Every year in September I ‘give up’ my birthday for charity: water, and ask my friends to donate instead of giving me gifts. It’s how I first heard of charity: water in 2008, and each year it’s a really meaningful moment of connection for me with my friends and family.
This year I turned 30. A big one. I sat down in July at the World Domination Summit with Rael and Kaitlyn from my team and brainstormed over a good meal what it would take to do something I didn’t think possible for my 30th birthday: raise $30,000 for clean water in India.
Kaitlyn knows me well, and astutely observed ‘your friends would probably give a lot of money to make you do something really stupid’. So, inspired by one of my favorite charity: water campaigns from Sarah Peck, I eventually settled on pledging to run the Philadelphia Half Marathon in nothing but a speedo, if we raised over $30,000.
For a long time I thought I was ‘safe’ – $30K is a big goal, and while my friends are extremely generous it’s still a huge target. Then, the week before the marathon my roommate offered to give the final $5000 if we got to $25K, and with that incentive and many more generous donations – we hit the target.
So that led me to 7am last Sunday in Philadelphia, standing amongst 30,000 runners at the start line ready to take all my clothes off and run 13.1 miles. And if there’s one other item one should wear when running a race in a budgie smuggler, it’s Google Glass (we’ve got a pair in the office).
Update: just got a download of the finish line video — if you’re finishing a Half Marathon in a budgie smuggler, you sure better click your heels:
So without further ado, here’s photos and videos from my Google Glass.
5.45am race prep
“As the American Flag Crosses the Start Line!” start line announcer admiring my budgie smuggler
Chafing was a common topic of conversation
As the crowd built, so did the amusing spectators, like old mate holding a giant picture of his own head
In nearly every photo I took someone in the background is reacting to my outfit
The reactions of runners I passed was priceless. Wearing no clothes makes you a lot of friends during a race.
“Oh no! Not the GLASS!” Bad Santa
6 miles in bumped into my cheer squad. Best sign at the marathon: “Aussies in Speedos are Hot”
Pain Now. Beer Later.
“Officer! No Concealed Weapon!”
Chafe Now. Brag Forever.
Brittany was a lovely Dr from Iowa running the marathon who did a few miles with me. She’ll have a funny story for her husband about her speedo clad Australian friend
These Frat Boys didn’t actually give me any beer
Chafing is temporary. Pride is forever.
As you turn at mile 8 you meet some very strangely dressed, dancing characters
11 miles in and the crowd starts to build for the finish
Howdy, Howdy, Howdy, Howdy
Less than a mile to go…
And the Finish Line
1:48:00 later – Well that was fun
All in all, you know you’re doing something right when 16 year old girls are questioning your sanity on social media.
On a serious note though — because of the generosity of many of you, we’ve been able to bring clean drinking water to over 700 people in Orissa, India. We’ll change hundreds of lives for the better because 402 of you gave $31,690, every cent of which will fund water projects.
Here’s the charity: water September Campaign video that shows you exactly the change we’ll be making: