We asked them a few questions about themselves and why they chose to fund raise for Vermont Adaptive...
Meet Jeff Whittingham
This is my second year running ultra distances (and 2nd year running since college xc 18yrs ago). However, I’ve been doing ultra distance mountain bike races for nearly 15 years, with fairly good results (a number of podium finishes at solo 24hr races, some top 10’s at 100 milers (NUE Series races), won the VT50, etc.
A few years ago they started a marathon in my town (the Mad Marathon) and it seemed fitting to give it a go as it meanders past my house. I did well enough to qualify for Boston, then that fall ran the VT50 in a respectable time (around 8hrs). I then decided to give a 100 a go as I really enjoy ultra distance efforts and doing 100 miles by foot has an allure that I can’t shake.
Why did you make this year’s VT 100 your goal?
I’m a Vermonter and have done the VT50 7-8 times by bike and once by foot. I love the course and that the event 100% supports VT Adaptive. Living in the Mad River Valley I’ve found both the volunteers and athletes participating in VT Adaptive to be truly inspiring, much more so than us silly folks running or riding all day.
You’ve chosen to raise money for Vermont Adaptive as a charity runner. What drove you to make this commitment?
For similar reasons that drove me to choose the VT100 as my first ultra. I find the volunteers and athletes of VT Adaptive to be truly inspiring. I’ve probably done 50 ultra distance events over the past 15 years and they’ve always been for selfish reasons. For me, 100 miles is a challenge unlike any other. Riding for 24 hours was hard, but you glide down hill, in running there is no respite. In thinking about this challenge, I wanted to do it for more than myself – a true testament to the human spirit – and the courage of those for whom just getting outside is a true challenge.
What is your fundraising goal?
It was originally $1000, but once I crossed that barrier I upped it to $2000. I have a few hundred to go and am looking to do at least one more fundraising push before the race in order to get there (or close to it).
What is your incentive for fundraising and what strategies have worked so far in raising money?
The incentive is seeing VT Adaptive in action at Mt Ellen and how much equipment is required to get some folks out there on the slopes – and realizing this is just one sport VT Adaptive is engaged in.
More info about our Top Fundraisers please visit: http://vermont100endurancerun.blogspot.com/p/top-fundraisers.html
Here is a little bit about Vermont Adaptive
Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing recreational and competitive sports opportunities to people with disabilities. We believe sports and recreation provide a physical, mental and social experience that is immeasurable in promoting self-confidence and independence in an individual.
With nearly 400 active volunteers instructing and helping, plus generous partners and sponsors, and an amazing base of clients and friends, Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports has been at the forefront of sports and recreation for those with disabilities in New England for more than 20 years. Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports is committed to empowering individuals with disabilities. We promote independence and further equality through access and instruction to sports and recreational activities.
The VT 100 is one of Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports biggest fund raisers every year. Without our participants, volunteers and sponsors, Vermont Adaptive would not be able to provide access to: skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, hand cycling, tandem biking, horse back riding, rock climbing, hiking, camping and other adventure weekends to their participants!
For more information about Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports: www.vermontadaptive.org.
Here are just a few ways Vermont Adaptive puts a donation to work
- $25 provides a 2 hour snowshoe or Nordic outing in the winter or a 2 hour canoe or kayak outing in the summer.
- $40 allows Vermont Adaptive to purchase a box of hand warmers for volunteer instructors and participants.
- $60 covers the cost of a ½ day of skiing or snowboarding including equipment.
- $100 covers a whole day of skiing or snowboarding in the winter or a therapeutic horse back lesson in the summer. (These allow us to provide scholarships to people who otherwise could not participate.)
- $500 allows Vermont Adaptive to purchase new helmets for one program location.
- $600 buys a new tandem bike.
- $600 buys a new kayak or canoe
- $1,000 outfits six Vermont Adaptive instructors with uniforms.
- $3,000 provides the resource to purchase a new or piece of sit down equipment such as a mono-ski or hand cycle.