Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Running for a good cause

On August 18, I'll be running the Pikes Peak Ascent to raise money for the Ponseti International Association for the Advancement of Clubfoot Treatment. You can support this great cause by making a donation to the association in honor of my masochistic endeavor - racing 13.32 miles and 7,815 vertical feet! Information on how to donate is below, but first, here is some info about club foot.

Club foot is one of the most common birth defects, affecting approximately 150,000 children each year. Although the condition is treatable, many children in poor countries don't receive treatment and are disabled for life. Dr. Ignacio Ponseti pioneered a non-surgical method of correcting club foot, and this association is committed to advancing the treatment of children with clubfoot deformity through education, improved care, and research.

My daughter Elizabeth was born with club feet, and thanks to Dr. Ponseti, she is well on the way to a full recovery. Some day, I hope she can hike - or even run - up Pikes Peak with me.

More about the race:
The Pikes Peak Ascent is 13.32 miles long and climbs 7,815 vertical feet (1.5 vertical miles!), ending at the 14,115 foot summit of Pikes Peak. If you're curious to see the race route, here is a link to a very cool Google Earth map showing the trail. Here is how the high-altitude portion of the course is described on the race's web site:

There’s a reason trees don’t bother growing above 12,000' on Pikes Peak. They can’t! Makes one wonder if trees are smarter than runners. Above treeline most runners take 30 minutes or more, some much more, just to cover a mile. What little air remains can’t satisfy the endless stream of zombies hoping only to survive their next step—a death march right out of a scene from Dawn of the Dead. Adding insult to injury, it might start to snow!
My personal goal is to finish in 3 hours, 6 minutes, which would put me in the top 7% of finishers with an average pace of about 14 minutes per mile.

I would appreciate your generous donation! Since I don't have any other way to know how much money my friends will raise, I would appreciate it if you would leave a comment on this blog or send an email telling me how much you donated.

You can make a secure online donation at this link to the Ponseti International Association for the Advancement of Clubfoot Treatment. If you'd rather send a check, please make it payable to: Univ. of Iowa - Ponseti Fund and send it here:

Ponseti Fund for Advancement of Clubfoot Treatment
c/o The University of Iowa Foundation
P.O. Box 4550
Iowa City, IA 52244-4550

I very much appreciate your support in raising money for this great cause!


Anonymous said...

Wow, Brad this is great what you are doing. Congratulations on your sweet girl and getting her the proper treatment! I climbed Longs Peak in 1989 when I worked in Rocky Mountain National Park. Those were two fantastic summers. Congratulations on your sweet girl and getting her the proper treatment! Our daughter came home from China at the age of 34 months with severe bilateral clubfeet and Dr. Ponseti created a miracle for her, too. Especially being that the first doctors we traveled to told us she could possibly be an amputation case. Today she has beautiful, straight, pain free feet. I would be happy to support what you are doing by sending in a check to Chris at PIA. Will you be doing this again next year? Just a thought about me and possibly my husband joining you in the climb for our girls. We will be in Colorado next September and I would love to do this with you, but I know how the weather is there so I'm not sure if that would be too late as I climbed Longs Peak in July when most of the snow was gone. Take care and good luck with your climb! Enjoy the view!!!

Brad Swanson said...

Joyce, I saw the photos of your daughter that you sent to my wife. The transformation of her feet was miraculous!

I don't know if I'll do the race again next year. Let's see how painful it is before I decide! The weather in September could be perfect, or could be a blizzard on the mountain. You never know, but there's a good chance that we could hike Pikes Peak or some other mountain when you're here. It would be great to meet you!

Anonymous said...

You rock, Brad! We are from Denver and moved to Iowa City to have our 2 year old daughter, Annabel treated back in 2002. We love Iowa City! Dr. Ponseti and Dr. Morcuende have changed the course of our lives. I am trying to put together a panel of parents for the PIA Symposium in Sept. If you're interested, please e-mail me kellieleasure@yahoo.com. Let's make this a Colorado PIA annual event!

Soggy Bottom Momma said...

Hey Swanson Family,
Good to see you all online.

I'm thinking we need to link up to each other, I'm coming over from http://six-feet.com which is all about the Ponseti Method. I see a few names here I recognize already (hi Joyce and Kellie!)

I graduated high school out of Loveland Colorado, your blog makes me a big homesick for the big mountains.

Let me know if you want to do a link exchange, I'd love to have you all.

shawnee and the soggy bottom boys