Over the next sixteen weeks, I will be training for and then doing two (2) very difficult races on the same weekend in July. I have done both the Swiss Alpine Marathon and also the Swiss Ironman with a five-day separation, but now, I will do it with a 12-hour separation. Throughout this process I will be forced to monitor caloric intake continuously and deal with the constant reminder of my system in perpetual hunger on a daily basis. However, my pain pales in comparison to those that Second Harvest Food Bank helps on a daily basis.
To add a little twist to my effort, I will be doing the Swiss Ironman bike segment on a Cannondale Hooligan Urban Bike. This 20" wheel bike is very responsive and compact, and perfect for couriers and distributors doing quick item drop-off's in large manufacturing/distribution warehouses, like Second Harvest Food Bank. However, it's not the preferred machine for a long race, like an Ironman segment, but it is robust enough to prove its versatility from traversing an urban atmosphere to then competing as an open road annihilator. I am also fundraising to donate a Cannondale Hooligan Urban Bike to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida so that they can perform their early morning deliveries and their late afternoon verifications with speedy precision on a bike capable of taking the harshest punishment.
I am volunteering at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida ( http://www.feedhopenow.org ) every week for twenty weeks. During my shift, I work as hard as a I can to make the biggest impact. And it always amazes me how nice and optimistic everyone is. It is one of those places where I leave there feeling much better than when I came in. Currently, their operating costs are around 3% of what they take in. All proceeds from this site will go directly to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. This fundraising effort starts now and will continue for a period of twenty four weeks, to include eight weeks after these races, until September 30th. On or around that date, a final push will be made at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida facility where I race any takers, as long as they are on a 20" wheel bike. This fundraising race will consists of segments inside and outside of the facility, with some running legs thrown in for variety. Intermediate sprints and final finish times will determine, via points, whom the victor is, with all proceeds from this event going to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
I am a firm believer in promoting what you believe in. I was privy to an initial tour of the Second Harvest Food Bank during a Corporate 5K team captain event on January 17th. Listening to Sasha explain what they do and why they do it almost brought me to tears. I decided on that day that this organization would be the one that I help. It took me a while to get my act together, but I checked the boxes by gaining approval to use my Cannondale Hooligan Urban Bike in an Ironman event. I then tested the bike out at the Lake Nona Tour de Cure 101-mile ride event. And finally, I signed up for both races with a valid plan, I secured the experienced coach Sean Hendryx, and we began lining out the training to prepare for and also finish the weekend in July without both a physical and mental breakdown. I've also been in touch with Defeet socks to create a specialty Woolie Boolie with my official logo on it. The first fifty (50) people to donate $250 or more will get a pair of these socks (photo to be uploaded soon). Both Cannondale and Defeet not only make high quality products, but they have also supported me immensely over the years.
I am also offering a guarantee that I will complete both races to my utmost ability or I will reimburse everyone for what they have donated. I am a very stubborn guy and have proven myself over the years to rarely give up. Unless I succumb to a medically disastrous event, I will finish both of these races, in a professional manner, to the best of my ability, or every dollar will be returned.
I will continue to update this page and you can always follow me via 'combo2feed' on Instagram.
Please donate and spread the word of how better to help our local communities by curbing starvation thru involvement and then by also increasing the awareness of how to reduce the amount of food that is wasted. Our neighborhoods and cities will be a better place if we can have the same vision as Second Harvest Food Bank by 'inspiring and engaging our community to end hunger'.
In six months, forty-five people have donated to this website to help Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. Both the awareness raised and also the $6,000 received will help them continue their efforts of creating hope and nourishing lives through a powerful hunger relief network. They are in the unique position to multiply the generosity of a caring community thru their multiple programs of development and sustainability. I encourage everyone to tour their facility so that you can see what they accomplish on a daily basis.
Today I will be closing this GoFundMe page and Second Harvest Food Bank will receive the funds. They will immediately put the money to good use by supporting one of their many programs. Of course, they have now gained a broader network of support and awareness by your involvement.
This past Tuesday marked my last 5AM volunteer shift this year for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. During this campaign, I have enjoyed every minute of my volunteering since my very first 'early rising' shift on March 14th. All twenty-seven shifts that I did flew by. Every person that I worked with was incredible and amazing. There is a lot of heart and hard work that goes on at SHFB, even at 5AM.
But, of course, I’ll be back next year. It would be hard to stay away too long from such a worthy and fulfilling enterprise.
Just a thought, and not making any promises, but both of those Swiss races line up again on the same weekend next year. Maybe, just maybe, there's a slim chance that possibly the 'Combo' effort could be resurrected in 2018.
Thank you again for your support and have a great weekend.
(just an ordinary guy that enjoys a challenge)
Below is some information that you may be interested in:
• eighty (80) volunteers were on site to assist with the race; twenty-five (25) were on the race course and fifty-five (55) were in the facility sorting food while heckling the competitors
• eight (8) adults and twenty-nine (29) children competed in the race
• five (5) of the adults competed in the Elite race and the other three (3) adults joined their kids as part of their own relay team
• the single relay team in the Elite race was required to wear a 30lb belt as the ‘relay baton’
• the Elite race was comprised of one (1) lap of biking, then one (1) lap of running, then one (1) final lap of biking followed by one (1) final lap of running
• the bike course was 1,325 feet, or just over a quarter mile
• the run course was 2,066 feet, or just under 40% of a mile
• the fastest time of the Elite race was mine, at 7:17, whereas the second place finisher was the Elite relay team with a time of 7:30
• the Open Division race was comprised of just one (1) lap of biking followed by just one (1) lap of running
• if you were to divide my Elite race time in half and compare it to the other Open Division race competitors, my 3:38 time was barely faster than the 3:45 time of the Sombeck Relay Team (Steven-12 & Adam-10)
Of course, the sponsors - Wieland, Fleet Feet, Orange Cycle and 4Rivers kicked in an immense amount of support for the race to help with the posters, stickers, bibs, tents, tables, banners, food, drinks, ice, cones, barricades, supplies, port-o-lets, etc.
Second Harvest Food Bank also received their Hooligan Urban Bike which they will be using on a daily basis in their facility. A BIG thanks to Wieland, Orange Cycle & Cannondale for helping with this donation!
For more details, please visit the Second Harvest Food Bank blog for this event.
Because of this year's success, please keep this race in mind for next year. And remember, it's never too early to start training for a small wheels race!
Thank you for your support and have an awesome weekend.
(just an ordinary guy that enjoys a small wheels race)
411 Mercy Drive, Orlando, FL 32805
Sunday, September 24th
10AM - Elite
10:30AM - open to almost all ages
A fundraiser that is fun!
Bring a 20" wheel bike and your children.
Ride in the warehouse, then do a running leg.
Visit FeedHopeNow.org to register:
To elaborate - I had two goals for the first long distance race, which were to ‘not get hurt’ and to ‘finish in time to make the 7:02PM train back to Zurich’. I achieved both while enjoying the 48-mile arduous trek through villages, forests, boulder fields and pastures with very steep inclines and declines. I followed my nutrition plan and never had a problem with cramps or bonking. As soon as I was done, we had to rush to the hotel to get our bags and then jump on the train with ten minutes to spare. We arrived to the hotel in Zurich after 10PM where I had a quick meal and then started packing up my gear for the Ironman the next morning. With only 2-½ hours sleep, I woke up at 3AM to finish my preparation while getting some breakfast before I headed over to the race site to be in the transition area by 5AM. I still had to check my Hooligan in, drop by bags off and then also get my timing chip. After all that was taken care of, I had just enough time to get my wetsuit on and get into the swim start chute. Since I was tired from the previous day’s warm-up, I started in the back of the field. Even though I was 'literally' the last to start the swim, I passed a large number of people while enjoying the cold water and buoyancy of the wetsuit. I was fully awake by the time that I jumped on my bike. I took the first lap very cautiously, but still maintained a solid pace of 18mph on the flats. Since the Hooligan has only three speeds (slow, slower and slowest), I was constantly reminded to be as efficient as possible to conserve energy for the climbs. It turned out that I was fine and strong on the up-hills, but I had to really be careful on the down-hills when the ‘small wheels’ started bouncing over road deformities at the higher speeds. My second, and final, lap on the bike was much harder with the wind picking up and the rain clouds rolling in. The bike responds very well and my comfort level was never compromised, so I was able to push it hard to ensure that I made the cutoff time (had only about 15 minutes to spare). I wasn’t about to get disqualified after coming this far. I started the run on very tired legs and finally felt stronger after a couple miles. The four-lap course was well supported with hydration, nutrition and spectators, which helped to distract me from the growing fatigue throughout my entire system. Lap 1 was doable, Lap 2 was painful, Lap 3 was just ridiculous and I don’t know how I made it through Lap 4. And, to top it off, it started raining about a quarter mile before I finished; it felt great for me, but all the spectators were taking shelter when I hobbled in. I was so happy to finish that I almost collapsed in place when they took my timing chip. I had trained hard for this suffer-fest and was astonished that it all came together as planned. I had always perceived both races as just one long, fluid competition. I had to include the train ride back to Zurich, the minimal sleep and the preparation for the Ironman as part of the equation because I didn’t want my body to shut down between the two races. After almost 39-½ hours of racing (to include travel time & rest between), I still had enough energy to drink a beer with my wife and marvel at how well my wife and kids did following me all over Switzerland. I slept very well that night.