $10, will also receive a $5 Starbucks gift card.

In order to be counted as the first 5, you need to e-mail me your name, address and amount that way I can confirm with Dana. And it is limited to the first five… as you can see 25 of my dollars will turn into $50 for the cause. It’s working already.

Again, everyone that donates will receive something from me. Whether it’s $1 or $25, you are going to get something. Just e-mail me your name, address and donation amount that way I can confirm. I don’t need any additional information than that — not your first born, shoe size or favorite color. If you are a San Francisco Giants or 49ers fan, please let me know since I already have some special give-aways planned specific to those teams.

Here is a link to donate — It is her blog page, there is a link on the upper right hand side that says “Click to Donate”

and here is my email:

Thanks again. And please note: if my mission falls short, the money I squared away for Dana will be donated. I committed to donating a certain amount and if it goes unspent on swag, it will be donated to her cause.