Mike McMonagle's Western States 1000
I set up this page to raise money for Special Operations Warrior Foundation. My goal is to raise just $1,000 by June 29, 2013 - the date of the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run. Hence, Western States 1000! And if we surpass that, then we'll see how high we can go! But Western States 1000 still has a catchy ring to it I think :)
I have been inspired by countless individuals and groups over the years. The reality is, we all have something about us that is capable of inspiring others. Special Operations Warrior Foundation is a truly inspiring charity for a truly inspiring group of people. In short, SOWF provides funds to allow the children of Special Operators who have lost their lives the opportunity for a college education. In addition, SOWF provides immediate monetary support to personnel who suffer serious injury in the line of duty, assisting them in the recovery process with their families.
The foundation provides these services to Special Operators in every branch of the U.S. military. I think the hard work and sacrifice these servicemembers make for their country speaks for itself. I have had the good fortune to meet several members of the Navy SEAL community over the years, and I am not exaggerating when I say they are some of the most mentally and physically driven people I've ever met.
Several of my best friends are currently in different stages of the SEAL training pipeline working to earn their Tridents. Some of them (Matt, John and Ted) are the ones who have inspired me to give to SOWF. You see, I am hoping to use a couple of running events to bring attention to, and raise funds for, this organization. But Matt, John, and Ted, have all completed a much more difficult footrace, the Arrowhead 135, in support of SOWF. Of course, they invited me to participate in the event with them, but I was too much of a wimp and backed out...So, to Matt, John and Ted - while I know my physical prowess and mental fortitude pale in comparison to each of yours, I will attempt to make up for the suffering I missed out on while you spent dozens of hours in dark solitude on snowy trails in northern Minnesota.
I am genuinely inspired by people like Matt, John and Ted, and consider myself truly lucky to call them my friends. I hope that you all find the same inspiration in people like them; in the Special Operators serving our country every day at high personal risk; in those same people who endure extreme levels of physical and mental training in order to prepare themselves for such high-risk operations; and in all of those people who do difficult and dangerous things so that the rest of us can live a little bit more comfortably. If you feel their inspiration and feel compelled to make a donation of any size to SOWF, then there are a LOT of people who will love you for it!
As of now, there are two events in particular in which I hope that my participation will help raise awareness for this charity:
- March 30-31, 2013 - Backbone Trail Ultra by Coyote Cohorts - a 68-mile point-to-point trail run through the Santa Monica Mountains.
- May 4, 2013 - Falcon 50 Mile - A race open only to military and D.O.D. personnel on two loops of trails entirely within the property of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
- May 18, 2013 - Ride the Wind 100km - Two 50km loops in the desert just outside Las Vegas.
- June 29-30, 2013 - Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run - a 100-mile trail run from Squaw Valley to Auburn, CA, through the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California.
While I participate in events like these because I love the trails, the mountains, the people, and just running in general, they do tend to get incredibly difficult at times. I intend to use the inspirations described above, as well as the motivation provided by this fundraising effort, to drive myself through the valleys and over the peaks to finish these events and others like them :)
Below is a more detailed description of SOWF from their website:
Created in 1980, Special Operations Warrior Foundation is devoted to providing a college education to every child who has lost a parent serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps during an operational or training mission under the U.S. Special Operations Command. This includes over 70,000 military special operations and support personnel assigned to units throughout the United States and around the world.
The Warrior Foundation is currently committed to providing scholarship grants to more than 950 children of the 866 Special Operations personnel who have given their lives for their country since 1980, including those who died fighting our nation's war against terrorism as part of "Operation Enduring Freedom" in Afghanistan and the Philippines as well as "Operation Iraqi Freedom."
Currently, 214 children of fallen special operations warriors have graduated from college with the assistance of the SOWF. The Special Operations Warrior Foundation also provides immediate $3,000 cash grants to personnel seriously wounded in the line of duty. Once notified of a special operations soldier, airman, sailor or Marine hospitalized with a severe injury, the SOWF immediately sends funds to the service member (or his/her designated recipient) so family members can immediately travel to be at their loved one's bedside. Since this program began in 2005, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation has provided over $ 1.8 million to wounded special operations personnel.