Boulder, Colorado (PRWEB) February 19, 2007
When Brad Feld, passionate amateur marathoner and a well known venture capitalist, decided not to run in the North Pole Marathon on April 7, he enlisted the aid of online running community YourRunning.com to find someone crazy enough to take his reserved place in the extreme race.
That didn't turn out to be a difficult task. 65 talented runners entered a contest run by http://www.YourRunning.com and begged to be sent to the North Pole to run 26.2 miles on top of the Arctic Ocean.
A hardy winner has been announced: Bobby Bostic, 38, of Oakland, California.
Bobby's athletic credentials are stellar. Since running his first marathon in 1994, he has completed more than 50 marathons and ultramarathons. He took second place in the 1999 Death Valley Badwater Marathon, and finished in the top quartile in the Badwater Ultramarathon last year. He's a five-time ironman finisher, and has done such athletic feats as an all-day run back and forth across the Golden Gate Bridge (78 miles in 12-1/2 hours).
What attracted the contest judges most to Bobby is his commitment to turning his athletic achievements into money for charity. Last year, he raised more than $150,000 at the Badwater event for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. (He is on that organization's board of directors.) His lifetime athletic fundraising now tops $500,000.
Each year, Bobby does some sort of "crazy" solo athletic event to raise money for charity. Five years ago, he founded the Pony Express Run, a solo, unaided ultra-distance event designed to raise money for Challenged Athletes. His win of the Brad Feld/YourRunning.com North Pole Marathon Entry Giveaway contest will be this year's crazy event, and he'll use it for his annual fund-raising drive to benefit Challenged Athletes.
Bobby says of his win in the North Pole contest: "As I explained to those who thought I was nuts for even applying, with technology, the world seems to be shrinking right before our eyes and any chance (no matter how crazy) to experience a place on earth that few people will ever see in their lifetime is always worth shooting for. Even if the race itself turns into a complete nightmare, the experience will be one I treasure always.
"Having survived the hottest and most difficult race on the planet last year at the Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon, I look forward to racing in the COLDEST and most difficult race on the planet," he says. "I am thrilled!"
As winner of the marathon entry and travel to the North Pole, Bobby will write a blog about training for the polar race, which will appear on http://www.YourRunning.com. He'll also be posting audio reports to his blog, and plans to shoot some fun-spirited videos of his training. He has plans for training in an institutional freezer and reports that he's turned his office thermostat down to 45 F. (We think he's not kidding.)
Bobby Bostic's Hot & Cold Running Blog can be found at:
YourRunning.com, a participative, citizen media-based online community for running enthusiasts, will allow all runners to experience -- via Bobby's writings and multimedia posts -- what it's like to train for a marathon in the extreme conditions of the North Pole. While Bobby will be sharing his training regimen, YourRunning.com users also will be sharing their advice to Bobby as well.
Bobby works as an associate in the San Francisco office of the Capital Group Companies, an investment management firm.
Back-up runner: Dane Rauschenberg
YourRunning.com also has named a back-up North Pole Marathon entrant in case Bobby is unable to run. The contest judges chose Dane Rauschenberg, 30, of Arlington, Virginia, an avid marathoner who completed the incredible feat of running a marathon every week during 2006. A lawyer by day, Dane completed his personal marathon journey at his own expense and raised money during the course of running 52 marathons.
About the other contest entrants
65 people applied to run in Brad's spot in the North Pole Marathon. Many of the entries were from amazing people, says Steve Outing, founder and publisher of YourRunning.com and the Enthusiast Group. "It was an extraordinarily difficult decision for Brad and the rest of us to select just one person. We had runners applying who had done and accomplished amazing things -- including running marathons in Antarctica and scaling the world's highest peaks. Several contestants told compelling tales of being overweight and out of shape, then using running to turn their lives around enough to be capable of running in the North Pole Marathon. We had to say no to some amazing athletes when we made the final selection."
Brad Feld, an avid marathoner and an investor in YourRunning.com's parent company, the Enthusiast Group, was signed up to run in the 2007 North Pole Marathon. While initially excited about the polar run, he reconsidered the prospect of running for 8+ hours (his projected time in that environment) in the sub-zero conditions at the top of the Arctic Ocean -- so he decided to pass his already-paid entry on to and sponsor another hardy entrant.
He explains: "When I came up with the idea of running the North Pole Marathon last summer, I thought to myself, 'This will be a fun challenge.' As the time (and the miles) passed, I started to think it was a crazy idea -- which was reinforced by my friends who simply shook their heads (side to side) whenever I said anything about it. Later, as I suited up to go for a run in minus 20 degree weather, I realized that it was a 'stupid f*****g idea.' So, I came up with a better one. Since I'd already paid for the entry fee, I'd sponsor someone instead to run for Team Feld."
YourRunning.com hosted a competition among runners and awarded Brad's entry to the competition. The prize was the entry to the North Pole Marathon (worth about $12,000) and airfare to the North Pole departure point in Norway.
Bobby's trip to run in the North Pole Marathon is sponsored in part by sponsors Pixie Mate and Kahtoola Snow Systems. Bobby will be drinking the first Pixie Mate beverage at the North Pole, and he'll be outfitted with Kahtoola's snow travel system (a replacement for traditional snowshoes).
Companies wishing to join Pixie Mate and Kahtoola as Bobby's sponsors should contact Yann Ropars of the Enthusiast Group at 303-543-7810.
About the race
The North Pole Marathon is operated and organized by Richard Donovan and Polar Running Adventures of Ireland. The race is run at ... yes ... the North Pole, making it the only marathon to be run on water -- a thick sheet of ice on the Arctic Ocean. This year's race will include 45 entrants from around the world.
Racers will be flown to the North Pole (via Norway) where a 2-mile loop will be set up, with warming tents and runner support. Depending on snow and ice conditions, marathon entrants will run in either trail shoes or lightweight snowshoes.
More information can be found at http://www.npmarathon.com
YourRunning.com is an online community and resource for runners -- from world-class athletes to passionate enthusiasts -- and a place for them to share their tales of adventure, photos and videos with other runners. The site is led by "enthusiast-in-chief" Simon Martin, who serves as community cheerleader and writes a regular blog about the running life.
The website is meant as a friendly place where runners can tell their own stories and share their experiences without needing a professional journalist to discover them. It is based on the concept of "citizen media" -- which simply means that runners themselves are the authors of much of the content on the site.
About the Enthusiast Group
The Boulder, Colorado-based company was founded in early 2006 by online media pioneer Steve Outing and Internet entrepreneur Derek Scruggs, with the goal of creating a network of citizen-media-based websites serving adventure and participant sports. YourRunning.com, YourClimbing.com, YourCycling.com and YourMTB.com are the first sites published by the company to open to the public. Sites covering additional adventure and participant sports -- including horse sports, kayaking and skateboarding -- are planned for roll-out early in 2007.
The Enthusiast Group is funded by a group of 11 investors, including Omidyar Network (a mission-based investment group founded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar), DB Medialab (the new-media arm of Norwegian national newspaper Dagbladet), and Brad Feld.
Bobby Bostic's Hot & Cold Running Blog: http://www.yourrunning.com/blog/baselbutt
YourRunning website: http://www.yourrunning.com
North Pole Marathon website: http://www.npmarathon.com
Pixie Mate: http://www.pixiemate.com
Kahtoola Snow Travel Systems: http://www.kahtoola.com
Corporate website: http://www.enthusiastgroup.com
Steve Outing, founder and publisher: 303-543-7810
Yann Ropars, director of business development: 303-543-7810
Derek Scruggs, founder and CEO: 303-543-7810
Simon Martin, YourRunning.com enthusiast-in-chief: 720-221-7809
Bobby Bostic: 415-393-7139