Happy New Year! It has been a bit too long since I have written a blog post, so I thought I would send out an update on the challenge!  2015 was an incredible year that saw the completion of four marathons on four continents: Tokyo(Asia), Paris(Europe), Sydney(Australia), and New York(North America).  Each race was an incredible experience and I am very grateful and fortunate to have participated in them.  Along the way I have made new friends both in person and online through my challenge to raise awareness and support for Metachromatic Leukodystrophy(MLD).  The families that I have learned about have endured a lot through their journeys with MLD and they inspire me to keep running and raising awareness.  My beautiful niece Cori most of all inspires me most of all and I was so happy to put the New York Marathon medal around her neck when I saw her in the days after the race.  

With the 2015 races completed in November, I took December lightly on the training front. I kept running but backed my training off to about 50% of usual to recover from a long year of putting approximately 1261 miles(2029 km) on my odometer.  After celebrating the New Year I gradually started putting the distance back in and ran the Star Wars Half Marathon on January 17th for a bit of fun.  I have been a Star Wars fanatic since I was a little kid.  The first movie I ever remember seeing was Empire Strikes Back at a drive in movie with my parents when I was 4.  The Star Wars Half Marathon took place at Disneyland in Anaheim, California and was the collision of my oldest favorite thing(Star Wars) with my newest favorite thing(distance running).  My sister in law who is Cori’s grandmother, Debbie Skolaski, also participated in the race and another niece, Elizabeth Davidson, was our support crew for the day.  The race was really fun and started out winding through Disneyland with plenty of Star Wars characters and creatures around for photo opps and inspiration.  The Force was with me for the day as I ran a new personal best for a half marathon at 1h:44m.  I was quite pleased with this time as I really had not trained to the level I normally would for a race.  

2016 will see three marathons as part of the Run Over MLD challenge: Big Five Marathon(South Africa), Volcano Marathon(Chile), and the Antarctic Ice Marathon.  In between these races I will probably complete some 10km and half marathons as part of the training program to get ready.  The Volcano and Antarctic marathons will have a turn around time of less than 2 weeks, so I need to get my body prepared for the stress.  In addition to these races, I have registered for another amazing race to finish the challenge.  In April 2017 I will be participating in the North Pole Marathon that is organized by the same team that does the Volcano and Antarctic races.  This race is incredible as competitors are running on the frozen Arctic Ocean!  Additionally, there have to be armed patrols to monitor for polar bears!  It should be an incredible experience.  

Thanks for your support with the Run Over MLD T-shirt campaign.  I hope to make some new T-shirts this year that tie into the various races.  All profits from the T-shirts go to the MLD Foundation that supports families affected by MLD and promotes research into screening and treatments for this rare disease.

Take care and thanks again!