Category Archives: DAWS

Marine Corp Marathon Bibs Available

There are still a few race bibs left for the 2017 Marine Corp Marathon (MCM) through the Do Away With SMA charity. Additionally, anyone registering with the DAWS charity for the marathon will get a custom training plan developed by Mr. Running Down a Dream himself…The Bad Man…me.

Register for the 2017 MCM with DAWS today!

May the 4th Be with You!

This past week the DAWS charity debuted their 2nd annual May the 4th be with You virtual race. The medal this year is the Yavin medal showcased at the end of Star Wars episode IV and it looks pretty cool! Here is a picture of the mock-up.

FullSizeRender (1)

We worked to get my blog readers a discount for the virtual race. All you need to do is register for the race on and when you get to the final “Review Cart & Check Out“ screen you can enter the coupon code in all capital letters. The coupon code is NERFHERDER. Feel free to copy and paste it so you get the spelling correct!

The virtual race needs to be completed in the month of May and you can run, walk, roll, or swim a distance of your choosing whether it’s a single mile or 26.2 miles! The DAWS group would love for you to post a picture of yourself at the end of your virtual race on the DAWS Facebook page!

The funds raised will help find a cure for and raise awareness of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. If you are unfamiliar with this genetic disease then all you need to know is that it is the #1 genetic killer of children under 2 years of age and that there is currently no cure or even a treatment. It is a terminal and degenerative disease that causes weakness and wasting of the voluntary muscles in infants and children. 1 in 6000 children are born with SMA.

Here’s what you get!

  1. A little motivation to run, walk, roll, or swim a distance of your choosing between May 1 – 30th, 2015.
  2. A cool medal!
  3. The satisfaction of knowing that you helped find a cure or treatment for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).

Now get out there and register you scruffy looking NERFHERDER!! Okay…maybe not “scruffy looking.”

Happy Training!

It’s all for charity…

Last week someone (Matthew Thomas) over at Team DAWS, the charity dedicated to ridding the planet of the horrible genetic disease known as Spinal Muscular Atrophy or SMA for short, came up with the crazy idea of challenging myself and a friend of mine (Mitch Brannen) to a little fundraiser for DAWS to raise some cash for a good cause.

The Challenge:

This is a very simple event.

Assuming a certain threshold of fundraising is met Mitch and I will dress up and run as Anna and Elsa (From Frozen…but you knew that) during the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend if people donated money.

After the fundraising goals are met, we will be dressed in full costumes that are being designed including a matching tutu or skirt. But who could forget complimenting makeup and a full wig to ensure authenticity…jeesh.

Donate money today and see us run around Walt Disney World in full regalia.  You never know what surprises may be in store.

What are the minimum donations for the two of us to run?

  • At the $500 total donation level, we will run the 5K in full costume.
  • At the $700 total donation level, we will run the 10K in full costume.
  • At the $1000 total donation level, we will run the Half Marathon in full costume.

When does the race take place?

  • Walt Disney World Marathon weekend is January 8-11, 2015

How do you know we ran in costume?”

  • Pictures will be taken along the way and posts on all of our social media including a Go-Pro video of the race!

Do you get a tax receipt?

  • Yes, 100% of your donation will be tax deductible and a receipt will come from DAWS.  

Upping the Ante: …but wait, there’s more…

If we raise $2000 in total donations, I have reluctantly agreed to shave my legs for the event…how do I get myself into these things? I keep remembering it’s all for a good cause.

Wait, it gets better!  Again at the same $2000 total donation level, Mitch will shave his head! No joke, we have video of him saying he would and you can see it here on my Facebook page!

Something for YOU the donor!

For every $25 you donate, you will be entered into a drawing for a free pair of new running shoes.  Donations must be made by November 30, 2014.  The drawing will be held on December 1, 2014.  Emails will be sent out to receive information on Brand, Style, Size, and Shipping Address.  Brooks, Asics, Nike, Saucony, and New Balance are all available.

I didn’t realize training for Dopey would make me so…well, you know.  Uh, happy to help out a good cause!

Happy Training!


Jessica Goldman is crazy awesome!

If you’ve never heard of Jessica Goldman then you just may start to hear about her in the next few weeks. You see, she’s running from California to New York looking to break the world record for the women’s US transcontinental passage starting on April 16th. That’s 3,197 miles if you’re playing the home game. To do so she will run between the two city halls of San Francisco and NYC with a GPS tracking device that records her position at regular intervals, as well as other requirements to prove her success in the journey. Also, she’s doing this solo pushing a special stroller to carry supplies. Oh, and she’s doing all this on a plant based diet.

Her journey isn’t all about doing the trip solo and breaking the world record though. Along the way she will raise money for the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA).

I am looking forward to tackling my own run of 500 miles with five other runners starting in August of 2015 for the Do Away with SMA (DAWS) charity. With this in mind I cannot imagine a journey of over 6 times that distance and running 3 times as long for time! Doing 19 back to back marathons is crazy so I do not know what you classify doing 61 back-to-back 50 milers!  We’ll just call Jessica awesome until the English language comes up with a new word to justify her unique level of heart and determination.

In the mean time if you’d like to follow Jessica along her journey, visit Jessica’s Facebook Page, give it a “Like,” read her blog and if you can spare an extra Lincoln for the BIAA then throw her a fiver. Finally, be sure to keep a lookout over the next few weeks because that crazy chick running by your window pushing a stroller full of camping gear and all natural trail mix is crazy awesome!

Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. – Gail Devers

Happy Training & Good Luck Jessica!


45th Annual Sam Costa Half Marathon Recap

Great race today for the 45th annual Sam Costa Half Marathon and Quarter Marathon. This was my 41st race overall and my 18th half marathon. This race was my first of the season and I felt I got off to a good start as this was also just my second outside run of the year! I represented Team DAWS by wearing my red Do Away With SMA running shirt!

The race started out a bit breezy and the temperature was a balmy 37 degrees! Once we were underway I warmed up and the temperature was perfect! The course took us through some of the more rural areas around Carmel, IN and Noblesville, IN as well as some scenic neighborhoods. Overall the course was a good one and the all of the volunteers, firemen and police officers were great at helping us get through the 13.1 miles.

Aside from a couple slight inclines in the road the course was mainly flat and fast. If anyone wanted to run a good local race with easy logistics and a smaller group of runners then this would be a good event!

The only downside of the event today is that I have no idea how I actually did as far as timing. When I crossed the finish line I asked if the clock time was total time for the race at ~02:02:13. The two guys manning the timing equipment said yes, but that I would get my “official time” on a print out inside. In my four plus years of racing every time I look at a clock at the end of the race I know that my official time would be anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes faster depending on how far back from the start line I began.  I was initially elated as 02:02:13 would be a 3+ minute PR!!!  I couldn’t wait to get the official results inside!

I go inside and get my print out and my “official time” is almost 9 minutes (00:08:41) slower than the total clock time. My official time was 02:10:54 meaning the time on the clock at the finish line could not be accurate or the print out is incorrect. I went back out to look at the clock again and the finish line clock was just then reading 02:10:00 plus.  So how can I have a net time for the race that is longer than the total time for the race from start to finish????

Thinking back to the race, I had two guys behind me at mile marker #2 whom I overheard saying that they needed to slow down because they were at a 9min/mile pace and would burn out if they did not slow down. They slowed and I didn’t. I carried my own water so I didn’t have to walk any water stops save for three toward the end for just a few feet to swig some gatorade as I was running low on fluids.

So I either PR’d by ~3 minutes today or I just had a decent first Half Marathon of the season at 02:10:54. I’ve never had total clock time and official time be so different AND have me slower than the total clock time.  Makes me wish I would have worn a sport watch today!

I’m a little frustrated on the results, but it was a great run! I’m looking forward to the Carmel Marathon coming up on April 12th and then the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon on May 3rd!

Happy Training!


Plankapalooza 2013!

This is a reblog from the Do Away with SMA Team Blog of which I am a member and contributing author.  We are running a Plank-a-Day Challenge throughout the month of November and it starts TODAY, November 1st!  You can find the original post here!  You can also add your name to the Google Doc to track your progress here!

Original Post:

Coach Brian here for Team DAWS! Need a challenge? Great, then you’ve stopped by at the perfect time! The entire month of November the DAWS Team is challenging YOU to do a plank a day! Sounds easy right?

First, what does a plank look like when done with good form? In the pictures below notice the straight line from the person’s head to their heels. Note that their neck is in a neutral position not hanging low or hyperextending toward the ceiling. Weight is balanced between the forearms and the toes. You can keep your feet together or if you need more balance you may spread your feet to a single shoulder width apart. My suggestion though is to keep them together for maximum benefit. Finally note that in both pictures the elbows are directly below the shoulder. Again, this helps with stability and protects the shoulder joint.

For accuracy I like to hold a watch in my hands with a seconds counter so as to time the plank as opposed to looking up at a clock or counting.  Looking up puts your neck and spine in an odd position and counting tends to speed up as your muscles fatigue.

Good form is essential for this exercise.
Good form is essential for this exercise.

Plank 1Ok, now that you’ve seen a picture of what this should look like let me tell you what’s in it for you. The standard plank pictured here is a g-r-e-a-t, GREAT exercise for building abdominal strength.  Hate sit-ups? Yeah, me too and that’s why I don’t do them…okay I don’t do them because as far as abdominal exercises go there are a ton of better exercises to do than “ye olde gym teacher stand-by.”

Benefits of Plank Endurance:

  • Strength – Works your upper and lower abdominal areas. Planks will build strength in your stabilizer muscles, promotes good posture and will help with any back pain you may have while also helping to protect against back injury! Most importantly, doing planks will “teach” your abdominal muscles to stay contracted while you stand and when you exercise. All-in-all it a great exercise for building all around core strength.
  • Flexibility – Plank exercises help increase flexibility in posterior (rear) muscle groups. Your shoulder girdle expands and stretches various muscles around your shoulders, collarbone and shoulder blades. Pressing the front of your thighs upward and lengthening your legs as much as possible stretches the hamstrings that form the back of your thighs. Plank exercises also stretch the arches of your feet as your toes hyperextend to support your weight.
  • Mental – There is something about the mental battle of holding a static position as your body begins to shake from the effort.  This exercise is not only great from a physical standpoint, but will also build your mental fortitude (will power) to keep pushing when your body begins to fatigue.
  • Aesthetic – This one is easy.  Plank = Tight abs. Tight glutes. Tight core. That’s tight yo.

Want to track your progress with the rest of us?  Check out this Google Doc Spreadsheet and add your name to the list!

So here’s the 30 day challenge and no skipping on Thanksgiving Day for my US participants!

The 30 Day Plank Challenge will send your core strength through the roof!

Nov 1 – 20 seconds
Nov 2 – 20 seconds
Nov 3 – 30 seconds
Nov 4 – 30 seconds
Nov 5 – 40 seconds
Nov 6 – REST
Nov 7 – 45 seconds
Nov 8 – 45 seconds
Nov 9 – 60 seconds
Nov 10 – 60 seconds
Nov 11 – 60 seconds
Nov 12 – 90 seconds
Nov 13 – REST
Nov 14 – 90 seconds
Nov 15 – 90 seconds
Nov 16 – 120 seconds
Nov 17 – 120 seconds
Nov 18 – 150 seconds
Nov 19 – REST
Nov 20 – 150 seconds
Nov 21 – 150 seconds
Nov 22 – 180 seconds
Nov 23 – 180 seconds
Nov 24 – 210 seconds
Nov 25 – 210 seconds
Nov 26 – REST
Nov 27 – 240 seconds
Nov 28 – 240 seconds
Nov 29 – 270 seconds

Track Your Progress Here. Just add your name to the honor scroll!

That’s it! In 30 days and you’ll be a plank master! Is that even a thing? Well, it will be come November 30th!

Good luck and Happy Planksgiving!!

Enter to win a DAWS Prize Pack! Click on the Rafflecopter.


The Big Announcement! #DisneyTrail

For the past few weeks if you’ve followed me on Twitter, Instagram, DailyMile or Facebook then you’ve seen the hashtag #disneytrail along with a countdown for today!

What is the DisneyTrail you ask?  The DisneyTrail is a journey to make a difference, it’s a worthy cause and a new ohana coming together. Let’s start from the beginning. A few weeks ago I received a phone call at 9 o’clock at night from a friend of mine asking me to do something a bit crazy. A fellow runner and friend was putting together an ultra run event to raise money to start a foundation for research to fight a terrible disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  1 in 40 people in the US are a carrier of the gene that causes this disease and few if any survive the genetic disorder.  Our fellow friend and runner, Joe Kolinsky, lost two brothers to the genetic disorder and wanted to do something to make a difference and the idea of the DisneyTrail was born.

On August 17, 2015 we will start a 19 day journey running from the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, CA to the gates of Disneyland in Anaheim, CA.  Myself and 5 other dedicated athletes with the help of a rock star support crew will run the entire distance together covering close to 500 miles (more if we get lost) or approximately a marathon (26.2 miles) each day!

For details, please check out our group’s blog.

Please follow us as we raise money and awareness for this worthy cause to not only help a dear friend, but also a community of silent victims who desperately need a cure.

This journey will be like no other I’ve experienced and it starts, today!

Happy Training!