Tuesday, December 9, 2008

See Dane Run!

One of the wonderful things about the Internet is that it allows you to converse with people you may otherwise never encounter in person. One such person I've recently befriended is Dane Rauschenberg. If that name sounds familiar, you may recall back in 2006 a guy that ran 52 marathons in 52 weeks. Dane is that guy. He is one of only three people to ever run 52 marathons in a calendar year. He successfully completed his goal (dubbed Fiddy2) on December 31, 2006, in Springfield, MO. His average finish time for the 52 races was 3:21:16. But his accomplishment goes way beyond the 52 races. While running he also raised money for L'Arche-Mobile, an international federation of communities in which people with a mental handicap and those who help them can live, work, and share their lives together. Dane's goal was to raise $52, 000.

Having a full-time job and being a father of three, I often find it hard to fit my running into everything else that's going on in my life. So I asked Dane how he does it.

"As for fitting things in, I have always been of the belief that you fit into your life all that you truly want to. If it is important to you, then you will make it happen. While running the 52 Marathons I was working full-time in patent licensing, fund-raising for Fiddy2, ran my website, wrote race recaps, conducted interviews and did my very best to live a normal life all at the same time. This is not meant to brag but only show what can be done when obstacles are only seen as something to make the journey more worth while."
What's on the horizon for Dane?

"My aspirations currently include continuing to push the boundaries of my current endurance while trying to always get faster. I am often asked why I do not try for that one "fast marathon" and stop racing so much. To me, this question misses the point. Obviously speed is something we all wish to obtain but it is not the be all and end all of racing. If I had just focused on being a faster runner I would have never had the unbelievable experience I did in 2006. Yet, at the same time, contrary to what many think is the proper way to race, I continue to get faster. In fact, I am going for a big PR on Sunday(12/7), just one week removed from my 3:10 pacing effort in Seattle. More specifically, I am looking to run across the country in 50 days hoping to raise awareness for childhood obesity. I would like to test some of the famous ultras out there such as Comrades and Western States. I would like to do one of those 24 Hour relays like Hood to Coast as a solo runner. The only limit to what I want to do is whether I can obtain the sponsorship to cover my expenses. The world is really my oyster at this point."

Want to learn more about Dane's experiences during Fiddy2? Then check out his book, See Dane Run! Also, check out his blog, DaneGer Zone. Dane says he wrote the book in part "to show that you needn't be a runner your whole life in order to chase a running dream." Dane excelled at swimming in high school, played collegiate rugby and then procured an amateur boxing record, all before running became such an integral part of his life.

Keep it up Dane! And, keep us posted on the across-the-country run for childhood obesity awareness. I was very overweight as a child and truly know the importance of helping kids learn early the positive effects of living a healthy life.

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