Birthday Challenge Recap: Everyone is Awesome

Ian Ray RunningMy whole life, I’ve always known this day as “the big three O”. Thanks to everyone who supported me, it was actually The Enormous Eight Oh Oh! That’s right, we raised $800 in donations for the Next Up Foundation!

I still cannot believe how incredibly generous and supportive everyone is in my sphere of influence. I came home, sore and exhausted thinking it was around $200-300, but was awestruck when I saw the final total. It truly was the best gift I have ever received. So a huge thank you to everyone for being awesome! (shout outs below)


Total Donations Received: $800

Thank You to Everyone for being Awesome! Jump to photos »

How Was It?
In a word, transcendent. If I were allowed a few more words to elaborate on the first, honorable mentions would include painful, rewarding and memorable. In that order. And I probably won’t forget it, to give perspective for the pain and reward bit.

How Did I do?
Better than I expected! Surprisingly one of my fast miles was mile 27 (9:06). Here is the run down you asked for:

Distance Time Pace Calories
RUN 1 – 7:10am 9.9 mi 1:32:46 09:30 1,478
RUN 2 – 11:05am 10.3 mi 1:45:12 10:13 1,589
RUN 3 – 3:45pm 9.8 mi 1:36:07 09:48 1,542
TOTALS 30 mi 4:54:05 09:48 4,609

Shout Outs!
There are a lot of people to thank here, and in no particular order except as my memory serves me….

  • Joy Loo – Pretty much goes without saying, but I gotta shout it! She drove around taking the shots below, and also provided a hydration station in the mid-day sun. Thank you for everything!
  • Miron Lulic – Dude, you are a beast! Miron joined me from mile 10 up until mile 30. I don’t know how much iron is in your system, but you are definitely ironman material. Looking forward to our next race buddy!
  • Ira and Irving Ray – Holy cow guys, you make me proud to be your older brother. I had no idea the physical toll a marathon distance could have on the human body! You also made a sizable donation to help the kids and spread the word to your friends who pitched in. Thanks hermanos!
  • Mom – I’m sorry I broke your birthday call streak! I learned that she had a record of speaking with every one of her children on their birthday, until the other day. Hope you can forgive me, but I still love you!
  • The Odeen Family – You guys are without a doubt the single most generous, caring and loving family I have ever met. They offered a birthday challenge headquarters where I could rest between runs, refuel and even hit the hot tub afterwards! Thanks guy. I owe you one, even though you make it hard for us to take out turn giving back!
  • Gary and May DePriest – You guys are always there for us, even if it’s just for a late night BCD run! But seriously, you guys are great neighbors and even better friends. I am really glad you guys didn’t fly the coop!
  • Phillip and Mindy Cox – Thanks for the large contribution to help the Next Up kids! I know Phillip does his annual bike ride on the MS 150, so keep me posted so I can return the favor! I still remember when we went rollerblading through memorial park. Good times!
  • Van Kohrt – Hopefully I can pass the baton back to you for running inspiration! I don’t think I would have taken an interest in distance running if we hadn’t ran so many miles training for the Rodeo and Jingle Bell runs all those years.  Also, thanks for the donation made. Go run a mile now will ya?!?
  • Jorge and Carolina Mejias – Whoopity wee! I am really glad we’ve kept in contact over the years and gotten a few chances to actually cross paths since the glory days of spring breaking. Thanks for both pitching in for the cause. And yes, Jorge. It was a lot easier than running suicides after soccer since there wasn’t someone yelling til their ears bled!
  • Ike Ray – Big red! Thanks for all of your help for this, as well as the times you saved my butt with projects we had to push out. Hope you’re serious about getting into running, cause I look forward to sharing this with all of you guys! Take care of the little ones little brother dad.
  • Margie, Ivan and Mimi – You may not realize it, but you guys were the monkey see for me in monkey-see-monkey-do. Which I guess makes me the monkey do? After all we’ve been through, I am really glad to still have the 3 of you to look to as examples of how a member of the Ray family can do right by their own families. Also, I really like knowing I can keep being immature for at least that much longer!
  • Laura Lindstrom – You are more than Blizzy’s mom to me! I’ve learned from hanging out with that, that if life gives you lemons, then find someone who has vodka and throw a party! Seriously, thank you for always being a sympathetic ear and letting me play with the abdominal snowman. Hit us up for a get together soon!
  • Long Phan – Hey Brother! Those days of Motherboy are gone but not forgotten. I really hope our paths cross again and that life on the road is keeping you inspired. Give us a shout when you come to LA again!
  • Julie Edwards – I don’t know how you are able to interface with people so well, but I am glad you are willing to be my buffer between those kind of clients! I really appreciate the kind words you always have when telling people my nerdy abilities. Couldn’t ask for a better testimonial, client or friend!
  • Bomby and Rakesh – I am really happy for you guys and how well of a team you make. I am really glad I got to spend time with you guys when it was possible, and Cancun will not be forgotten. Mostly because we caught all the embarrassing moments on film!
  • Andrew Romanowski – Thanks for always understanding if I disappear from the radar from time to time. We need to get you out here in SoCal to focus on the fun side of your life! Thanks for the contribution my friend.
  • Sumeet Maniar – Thanks for always believing in me! At the time I didn’t realize it, but you had some really insightful wisdom that I’ve carried with me through my endeavors. I was really lucky to work with you and spend some time just hanging out with one of the most level-headed guys I’ve ever met!
  • Kelsey Mireles – Talk about left field. Seeing your name put a smile on my face thinking back to the days in the tuba room, and kicking it in the halls of cy-falls. Stalked you on Facebook and was glad to see how great you are doing. Keep on keeping on brotha!
  • Rob – We’ve been missing you on the trails man! Looking forward to catching up at lunch and hope you’ve been keeping up with the 3 dubs of life. Thanks for sharing your positive outlook, which is always inspiring to be around!
  • Steve Gulledge – You don’t even know me and you supported the cause, which I think is the most amazing contribution I received. Thanks, and hopefully our paths can cross some day.

Friends, Romans, Countrymen – And anyone else I didn’t mention explicitly. There were lots of voices in my head and people I passed on the road and in life that help make this all possible. Big ole thank you to whoever you are, and wherever life has taken you. Keep being awesome everyone!

2013 Ian Ray Birthday Challenge Photos
30 miles for my 30th Birthday

1 Comment

  1. So proud of you Ian! You’re a great example to us all!

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