So, here's the big news, race-wise:
I was accepted to get into the Nation's Tri in the category of First Responder. They opened the category to police, fire fighters, EMS, and "other first responders". When I wrote and explained the sort of work I did, they were very happy to accept an emergency services chaplain. M insisted I sign up that day!
Of course, here's the kicker: I get the most energy out of races when they are done for the benefit of someone else. (Also, they are too expensive to go to very many!) So if I have just one big race a year, it better be an awesome benefit. Long-term followers will remember the famous Team Ben last year and how we blitzed our fund-raising goal. I thought about doing Team in Training again this year, as I had such a great experience with them. In the awesome news section, Ben has been in remission for months. He and his wife are enjoying some very well-deserved recuperation and relaxation time. Well, SHE is. HE is attempting to revert to his hard-working ways. Ahem, Ben, we're watching you, buddy!
And this year, the race is being held in DC, on 9/11. 10 years ago, I'd just started Seminary. I will never forget the roars of the fighter jets. I had never heard sonic booms, and to this day, it chills me that we had to have jets scrambled over American soil. Over the next few years, it was my very great privilege to serve with the COPS conference and the Alexandria and Arlington Police supporting survivors. My favorite survivor of all is a sweet guy from NYC- he lost several buddies in the World Trade Center. The first year I met him, he was angry and defensive and didn't want anything to do with the COPS conference. I gave him directions to the "fun" stuff in DC and let him go. He kept coming back, and the fifth year out, he did the Police Unity Tour with my chapter. He was starting to remember how to have fun and why he became a cop in the first place. He was starting to remember what it felt like to help people and to do good.
So this year, in honor of all the awesome emergency workers I've worked with and will continue to serve, I am going to be doing this Tri for them.
I'm going to be talking to some folks to get a donations account set up, and intend to donate 50% to COPS and their awesome work, and 50% to Episcopal Relief and Development. These organizations care for the people and the communities long after the fires and ash have burnt out, and long after the gunshots have faded into memory.
I'm also asking if anyone has any frequent flyer miles they'd like to donate to me. I'll be joining a new tri club here and will work the discounts, but if anyone would like to help me with the flights or the cost of a hotel room for right before the tri and right after the tri, I would be so grateful. I've already put $190 towards my own efforts (for registration), and for every flight and hotel room people donate, I'll be able to put an extra donation towards COPS and ERD.
This'll be a major personal project this summer, and I am so looking forward to the Potomac River neti pot effect. This year, I want to not get lost in the swim, and to shave some time off my run. Oh, and to not be the last first responder to cross the line.