Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dane and the "Fiddy2"

Do you have a weekend ritual? Some people go out for coffee every Saturday morning, maybe see a movie, or have dinner with friends. But how about traveling to and completing a 26.2-mile race every weekend for a year! Dane Rauschenberg decided to run a marathon every week of 2006. He called this project his “Fiddy2” and ran 52 marathons in 52 weeks.

Dane with members of L'Arche, Mobile at First Light Marathon

The commitment to this goal was substantial, all the time, travel and money. Running a marathon a week is a physical challenge for sure, but also what a logistical feat! Did I mention that at the same time he maintained a full time job practicing law, some Mondays going to work with no or little sleep from the Sunday-night flight. Another thing about this quest I really like is that Dane was able to make it more then achieving a personal goal. He used it to raise money for the Mobile, Alabama Chapter of L’Arche. This organization devotes their work to helping the mentally and physically challenged. Oh yeah, what also grabbed my attention was the fact that Dane actually got faster as the year progressed and near the end of his goal achieved a sub three hour marathon! Wow, seriously!

His “Fiddy2” experience taught him a lot about himself and about others too! Dane said, “It changed me in every way possible! My outlook on what I wanted to do in life shifted. My perspective on what is achievable by normal people was completely thrown for a loop. I learned enormous amounts about both the kindness of people and in the ridiculousness of others. I was taught patience – which I readily admit it is not my strong suit.”

Leadville Trail Marathon, CO

While reading his book, “See Dane Run”, that highlights every race and the experiences during the year, I was literally pulled in to the adventure. I laughed out-loud at times, and cried a couple times. I felt myself in the races with him at times, I imagined the freezing temperatures of the Mercedes Marathon the rugged hills of Estes Park Marathon , CO Marathon, and the travel issues as well as the challenging course of the Leadville Trail Marathon, that very next week! The hardest part of it for Dane was, “the unknown”. Dane said, “Having just started running again (after surgery), I wasn’t sure if my body could handle the rigors. To complete the task today would be infinitely easier simply because I know it can be done. But to leap into the endeavor with both feet having just entered the world of running was far and away the biggest challenge.”

Dane and I at San Diego RnR Marathon Expo 2011

What a whirlwind 2006 must have been for Dane! There is no doubt that it must have changed him to go thru this, so I asked if he had experienced a pivotal moment during the year. Dane said, “Without a doubt, surprisingly running my first ever sub-3 hour marathon in the 42nd marathon of the year was both shocking and a turning point. Only 6 marathons previous to this had I ran my first 3:10 of the year (so to set a new personal best by 6 minutes). This race showed me that ignoring the seemingly impossible was how I should live the rest of my life.”

What would you try if you were to live like that?

To learn more about Dane’s incredible experiences or his book "See Dane Run", take a moment to look at his Facebook page and his blog.



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