Thank you for visiting my FirstGiving Page! I hope you enjoy reading my story. Please feel free to share it with friends and family.
Here's my story...
My older brother, Sean Harschnek, has been a Special Olympics athlete for about 18 years now and it has been an amazing part of his life. He had the privilege of representing Iowa in basketball for the first National Special Olympics at Ames in 2006. I have been a proud supporter and one of his biggest fans, next to our parents, for as long as I can remember. Special Olympics is dear to my heart for all that it has done and continues to do for my brother.
This summer I decided to participate in RAGBRAI, but instead of riding a bike I skated 426 of the planned 471.1 miles across Iowa on my longboard. My friend, Alex, took the plunge signed up first. Seeing the potential for an awesome experience, I jumped at the opportunity to skate with him. What I aimed to do is skate for a reason other than my own personal goal. I would like to use this opportunity to give back to an organization that has given so much to so many great people. This was the birth of Skate F.A.R.
Donations to Special Olympics of Iowa through Skate F.A.R. can be made either as a single sum of the donor's choice or on a per mile basis based on the miles I completed on RAGBRAI. This was my motivator to complete as many miles as I could during the week. I tracked my miles and posted my brief daily blog in the updates section below. Note: Online donations page will be open through October 28th.
FUNDRAISING & Skating UPDATES
7/15/12 - We've already surpassed the $471 goal matching $1 for every mile of RAGBRAI 2012! This is awesome! Thank you all so much for your support! In response to exceeding expectations I have created a new fundraising goal of $700. This will do a lot of good for a lot of wonderful people! Again, many thanks for your support, and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might be interessted or want to donate too!
7/22/12 - Day one is done. First, a BIG thanks to the my amazing support team! Another big thanks to anyone who donated to the Special Olympics of Iowa! Day 1 Recap: 54 miles down, 5 miles of the worst pavement I've skated, morning was cool but hit 100 degrees by afternoon, hundreds of cheers of support from extremely nice people biking ("Great job skater dude!"-"You sir, are a BADA**! Keep it up!"-"Dude, you are the definition of BOSS." and many more...), great conversations, and to top it off I'm pretty sure I went 40-45+ mph on that monster of a hill just before Cherokee. Definitely the fastest I've ever gone, new PR. Overall, very intense awesome day. Stay posted for more tomorrow as I continue to Skate F.A.R.
7/23/12 - Day 2 complete. Again, HUGE thanks to my support team and the donors to Special Olympics of Iowa! SMILE-Seeing Magic In Life Everyday, awesome acronym by a biker I met on day one. Day 2 recap: More poor pavement which was slightly offset by heavenly stretches of smooth road, met tons of amazing people doing amazing things (Adaptive Sports of Iowa), discovered the power of Alieve and enjoyed part of a pork chop from pork chop guy. It was another great day. Tomorrow will be tough, skating 80+ miles... Stay posted for more tomorrow as I continue to Skate F.A.R. Thanks for all the positive thoughts, support and blessings!
7/24/12 - End of day 3... Thank you support team and SOIA donors!
Day 3 recap: Again, met tons of great people, and HOLY HEADWIND BATMAN! It slowed us down but helped beat the heat. A majority of the morning pavement was wonderfully smooth. Had my first fall in my new pads (they work great, I'm fine, and I was graceful), Alex and I covered a lot of ground quickly in the morning due to the great pavement. I bombed a few good hills, and pushed up several beastly hills.
Today, with the heat advisory I had a lesson in pride and stubbornness. If it's not worth risking your health or life, don't do it. I completed the first 40 and the last 20 miles today. The support from fellow riders has been fantastic. Tomorrow I heard it is predicted to be 105 before the heat index... Not cool.
Stay posted for more tomorrow as I continue to Skate F.A.R.
7/25/12 - Day 4... Many thanks to my support team and SOIA donors!
Day 4 recap: The hills into Marshalltown were alive with the sound of urethane wheels roaring down the descents. That last 16 miles of pavement and the scenery were just beautiful. On one hill, I went fast enough to pass several bikers. The coolest part was that they cheered as I flew by. I know for a fact one was a skater. Up to two blisters now from today and yesterday. We were welcomed to our resting town with open arms by a wonderful family. The dip in a cool pool was a huge help. Thank you Sarah & Rob for your hospitality! I saw several Cedar Rapidian friends on the way. Kelly, Chris, & Eric, and Connor, it was great seeing all of you! Michelle, thanks for having your friends check in on me.
According to the preroute analysis, there was a 2 mile stretch of gravel... Alex and I were not having any of that. With excessive heat, timing, and limitted support access we completed 67 miles today. Tomorrow we're shooting for 85 miles and rolling into my hometown. Get ready Cedar Rapids!
Stay posted for more tomorrow as I continue to Skate F.A.R.
FUNDRAISING: I finally got in front of a computer and found time to check the page and once again you all have gone above and beyond in generosity! Way to go and thank you! I could continue to raise the goal to a higher monetary amount, but instead I will say this... If you are moved by the story and are able to donate, please do. If you're unable to donate, but want to show support, please share this page with friends and family. Thank you.
7/26/12 - Day 6... Another big thanks to my support team and all the SOIA donors! I couldn't do what I've done without you.
Today was a short day with great weather, only 42 miles and 80 degrees. It's funny how my perspective on distance and weather has changed this week. I was joined by a friend, Ben Handler, who came to enjoy the ride and document with his camera. It was great to have someone new with to experience part of what Alex and I have experienced this week. My father helped me wrap my left foot this morning which helped immensely on the ride. On general the pavement was pretty good. The worst parts were the numerous uphill climbs and the unrelenting headwinds. You know it's windy if you have to push downhill. We took our time and stopped at many gatherings, vendors and towns along the way. Again, it's all about the people with this experience. The day ended with a great long hill into Anamosa. It was fun to bomb. If you're ever in Anamosa, check out the prison. It has the most beautiful exterior of any prison I've ever seen. Tomorrow we have a 70 mile trek to Clinton our very last stop. Gotta bring it home and finish strong!
7/27/12 - and on the 7th day... Thank you support team and SOIA donors! You're awesome!
Day 7 recap: Today I completed a week-long trek across Iowa on a wooden plank with 4 wheels. I've raised over $850 for Special Olympics of Iowa (donation page open until Oct. 28), skated 426 miles over 7 days, and met tons of amazing people along the way. I have had a great week.
Today we ran into a bit more of this terrible "test pavement" stuff that feels like skating on a washboard. It covered a ridiculously huge steep hill that I overheard someone call "cobalt hill". It was the same test pavement down the other side, but still fun to bomb. I am proud to say I have not walked up or down a single hill on this trip. I rode my board up and down every hill. I think my legs and feet have become numb to the aches and pains of long distance skateboarding, which actually made it much more enjoyable especially when I rolled onto sweet downward sloping black top for miles into Clinton. I'll have plenty of pictures to post on facebook later on. Feel free to contact me to hear more about my experience. My first giving page is open until October 28th. Thank you for following me on my journey to skate for a reason.
Thank you for visiting my fundraising page!
Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support my fundraising efforts. RAGBRAI 2012 took place the week of July 21st, but donations will be accepted until OCTOBER 28th.
If you would like to donate by mail, please make checks payable to "Special Olympics of Iowa" and address to Special Olympics Iowa with Skate F.A.R. in the memo and address them to:
Special Olympics of Iowa
PO Box 620 / 551 SE Dovetail Rd.
Grimes, IA 50111-0620