It is with great honor and pure pleasure that I tell you I was recently given the50 States & D.C. Marathon Group U.S.A.
HUMANITARIAN AWARD for 2009.
Below is the text written by Frank Jobe of the 50 State and DC Marathon group. I want to thank this group for their kind generosity and can only hope I do inspire others to reach for their own goals.
Setting a goal of running fifty-two marathons in fifty-two weeks is a daring thing to do. This is even more daring when you first start planning to do so you have only run six marathons in your entire life. Announcing your goal to the public where any slipup renders the entire project moot intensifies the pressure even more. And if that is not enough, perhaps you should also take time to start a new marathon and be the race director, add a charitable fundraising side to your running, endeavor to speak on the radio, television and newspapers to raise funds and awareness for that charity, continue working a full-time job and maybe also even squeeze in a personal record or two along the way.
This year’s winner of the HUMANITARIAN AWARD is Dane Rauschenberg and all the things listed above developed from a single idea.
Dane is a Penn State and Dickinson Law School graduate and had been working in the corporate world before setting out on this amazing journey. The idea began with how he wished to run a certified marathon each weekend for an entire year. Dane began researching and developing his schedule. One marathon that fit his schedule was the First Light Marathon in Mobile Alabama and while inquiring about the details of this marathon Dane learned that the marathon benefitted L’Arche. This simple inquiry as to what L’Arche did set things in motion for the charity that would benefit from Dane’s efforts in 2006 and into the future.
L’Arche is an international federation of communities where people with a mental handicap and those who help and care for them can live, work and share their lives together. The first community was established in France in 1964 and has developed into many religious and cultural traditions around the world. The United States has sixteen communities and two projects. These communities rely on donations for a portion of their income, the moneys raised by Dane helped the community in Mobile Alabama with their financial needs and Dane believes that the awareness brought to the L’Arche communities around the world will be a benefit for them far into the future.
Dane dubbed his project “Fiddy2” a play on words for the fifty two marathons in fifty two weeks and the financial goal of fifty two thousand dollars. While the financial goal has not been reached as of yet, (Dane is currently at $44,000) Dane is hopeful it will be reached soon. The website www.fiddy2.org remains active and is always accepting donations.
To promote the fund raising effort Dane submitted blog postings, sent out weekly press releases and received radio, television and print coverage. He was featured at various pre-race pasta dinners and spoke all over the country tirelessly about L’Arche and its message.
The weekend of December 22nd did not offer any certified marathons anywhere in the world so Dane took it upon himself to organize and be the race director of the inaugural Drake Well Marathon in his home town of Titusville Pennsylvania. The race was capped at 25 runners and consisted of 105.5 laps around the high school track. Runners from nine states took part in this event.
Dane had some impressive records to his credit before his fifty- two marathon challenge in 2006. In 2003, he broke the course record at the Presque Isle Endurance Classic by completing eighty-four miles in twelve hours for an amazing 8:30 minute mile pace. In 2005 he won the PT Cruiser Challenge in Tampa Florida, which was event consisting of a 5k, 15k and a marathon in a twenty-four hour period where the winner had the lowest cumulative time.
Running in 2006 took Dane to twenty eight states, two Canadian Provinces and the Cayman Islands. Dane’s goal was to not simply show up at raced but rather run at or near his peak week-in and week-out. In his forty second marathon of the year, he set a new personal record by running under the coveted three hour barrier with a finish time of 2:59:48 in Niagara Falls Canada. On top of that, Dane showed you can get faster by racing often by averaging a 3:13 for the second half of the year after averaging a 3:29 for the first half of the year.
For the giving of his time and talents to benefit those that are less fortunate. The 50 State and D.C. Marathon Group U.S.A. is proud to present to Dane Rauschenberg the 2009 Humanitarian Award.
May his belief of benefiting L’Arche far into the future continue to be a reality.