I’m honored to run in the 118th Boston Marathon — and I want to invite you to join me in honoring two causes I care about deeply

We all watched the bombing’s immediate aftermath play out in real time on our televisions and in our Twitter feeds — fact, conjecture, and confusion in one continuously roiling stew. It raked scar tissue the nation’s psyche has carried since September of 2001. Runners everywhere, like me, felt a cold, deep shiver: that could’ve happened to me in the last last race I ran.

It was a sucker punch Bostonians took personally — yet they did not allow fear to freeze them in the moment or dim their incredible response as a city in the days and weeks that followed.

I’ve crossed dozens of finish lines with little thought of anyone other than myself. But Boston 2013 made me realize how important running is as a shared social fabric to me — and to millions of others who lace up a pair of trainers. This attack was another terrible reminder that liberty is so vulnerably, openly expressed in everyday American events — going to work, neighborhood block parties, triathlons, little league baseball games, and yes, even city-wide marathons. It’s how we continue to choose to live.

In that spirit I’m incredibly fortunate to join a group of 14 amazing people planning to run #boston2014. We’re raising at least $250,000 for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I’m also incredibly lucky to know people who make this goal one I can lean into with total conviction.

The rarely-attempted triple-selfie. (That’s my dad on the left, me in the middle, Tim on the right.)

Cause I. I’m honoring my Purdue fraternity brother, Tim Sepelak, who is battling Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. I’ve known Tim since 1989. We’re both Cleveland Indians fans (he’s a native, I have only have my dad’s childhood stories about Indians greats to blame) and I had the recent good fortune to attend 2013 Opening Day with him. I should’ve already done much more to show my support for his fight, and the larger battle against cancer, than I have — but this is a start.

Cause II. I’m honoring everyone, everywhere who’s ever joined a running event for any reason. It’s a small gesture we all make — but every time we gather in public, free from fear, we openly defy those who seek to intimidate us. Because f*ck them.

The original ringleader behind this group effort, Brent Hill, is one of my FeedBurner colleagues and a marathon speed merchant whose dust I can only hope to see on the horizon from a limited distance. My friend and former co-founder Dick Costolo is also one of my teammates. We ran and finished the Chicago Marathon together (the first 26.2 for both of us) in 2001, barely a month after 9/11. Also running with us in 2014 is another great friend, Brad Feld — he and I have run three marathons together and I can’t wait to make this our fourth. Running is as much about the connections you strengthen as the miles you grind out together each time out.

For Chicago 2001, the spectators’ energy on the course was electric, unbroken the entire length of the course, and proudly defiant. I hope for something similar between Hopkinton and Copley Square this April.

If you’re with me, my friend Tim, and the others involved in this journey, please support us. I’ve kicked off the proceedings with $1000. I will probably also wear Google Glass in an attempt to live-broadcast at least the start and the finish; if you donate I’ll make sure you get a front row seat and most likely a donors-only t-shirt (to be designed).

Here’s that ‘donate now’ link again.

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