Sunday, February 17, 2008


How far is a marathon?
26.2 miles.

Does 21 Run Salute support the war?
No. It supports a humanitarian cause, namely, supporting fellow Americans who are in harm's way unconditionally serving their country and the families of those who've made the ultimate sacrifice in doing so. The effort is not about supporting any political agenda or the war itself. Funds raised are going to charities that help troops and the families of fallen service members, not the Pentagon. There are no weapons in the care packages being sent to the troops sent by the USO. I am, in fact, not fully supportive of the war at all, but I recognize that members of our armed forces do not have a choice in the matter and that many of them feel as I do about the war but must nevertheless leave their families and jobs behind and put their lives at risk on the behalf of others. These are special people who deserve our support.

Since you don't really support the war, what types of people are supporting your campaign?
I'm proud to say that my supporters come from a variety of different backgrounds. They include members of both major political parties; people who are for and against the war; veterans and those who have family & friends serving; church groups, businesses and organizations who are sympathetic to the cause; folks who don't want the troops to be blamed for the war and forgotten; people who appreciate the troops serving so there doesn't need to be a military draft; those who want to help the families of fallen service members; and others who simply want to thank the men and women of our armed forces for their sacrifices.

How much of the money raised is going to the charity?
All except what ActiveGiving charges to handle online donations. See ActiveGiving FAQ.

Why did you choose to use ActiveGiving to handle online donations?
Of several online donation services I looked at, ActiveGiving offered the most flexibility in setting up online donations for two different charities. I also liked their simple and clean user interface, which would make online giving as easy as possible for donors.

Why did you call this effort 21 Run Salute?
A 21 Gun Salute is a national salute fired in honor of a national flag, the President, ex-President, President-elect and various other foreign dignitaries. It is also fired on certain National holidays including Memorial Day to honor those who've died in service to our country. Though not correct, many also think the three rifle volleys often fired at military funerals is also called a 21 Gun Salute.

21 Run Salute is simply my way of honoring some very special people, our troops, those who've made the ultimate sacrifice and those who are in harm's way in service of our country. I believe their sacrifices and hardships should not be something that is taken for granted.

Isn't it dangerous to run so many marathons close together?
Yes, it can be. But I feel it is much safer and easier than what many of our troops are facing in Iraq or Afghanistan. I will be doing everything I can to minimize my risks.

What is your training, racing and recovery plan for doing all these marathons?
My top priority will be finishing all races in good condition so I will not be running any of the races all-out. By treating the marathons more like long training runs and taking 10-15 minute ice baths as soon as possible after a race, I can recover quickly and be ready to run another one within 1-2 weeks. In between races, I will do little if any running, just some cross-training activities which I believe help my recovery.

Why not run marathons every week or one on Saturday and one on Sunday like some multiple marathoners do?
Though I won't be running each race as fast as I can, I would like to finish each race within 3:50, my Boston Marathon qualifying time. That is a reasonable time goal I've had for all my marathons to date and I'd like to keep it as a secondary race goal. Running marathons too close together will make meeting that time goal difficult, not to mention raise my already high risk of injury. Most people that run marathons weekly or run back-to-back Saturday and Sunday marathons run much slower than I plan to run.

What happens if you don't meet your race time goal?
Oh well, I'll have another chance to do so soon.

What happens if you get injured or sick and can't run or finish a race?
Well, military deployments are often getting extended due to unforseen circumstances. If something should arise that would prevent me from running or finishing a race, then my "deployment" too would be extended. I WILL run 21 marathons for this fundraising project come hell or high water. I may have to schedule an alternate race if another in the same state is not available within a reasonable time frame.

Why have you chosen to do all your races with in a 9 month time frame?
Firstly, September through May is when most marathons are held. Secondly, I wanted the date of my first race to closely coincide with September 11, the day that triggered the Global War on Terrorism, and the date of my last race to closely coincide with Memorial Day, the day we remember those who've died in our nation's service.

How did you decide what states to run races in and why are there two races in CA?
I downloaded the names of the servicemen and women who've made the ultimate sacrifice during the war on terrorism, sorted them by state and determined which states had lost the most number of residents. Then I compared them with marathon race calendars. I tried to pick races in the states that had lost many residents or at least a race in a nearby state.

Wherever possible, I also tried to pick a race with relatively easy course conditions (i.e., flat, cool temperatures, sea level) and give myself 2 weeks in between races, both of which will make running easier and reduce my risk of injury. Because California had lost so many more residents than other states, I decided I should run two races there, one in Northern California and one in Southern California.

What does your family think about you doing this stunt?
My husband knows how goal-oriented I am and has always been very supportive of all my endeavors. My step-daughter says I'm psychotic but has joined Team 21 to show her unconditional love and support. Most of my other family members think it's a great idea and have been eager to help.