Friday, July 9, 2010

40 in 40 by the numbers

So – here’s a recap of what we’ve done over the course of the past year and how we’ve done it:

$40,000 raised – absolutely awesome! Thank you all for your support.

1 VERY patient and supportive wife

300+ people supported me with donations

40 races
25 running events
9 triathlons
4 cycling events
1 Duathlon
1 Adventure race

3 longest races in terms of distance and/or time:

Event # 9 America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride in Tahoe, 100 miles, 6 hours
Event # 25 SC Half Iron Man, 70.3miles, 5 hours 53 minutes
Event #40 NC Adventure Race Series Race #2, 10.5 miles, 4 hours 6 minutes

Here is the link to the blog entry for the 40th race: Event #40

I turned 40 years old….feel like I’m 25 and act like I’m 12

57 hours, 54 minutes and 23 second of racing
621.9 miles raced
Approximately 3,000 miles worth of training
1,250 miles of running
1,750 miles of biking
105 miles of swimming
6 states raced in

Approximately 60 pounds of peanut M&M’s devoured….yes, I have a slight issue – but they’re so darn tasty…
92 packs of Gu and/or Powergel – consumed
Several cases of beer – drank

4 pairs of shoes – done
1 new bike helmet
$1,350 in race fees – paid….

Hundreds of new friends, followers and supporters.

3 sponsors - to whom I owe my deepest gratitude

Karhu and Craft Apparel: – Thanks Corey and Jordan
Try Sports (Charlotte): – Thanks Jenn, Teelo and company
Carolina Sports Clinic: – Thanks Dr. K

1 charity – supported.

When it comes down to it – the first and the last are the most important. The rest just helped us get here.

Thank you all again.



Sunday, May 16, 2010

no event...but what a weekend - Thank you Sheila - you rock

One week after she graduates from her masters program, Sheila throws me the best, knock down drag out weekend party ever! a night on the town with the boys.....including the boys from boston on friday...then a kick arse surprise party on saturday for 5+ hours....followed by margaritas, cigars and a potato cannon on the back deck and a touch of middletons.

Thank you Sheila and thank you to my friends, family, neighbors and supporters. It has been one hell of a ride.

I love you Sheila - thanks for dealing with me and the 40 in 40... I could not have done it without you.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A weekend "off" so what to do?

Resting on my laurels is not a common practice for me. There is so much to be done. We have the Man/Woman of the year event on Saturday. And Light the Night in October, coming up. The need for support does not end.

Support us, make the next year of an LLS patient that much better.

Come on, you know you want to.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Event #40, 4 Hour Adventure Race, US National Whitewater Center, Saturday May 8

Honestly, it is with a bit of sadness that I am writing this entry. After a year of racing, training, blogging and most importantly fundraising, the 40 in 40 is complete.

This minor bit of sadness is overcome by the following:

1. We raised over $40,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

2. All the awesome folks I met along the way, through training, racing, blogging, just interacting with folks and explaining the 40 in 40 and why the mission of the LLS is in critical need of support.

3. I had so much fun. I enjoyed every race, in its own way - some of them were a lot more enjoyable when they were over to be honest - but so many of them had their own special memories attached to them - all of them, have been documented here in this blog.

4. The amazing kindness, generosity and support from friends, family, co-workers and even complete strangers.

So for those of you who are uninitiated in the way of adventure racing, like me, Pete, Mike and Josh were yesterday morning - here's how this one worked:

Start and go through the prologue - find the first three checkpoints and punch the corresponding number of your "passport" a sheet of paper with numbers and letters on them which correspond to the checkpoints in the race. Then - well actually before, strategize to get as to as many checkpoints as you can and as many numbers 4 hours or less.

We got the first 6 on foot, the next three (two plus a bonus) via kayak on the Catawba river, the next three via whitewater rafts on the largest man made whitewater river, the next three on the rock climbing wall and the last one via mountain bike.

We missed one by totally overrunning it - my bad idea about bushwhacking along the riverbanks versus sticking to the trail a little while longer...and only got one on the bike - because- well, these little markers buried in the woods are hard enough to find when you're jogging along, never mind when you're flying down the trails at the whitewater center....and besides, after some technical difficulties - we were running out of time.

So - as we head out - we set a pace of about an 8:30 - 8:40 minute mile. We've got a lot of land to cover - and it was warm at the start. Last year's winner, a young man from Germany was WAAAAY out front - he wound up running the entire course - and winning again this year - so we kind of followed him for a bit. As long as we could see him anyways, which wasn't long.

We got into this event at the suggestion of Mike Nicosia, the Director and our team consisted of Mike, Pete Lohri, the Navigator, a friend from UMass, former rugby teammate and neighbor here in Stonewater and Josh Cowley, the Gazelle, a neighbor of Mike's...and me, the anchor. We were Team 40-40 - still are...and we rocked!

What can I say - we had an absolute blast. The kayaks out across the Catawba to the checkpoints were fun. Realizing that I had totally overrun checkpoint 5, by probably 1/2 mile - and being able to get to the whitewater rafts in time - potentially damaging, but we did it. Riding the whitewater, not getting tossed out of the boat even on the hydraulic. They had them dialed up to about class 3 rapids is what I guessed...hard but not overwhelming. Rock climbing - which I expected I would totally suck at was fun...I know I didn't set any records on that - but surprisingly it was easy. And I got to see Abby Miller, TNT Director. She is such an awesome woman - she came out there to cheer us on and was so excited for us. God bless you Abby you are one of the many reasons I love TnT and the work the Team does. And then the bikes - well - that's another story.

Sheila arrived just as we were heading out. A quick kiss for good luck and off we rode - Team 40-40 - down the hill and off into the woods. The bikes were still fun mind you, but as we started out, Josh had quite possibly the worst popped chain I had ever seen. It took us ALL to get it fixed - and took about 10 minutes. Then, as we're barreling down the trail to the mandatory Checkpoint 9...we missed a turn and went on a black diamond (very difficult) trail which ate up more time.

Then - we finally get to checkpoint 9. A mandatory checkpoint, which we all thought, meant there'd be people there making sure we were all together - you have to stay within 100 feet of a teammate at all times- and checking us in...but no. It was a freaking compass orienteering riddle.

150 yards at 270 degrees, then 36 yards at 30 degrees, then 100 yards at 20 degrees...find three numbers, jot them down - then go back and continue finding checkpoints.

We completed the riddle - but then realized we had 15 minutes to get back to the finish...given the challenges on the bikes thus far - we quickly realized - no time for checkpoints - hump it back to the finish.

We got back about 6 minutes past 5, which meant we get docked 6 points. but you know what - we finished - and I made sure we finished together.

As we went through the awards, ours being the award of finishing - first time adventure racers - first time teammates (for most of us) - the race director asked us to come up and tell our story. Mike asked who found Checkpoint 5...apparently - we just missed it - again - my bad - as most of the four hour folks found it

Then they asked me to tell the story of the 40 in 40. Which I did. When I told them how we raised $40,000 - we (note we not I) got a standing ovation. That was in honor of all of you, those who have supported me with your generosity, Sheila with her patience, my friends who raced with me, pushed me, gave me grief about missing a race...

That was for you.

The 40th race is dedicated to Mike Nicosia, his three children, Kacey, Matthew and Sean and in memory of Kathy Nicosia who passed away in June of 2007. Kathy was pregnant with her youngest, Sean and upon giving birth, it was determined that there was a massive tumor in her uterus. It had gone undiagnosed or even seen during the pregnancy. From the time it was found, to the time that Mike, Kacey, Matthew and Sean lost Kathy - seeing them all from time to time, their power, their passion for life, love for Kathy - wife, mother - and their resiliency...was and still is powerful. Kathy was a great energetic, friendly, loving woman who welcomed friends, new and old into her world. She is missed, but not forgotten - and I am humbled to be dedicating this race in her memory.

As mentioned, Mike was the director of this team. Being able to do it with him - and now, being able to dedicate this event to him, his children and most importantly in the memory of Kathy - is the least I can do. I hope that I honored her, Mike and the kids appropriately. As a testament to Mike's power - he told all of us on Team 40-40 - to donate the race fees to the 40 in 40 versus reimbursing him. over $180...selfless....generous....kind hearted and powerful.

While the 40 in 40 is done, I am not.

I will continue to serve as the Treasurer for the NC Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Board - a position I am honored to hold. I will continue to do Team in Training events, I will continue to support and further the mission of the LLS - the cures are out there - we must continue to battle - to eventually defeat blood cancers.

This summer - I intend to volunteer for as many TnT events as I can - and challenge you all to come out and support the events as well. No dollars involved - just some time. Volunteers are critical to the success of these events. If you want to know more - just let me know.

Come out and see what enjoyment, sense of accomplishment and success the members of TnT realize during their events. Come out and see what powerful message is communicated - as those clad in purple and green - race for a cause, for a cure, for a life....or like the 40 in 40 - to put another birthday candle on a blood cancer patient's birthday cake. This year, next year, 10 years or more from now.

So - while the 40 in 40 is over- the blog will continue - with updates to races, new events, new challenges...but for now - nothing like the 40 in 40.

A Full Ironman is probably in the works for next year - more to come on that.

So while the adventure is over - the fun is not. I've had so many incredible experiences - I'll recount them over the next several years - happily - and will be sure to recognize all of you and your support. Thank you for following the blog - please stay tuned - we'll have a lot to share with you as time passes.

Who knows - maybe I'll write a book - 40 chapters, 40 pictures, probably sell about 40 copies!

Pictures to follow.

Go TEAM!!!! And thank you all!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

#40 in the books and what a blast

Will provide more details shortly - but at the end of the day, we raced about 10 miles in about 4 hours time....four novice adventure racers. The best race out of the 40 by a long stretch

All I can say is - what a blast!

#40 - coming a few short hours

We're off to the Whitewater Center ( for the final event in the 40 in 40, a 4 hour adventure race with

Pete Lohri: the Navigator - friend from UMass and former Rugby teammate - and now neighbor,

Mike Nicosia: the Director - friend, ringleader, organizer...the guy who thought 4 hours in the woods with three friends on a Saturday afternoon in May is a great idea) and

Josh Cowley: the gazelle- soon to be friend, current acquaintance....if we don't reach friend status by the end of the day - well, something will have happened during the race

and me - I'll be the mule...

We have no idea of the order of the events or the distances. The race starts at 1PM. We PROBABLY should have gone to the mini clinic a few weeks ago - oh well but this is what we know we have on tap:

Trail run
Mountain bike ride
Whitewater rafting
Flatwater kayaking
Rock climbing

"other challenges"

The whitewater center is a spectacular spot - did two of the 40 out there in fact - #19 and #31, but never done anything to this extent out there.

I'm going to have fun today - keep us moving forward and on track - and just enjoy the 40th event in a year.

Sheila's mom and dad are in town, for her graduation. She graduated last night - with a 4.0 from Queens University. They're planning on coming out to try and see us finish -

Hope to see you there. It's been a hell of a week - sheila graduates with a 4.0, we are guaranteed to reach the $40,000, I am getting ready for my 40th event - and I just turned

Thanks everyone - go TEAM!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Today - my birthday - my 40th birthday started out like any other day...a little sleepy - a quick workout before work - and then - it got amazingly better. I had a surprise visit from my mother this past weekend - who flew down from VT to see me and take me out to dinner...who could ask for anything better?

The flood of emails and calls today wishing me a Happy Birthday from friends, family, people I've connected with as part of the 40 in 40 - people I have had the privilege to honor as part of the 40 in 40 and do the races for - kept me in a positive mood.

A planned lunch with my wife - gave me something to look forward to later today

Then - I get an email from a co-worker.

Whatever the difference in my fundraising and the $40,000 goal - they are going to close the gap - ENTIRELY

This person - who has yet to share their story with me - is going to make up whatever dollar amount we are short of our goal. Currently around $7, can still help close the gap between now and then.

words cannot express the gratitude - and utter awe I am in.

Thank you. Go Team! One more race - but we've already reached one goal

Will you help us go even further?