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Jay's Valor Run

Proceeds benefit O'Connell Valor Fund, Inc.

Completed

Based on 26 miles, each worth $100.68

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Marine Corps Marathon for O'Connell Valor Fund

I am running my first marathon in October - the 43rd Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC and I want to make it count. Over the past several years, I’ve made the O’Connell Valor Fund my charity of choice in personal giving and fundraising. My children raised more than $1000 to buy backpacks and essentials for homeless veterans through the OVF. This is my opportunity.

About our Sponsored Veteran:

The O’Connell Valor Fund, Inc. has presented a Veteran for me to sponsor as part of my Marine Corps Marathon fund raising effort.

He is a current era Army Veteran who was medically separated. He has increasing medical needs requiring frequent trips to the Veteran’s Administration (VA) and emergency rooms (ERs). Before this spring, his wife was full time employed in a good profession and his adult son with special needs were the primary wage earners of the family.

However, earlier this spring, his son committed suicide in the family home. Given the nature of the her job, she is not able to return to work at this time and an already struggling family is now struggling emotionally, physically and financially. Let this sink in for a little bit.

Many agencies have worked very hard with the family in the last few months to help them while they grieve. They are at a place now in which they need to move out of their current residence.

These agencies are working with them to increase the level of support services from the VA in the home and working with his wife around plans for reentry into the workforce. The family will need additional financial support to help them move and leave the home where the incident took place and move closer to the VA.

And THAT is where my little idea to give a little back is going. These stories are real, this is the story of a very real struggle. I am forever thankful to help make a difference in another life in this way. The tragedy and greatness of this effort is that the O’Connell Valor Fund has many other cases similar to this one and there are many ways to help - everyone, EVERYONE has the opportunity to give back, sometimes you just need to set your mind to making a difference. You don’t have to give a dollar to a nameless, faceless organization or fundraiser. The OVF spends 99% of all received money on the veterans it supports. This is literally helping local.

Why is running the MCM to raise money for OVF a natural fit?

OVF is a New Hampshire based 501(c)(3) charitable organization that gives more than 99% of its proceeds to direct donations to fully vetted veterans in need. 99%. In a world where charities spend better than 35% on overhead, OVF spends less than 1%.

I have paid my entry fee to the marathon - I’m not raising money to get my fee waived. I am paying for my own lodging. I’m paying all my own costs. I have no fundraising quota. OVF has promised nothing in return for this fundraiser - only to use the money directly on supporting vulnerable veterans.

This is a labor of love. My goal is to give a little something back. I hope you’ll consider supporting my journey toward and my effort on October 28. I would consider it an honor and a privilege.

October Update:

I can't believe it's almost here.  A couple more long runs and before you know it, October 28 will be here! It's been quite a ride getting here, I'm nervous, excited, and frankly ready to go.  The fundraising goal is within sight, and I'm excited about that as well - It's so gratifying to see so many people supporting this important cause.  I'm writing this just before the start of October, but I'm expecting to end the month of September with more than 160-running miles; averaging roughly 40-miles/week. I'm feeling strong and ready.

September Update:

I’m feeling a lot better, stronger than I did when I wrote my August update at the beginning of the month. I finished the month with 156 miles in - of course 40 or so of those were racked up at the Anchor Down 12-Hour Ultra mid-month. Looking back, I did 6-races in August and all 6 were trail races. Well, 5 were - 1 was an Obstacle Course. As the weather has cooled off, I’ve noticed a significant increase in my pace - YAY! The timing couldn’t be better either as the long runs are getting longer. There aren’t any firm plans for races this month, just long runs and maybe I’ll run a race here and there. I’m getting psyched and nervous the closer this gets!

August Update:

July was a tough month for getting it done to be sure. I ran 5 races: three of which were 5k, one of which was a 10k and one was a Spartan race. Not exactly superior training modules for a marathon. I have been training to a solid schedule though, averaging about 37 miles a week - just because I’m not racing, it doesn’t mean I’m not training. I saw my cardiovascular performance improve over the month and I’m feeling better while running, but man the heat and humidity have been gross. For someone who spent last July on ice due to injury, I’m thankful to have had that month to train this year.

I have a Spartan Super coming up and a week later the Anchor Down 12-hour ultramarathon that is sure to be a challenge, followed up with a 5-mile trail race. In the intervening time, I’ll continue my training schedule - again, no one is looking for a BQ. I figure if I can maintain a solid pace and training regimen throughout July and August - the hottest, most humid months of the year - my pace and conditioning for the rest of the year will be on point. I just have to keep at it.

The most inspirational part of this for me is re-reading my veteran’s story and reminding myself just WHY I’m doing this and how important it is.

July Update:

I’ve had some nagging injuries over the last few months that have impacted my pacing and, for a little bit, my overall training/workout schedule but I’m hopeful they’re in the rear view now. I ran the Horseneck Half Marathon in May while dealing with some of those nagging injuries I mentioned and managed a reasonably respectable time; I ran the Bristol Rhode Island Independence Rhode Race Half in June with a chest cold and fared significantly less well. On the one hand the injuries and pace are disappointing, on the other I’ve gotten out there and done the work. I’m excited about this project and am committed to it.

Next month, Rich O’Connell - the Chairman of the O’Connell Valor Fund - and I will be running the 12-hour Anchor Down Ultramarathon in Bristol, RI. It will be my first road ultra and a fine way to test my meddle for the Marine Corps Marathon. As an aside, as an additional project this year, I’ve been recapping my various race experiences this year on my blog; I welcome you to review my work leading up to the MCM at Morrisseyweb.com. The link will take you to the race recaps. I’m no speedster, much more of a scrapper so you’re not going to be reading about 15-minute 5k’s or Boston Qualifying times, but maybe you’ll be inspired to share or support this fundraiser.

Last, I’m anxiously awaiting being able to share the story of the Veteran this run will be supporting.

I will update this fundraiser periodically and certainly more frequently the closer October 28 comes.

About the Organizations:

The Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) is an annual marathon held in Arlington, Virginia and Washington, DC. The mission of the MCM is to promote physical fitness, generate community goodwill, and showcase the organizational skills of the United States Marine Corps.

The O’Connell Valor Fund (OVF), Established in honor of Michael O’Connell (WW I - U.S. Army - Distinguished Service Cross), and his nephew, Michael O’Connell (WW II - U.S. Marine Corps - Bronze Star). Their goal is simple, help our U.S. Military heroes, next-of-kin, and families better cope with daily life so they can heal with some peace of mind knowing basic essentials are covered. This might include a monthly utility bill payment, tuition payment, groceries for the week, making sure their child’s birthday is a little extra special, and many other basic essentials many of us take for granted. More information can be found here: https://goo.gl/EkNtJX (or) on social media #OCValor

Schedule

DateNamemilesEarned
10/28Marine Corps Marathon26.20$2,638

This campaign benefits

O'Connell Valor Fund, Inc.

Verified Charity

Our goal is simple - help our U.S. Military heroes, next-of-kin, and families better cope with daily life.

Contributions made to this campaign are tax-deductible.

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