Sam started Operation Jack as his way of fighting autism, not only for his son, Jack, but for all other families and individuals affected by autism as well. he started with an idea and a gift to use his legs to run long distances, and his plan took off. sam ran 61 marathons last year (and i thought my 2 was a lot!) and raised a lot of money. on december 26th last year, the day of sams 61st marathon, there was also a "satellite option" where people could donate or fundraise and run 6.1 miles to honor what he was doing/had done throughout the year right from their own front door.
so we did it again. sam had another Operation Jack Marathon in california, and people from all over ran either a marathon, half marathon, 10k, or 6 hour race.
here were the facts sam came up with:
- Approximately 380 registered runners at the 2nd Annual Operation Jack Marathon in Manhattan Beach, Calif.
- 40 participants in the 2nd Annual Operation Jack Northwest Challenge in Portland, Oregon.
- 24 participants in the Operation Jack Satellite Marathon/Half Marathon in Houston.
- 15 participants in an Operation Jack Satellite Marathon/Half Marathon in Kabul, Afghanistan (yes, America’s finest were out there participating!).
- More than 50 people participating in satellite runs all over the country.
and, well, we all know of two people in texas who didnt run. (read THIS to read something really disturbing).
last year we had a great group of runners who represented Team Maine, tackling the distance on one of the coldest days december had to offer us (before a huge snow storm!) but we all came together and braved it for a great cause.
it was so cold even my camera fogged up!
due to the hecticness that is the holidays, we all just could not get together like we did last year, thus we were all running on our own. it was a beautiful day, about 40 degrees, and i went out to just enjoy the run and think back on this year. it ended up being a really great run, and i had negative splits (8:37, 8:30, 8:25, 8:18, 7:53, 7:20).
i thought a lot about sam, and jack, and everything else going on in my life. i had a rather emotional run but i smiled the whole way thinking that i knew what i was doing was making a difference somewhere. and its something i love to do and often take for granted. my lungs felt good, i could breathe in and out. my legs felt great, i could move them one in front of the other with ease.
2011 Operation Jack 10k: 50:32