Sunday, July 6, 2008

Training and raising money

We (the California FirstRain aquabike team) did a trial run in Sonoma yesterday. 46 of the 56 miles through beautiful vineyards, weaving by wineries, under a hot blue sky. But before you read more about the ride - consider this:

As part of this event I'm raising money for a non profit I have been involved with since it's inception. The fundraising is for CCPY - California Community Partners for Youth. CCPY works closely with 9th and 10th grade kids in San Jose to keep them in school. We work with the most at risk kids and, through a program of after-school, mentoring and wilderness training, we have an extraordinarily high success rate. CCPY has to raise $200k this year over and above the city and state grants we get - which is a typical climb we face every July - but we'll have a record 200 kids in the programs this coming year. It was started in the offices of my last company, Simplex, 9 years ago so I can vouch for the long term impact and health of the operation.

If you enjoy this blog and you'd like to help encourage me through the race on August 2 and give to the CCPY kids at the same time you can donate at CCPY and click on the PayPal button on the upper left. If you know me personally you know I'm not an athlete so this is a big leap for me and every ounce of support helps. Thank you to my friends who have already donated.

Here's the team that rode yesterday. Everyone completed it, some much faster than others, and the last hill at mile 43 kicked butt (kicked mine right off my bike and onto Shank's pony). Lots of jokes about how good (or bad) we all looked in spandex. It was great that we did a practise ride because we learned a lot about how much we have to hydrate, pace ourselves and eat through the race. It's so much hotter in Sonoma than where we all live in San Francisco and Silicon Valley that we were unprepared for how much water we'd need.

Then we went and swam in the Russian River at Johnson's beach to check out the temperature - and decided no wetsuits needed. The swim should be a lovely experience.

As I drove back I started to think about how much a company can change lives. I started out on this goal as a way to bring us together outside of the office, but I hadn't realized that several of the team would be so changed by it - training seriously for the first time in their lives - and that we're now talking about the next race, and staying in the sport after this race is over.

Angela, Ana, Todd, Luis, Eugene and Chien

Ana, me, Luis and Eugene

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