My Fundraising Page

My Fundraising Page
Jan 04, 2010 by Christopher Johnston

Racing to Save Lives

Welcome to my Team In Training home page. I hope you like it here and that you will stop by often to check up on my progress throughout the winter/spring 2010 season. As I always do, I'll be running a full slate of races this season, but in this message I want to focus on one race in particular, the SunTrust National Half Marathon, which I am running to benefit Team in Training and its parent organization, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Why Team in Training, and why now? Recently, a close friend of me and my wife, Liz Rugaber, recently was diagnosed with leukemia. Those who know Liz know of her tremendous compassion, wit and positive energy. Even now, engaged in the fight of her life, she's still that way. To see her wage this fight on a daily basis is simply amazing. She never complains about her condition or asks "why me?" If anything, she continually finds the humorous and the positive in her situation, and she always has time for others, especially her two young children, Paul and Ellen and her husband Chris. To see Liz in action really is a sight to behold, and it makes you really want to take up her fight, too.

And so I'm running for Liz this season as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training. But it even goes beyond that. In fact, all of us on Team In Training are raising funds to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives. I am completing this event in honor of all individuals who are battling blood cancers. These people are the real heroes on our team.

There is one other part of our team, though...hopefully you. My commitment to Team in Training is to complete a race on their behalf. They provide me and all their athletes with support along the way and they cover our race fee. In return, we are asked to raise a substantial amount of money, which goes right back into supporting the LLS mission of finding a cure. Simply put, we just can't do it without you. So I ask humbly for you to make whatever donation you can to support our cause. I need to raise $1500 dollars in a fairly short amount of time, and any contribution, large or small, will be very deeply appreciated, not just by me but more importantly by those for whom I run and their loved ones. With your help, we will get one more mile closer to the ultimate finish line - a cure!

Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey.

Update 1/11/2010:

It's been a great first week. Despite the cold temperatures and icy conditions outside I logged some great workouts. The week ahead is a busy one, capped off by a benchmark 20k race on Saturday in Georgetown and an indoor track meet on Sunday morning in Arlington. Meanwhile my fundraising drive for LLS has also gotten off to an auspicious beginning, thanks to so many of you. After just seven days, I'm already more than 40% to my goal of $1,500! I'd like to be as close to that target amount as possible by 1/28, which is my "recommitment" date, and when I want to be able to give the program complete confidence that I'm going to make it to the goal. So if you can help sometime in the next 2 weeks please do so, with my sincere thanks.

Update 1/19/2010:

It's been another good week, capped off by a solid race performance on Saturday 1/16 at the DC Roadrunners Club's MLK 20k race in Georgetown. I used it as a hard training run rather than a race, and for the first 10k I ran at my marathon goal pace, about 7:10 per mile. Then in the second half I stepped it up and ran about 30 seconds per mile faster. I would have pleased with that alone but was really surprised to notch my best 20k result ever, at 1:26:22! Not bad for a training run! The next day I ran the 3000m at the Potomac Valley Track Club's indoor meet in Arlington. The results weren't nearly as spectacular as I ran 11:14 on some very tired legs, but I think again it was very good training for those late miles in the big races yet to come. On the fundraising side, I am now over 50% to my goal and am very pleased with that. But I'd still really appreciate your help if you can provide it. Please consider supporting my campaign; no contribution is too small. Thanks.

Update 1/25/2010:

The past week was a busy one related to things other than running. I had hoped to knock down a 60 mile week but that was just not to be, and I had to settle for only 34 miles. Despite the obstacles I had some very good workouts and feel very pleased at this point about my conditioning. This coming weekend I've got one more indoor track meet, so that's one last opportunity for some real blazing speedwork before I start really locking in on longer distances. I also got more plugged in this past week with the TNT community; I hadn't even known where or when any of the group runs and other events were taking place, but I'm on the distribution now, getting lots of emails every day from them. It's a bit overwhelming at times but I'm glad to be in the loop and feel like I'm really part of something big. Luckily for you, my readers, I distill the messages I receive down to a few key points. And here's one. We're conducting a raffle for a Mercedes E-Class sedan (MSRP $48,600) , $100 a ticket. If you were thinking of donating to my campaign anyway, why not put your name into the mix for this, too. Hey, you never know! If you are interested, let me know at, and I will forward you a raffle ticket, which you then fax in to TNT along with your $100 donation. It's as easy as that.

Update 2/1/2010:

Well, the first month of the year, and of my personal road to Boston, has now finished. So far things have gone well despite some obstacles, such as yet another snowstorm, being thrown in the way. The snowstorm we had over the weekend did result in cancellation of the track meet I was planning to run on Sunday; it may be rescheduled for a future date in February. However, I performed extremely well in a key workout last Wednesday, a demanding 5 x 2000m session on the track where I not only hit each 2000 repeat at faster than target time, but got faster on each repetition. I capped off the week by finally joining up with the rest of the TNT Virginia group on Saturday morning for 10 miles along the Potomac, starting and finishing at Mt. Vernon while the snow fell. It was a great run and a very inspirational experience to meet so many other runners supporting the same cause. Afterwards, as I slogged through a weather-induced traffic jam on the way home, I resolved to try and make more of these groups runs. Given my training and racing demands, I can't make it every Saturday morning, but I'll get to them whenever I can, including most likely this coming Saturday when the group convenes at the Washington Marina. Lastly, but not least, the fundraising campaign on behalf of Liz and so many others battling blood cancers has completed another good week. As a result my personal campaign now stands at 94% of the way towards its goal, and that's just a small fraction of what's been raised by the entire TNT Virginia group. Thanks to everyone who has supported us so far and to those still thinking about it...there's still time. My campaign will run until March 1. You can still even enter the Mercedes sweepstakes if you like ($100 donation); just go to, print the form out and forward along with your payment.

Update 2/11/2010:

Well, it's been a very strange 10 days or so, to say the least, around here. The unprecedented cycle of snowstorms in the DC has brought just about everything to a halt and made running on the roads outside completely unviable. I've been able to keep up at least some of my training at home on the treadmill, though not at the level I would otherwise have been maintaining. Like most everyone around here, I'm coping with the weather situation as best I can. I think I can at least say I haven't lost any ground during this time. And that's a good thing, because the National Half Marathon is just 5.5 weeks away...and Boston only 9.5 weeks away! Meanwhile my fundraising campaign has continued to proceed brilliantly, thanks to so many of you. You are all amazing and I'm flattered to have your support. Because of you I have surpassed the $1,500 I was required to raise. That said I am continuing my campaign until its official ending March 1. So if you haven't joined my team yet, please do. I'd love to have you on board!

Update 2/19/2010:

After "Snowmageddon" life is finally starting to return to normal in the nation's capital and that is good for anyone who is weary of winter or for that matter, busy training for a marathon. We're still not seeing quite the seasonal temperatures we are accustomed to getting, but the daytime highs are at least warm enough to get some badly needed melting underway. I've had some great workouts this week, all inside so far. But I am looking forward to getting back outdoors for today's run. I also completed my first marathon pace run of this cycle this week, and it went very well. This is the point when training starts to inch towards the peak phase and I can't be happier about my position as I enter that stage. I also am thrilled that my first involvement with TNT or any charity running/fundraising effort has gone so well. I could not have done it without those of you who've supported me. And remember the help you've given me is really supporting Liz and all those fighting blood cancers. Every penny goes towards researching a cure and helping to make their lives better. That said there's still time to donate to my campaign, which runs until March 1. You can donate easily and securely via this page. Or, if you are feeling lucky, you can enter the Mercedes sweepstakes that LLS is holding and donate to my campaign at the same time...just go to the following link to get the entry form:

Note - the drawing for the Mercedes is 2/27 so don't delay if you want to get in on this opportunity.

Update 3/9/2010:

Well, it's all over but for the tapering. Tapering, of course, is the final stage of training before a target race, where you dial back on all those hard miles you've been doing, and let your body gather strength for the big day. Tomorrow, I'll start a 10-day taper for the National Half Marathon and if all goes according to plan, I'll be ready to nail a big result on 3/20. Meanwhile I've raised close to $1,700 in honor of Liz and almost all of it goes right into supporting LLS's core missions of researching a cure for blood cancers, and providing support to patients and their loved ones as they carry on their fight for life on a daily basis. It's been a great ride, one that has added so much to my already strong drive to train and be the best I can be as a runner. Hopefully it's also made me a better person, too. I've said it many times and I'll probably say it many more, but THANK YOU to all who have chosen to stand alongside me and Liz in this fight. We're happy and honored to have you on our team. :) Now, let's get ready to race!

Update 3/16/2010:

The big day, or at least the first of them, has nearly arrived. Race day is this Saturday morning, 7:00 am. Today I did my last run of any significant mileage, an 8-miler at lunchtime near the office. I should come into Saturday rested and ready for a big result. I'll be gunning for my half marathon PR of 1:29:09, which was set in Philadelphia this past November; that result was good enough to qualify me for the 2010 New York City Marathon, which I will run this coming November. In parallel, the fundraising efforts on behalf of LLS continue as well. I've now crossed over the $1,700 mark and with a couple of days to go, I'd be thrilled to see it go even higher! There's still time, so please help if you can, no matter if it's a large or small contribution. For anyone thinking about venturing down to RFK and checking out the races and cheering for our TNT team, we'd love to see you. I'm an experienced competitive runner but many of my teammates are doing their first-ever marathon or half-marathon, and your support will mean so much to them. And you just never might even find yourself inspired to join TNT for one of its fall endurance race programs. ;) Please feel free to check out the race website for the best viewing spots, at, or just take Metro to the Stadium/Armory station to be be at the start and finish area for both the half and full marathons. Hope to see you on Saturday...I'll be in a purple singlet (you knew that already), bib #4505.

Update 4/15/2010:

Sorry for my lengthy delay in posting an update. It's been really busy! But the good news is the Boston Marathon is almost here, and I am ready for a great race. You can about my recent preparation races at my blog. I'm hitting all the targets at the right time and it feels really good. It also feels really good to be a part of Team in Training. Everyone on the Team has been really supportive and the camaraderie is just wonderful among us all. And as I found this week that extends well beyond the nation's capital; the TNT folks in Boston have extended me an invitation to visit their group house to get ready for the race on Monday morning. It's a nice perk, better than having to mill around in the athletes village for several hours. All in all, I can't wait to get on the plane to Boston Saturday morning. It's going to be fantastic race weekend!

You can track my performance at Boston on Monday, in real time, by texting RUNNER to 31901. My bib # is 9360.

Meanwhile, Liz's treatment continues to progress and she is getting closer to the all-important bone-marrow transplant that could put her into permanent remission. She was on hand when I ran at the National Half Marathon and it was great to see her.

As for the fundraising campaign, I haven't done much with it lately. But there's no time like the present to make one final push. So here it is...I'm really close to $2,000. Really, just a couple of donations would get us over that hump. So if you can help, please dig deep, and make a big difference for not just Liz but thousands who fight blood cancers with unwavering courage every single day.

We really are in the homestretch now. Thanks so much for joining me in this wonderful journey!

Update 4/26/2010:

Well, the long journey is finally over. I got to Boston and left with what I came for, a new personal record of 3:20:41! It was the perfect way to culminate a spring season that meant so much, because I was running for something more than just my own goals, and because I had the support of so many of you. When I got started on this campaign (a month late at that) I saw the challenge of raising $1,500 a bit daunting but with your help it was easily surmounted. I even made it a little beyond that mark, to over $1,800 raised. To everyone who supported my campaign THANK YOU very much. You really made this season special. To everyone'll get another chance to support me and TNT again soon! :)

By the way, if you haven't read my race report yet, check it out at my blog!


Supporter Comments

    "Go Chris!!"

    Jennifer Fields

    Tue Jan 05 02:35:52 EST 2010

    "In honor of my daughter Liz Rugaber"

    norman wohlken

    Fri Jan 08 04:43:23 EST 2010

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $2,094.20 | Goal: $1,500.00
140 %

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