Hugely exciting news to share, finally!!! I will get into the details and the whys and hows in the next post but I am so excited about this and can’t sit still anymore so I have to share it here before I go crazy!
I’ve been plotting another adventure for this summer for the past couple months, and for a while I was set on running around Iceland – I wanted to run the 1,400 miles around the perimeter in the same style as the US run, and Alex (creator of “Street Dreams” and my very handsome boyfriend), would film the journey, interviewing local communities etc. However, our instincts were telling us to keep brainstorming before we settled on Iceland, and one night two weeks ago we came to the idea of running the Tour de France. We did some research and everything was pointing to yes yes yes, and we’ve just confirmed with the Richmond-based non-profit World Pediatric Project (WPP) that we will be working with them and raising funds for their admirable mission.
WPP provides tertiary diagnostic and surgical care to children in Central America and the Caribbean, sending teams to perform surgeries in the child’s home country, or, if surgery cannot be adequately performed there, they provide transport to Richmond and care for the child in Richmond’s hospitals. Alex and I got a chance to visit with some of the patients in December, and we’ve been meeting with Kelly Cannon and Gracie McGurn from the WPP Development team, and we are so, so excited to be working with them and helping raise money for such an awesome organization!
So it’s a set deal: in May, Alex and I will fly to France and I’ll start running the route of the Tour 5 weeks before the Tour starts, at about 30 miles a day. It will be far more challenging and tortuous than the USA run, as I’ll be racing against the clock to finish one day ahead of the peloton in Paris, and I’ll be climbing over three Everest’s worth of elevation gain. Also, females aren’t allowed to compete in the Tour, and there’s been all the drama with doping this past year, so I think the idea of a drug-free female completing the Tour on foot is pretty powerful – and likely to spin some friendly competition between cycling and running. Alex will be filming the journey, capturing the physical trials and triumphs of running such distances, and exploring local communities, interviewing our hosts and new friends we meet, accessing the cycling community, and discovering the history and culture of the Tour and its route. We’ll be going at it as minimally as possible, camping and staying with local hosts and immersing ourselves in the French culture – champagne and croissants included : ) We are also working on partnering with Mécénat Chirugie Cardiaque in France, a national organization who does the same thing as World Pediatric Project, so that we can raise funds for a French organization while in France.
We are both so excited and I don’t think I’ve slept a full night all week. We’ve been moving full-steam ahead, Alex on the artistic side, designing a logo, researching film grants, contacting local filmmakers and getting ready to launch a Kickstarter page for the project, and me on the athletic side of things, working on finding sponsorships, reaching out to sports organizations, planning weekly trips to the mountains for training, etc. We plan on creating a website specifically for this project, but until that’s up and running I’ll be posting details and news on this blog. Lots of exciting things are happening and there’s a lot of other info to share, but I’ll post it all soon enough, and as soon as we establish the method to donate to the World Pediatric Project, that will be up here too. For now you can check them out at World Pediatric Project and read about the exciting 2013 100th edition of Le Tour here.
And for the sake of including a photo, check out the switchbacks on the famous Alpe D’Huez climb – which I’ll be doing not once but twice thanks to the 2013 Tour’s decision to include two ascents of this famously difficult stage.