The New York City Marathon?! I never expected to run in this race. So when my boss sent an email to see if I would like to participate to support The Nature Conservancy's work, I laughed. I laughed not because I don't like to run. I have been running since I was 12 years old. I laughed because I was reading the email on September 2. The race is on November 7. Most people begin marathon training at least 18 weeks before the race. How could I possibly be ready to run in eight weeks?
The race idea planted itself in my feet. Within a few days, I watched my feet pick up the pace to a steady rhythmic run. All rational, practical thoughts about the inability to train in such a short time period were stomped out. The decision was made. Yes to eight weeks of sweating through West Virginia's mountainous roads and trails! Yes to eight weeks of sore quads, sore hamstrings, and aching heels! And yes to knitting together two of my great loves: running and working to conserve some of the most stunning natural areas in the Central Appalachian Mountains.
I could not turn down the honor of running with The Nature Conservancy's marathon team to raise money for the Conservancy's good work.
And it is an honor. The Nature Conservancy is made up of amazingly dedicated, inspirational, and creative staff, volunteers, and members. Though I have been working for this organization for over five years, I am still in awe of their successes. One of my colleagues led the way to conserving thousands of acres of forest in the New River Gorge, including the well-known scene on the "tails" side of the West Virginia quarter. Another colleague worked with partners to see much of the view seen from the Cass Scenic Railroad protected for families to enjoy for generations. And their work - like the hard work of all of my Conservancy colleagues - is protecting habitat for plants and wildlife seen and unseen, like rare and delicate orchids, black bear, Indiana bats, and beautiful Cerulean warblers.
So please do me the honor of pledging to support my 26.2 mile Run for the Mountains in New York City this November. We have raised over $7000 to date! And every dollar is easing the pain in my legs, putting a spring in my step, and fueling The Nature Conservancy's incredible action to see those landscapes that we love - from Canaan Valley to the Ohio River to the mountains that my family first climbed as children - conserved for all to enjoy tomorrow.
Your gift will bring me across the finish line. (I may not be able to walk once I finish, but I will finish!)
So do as I did after reading about the marathon opportunity. Don't think. Just run. Run to your credit card or checkbook. Pledge right now. Make your gift online by clicking on the "Make a Donation" link to the right of this letter, or mail a check to:
The Nature Conservancy PO Box 250 Elkins, WV 26241 Please note on the memo line: NYC Marathon Fund-Beth Wheatley
As I hobble along on mile 23, 24, 25, and 26, I will think of you. And I will smile and thank you for making my decision to run for West Virginia's mountains worthwhile.
In pain and appreciation, Beth
If you would like, you can add your name and a short message to our Guest Book. Thank you.
You are amazing!
Our checks in the mail - we believe in The Nature Conservancy.
Mon, Nov 08, 2010
Congrats Beth! You are an inspiration. Don't forget BOSTON is the oldest marathon in the USA!
Joyce and Len
Mon, Nov 08, 2010
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! YOU DID IT. HERE'S TO LONDON, UK NEXT!
Sun, Nov 07, 2010
Beth, I'm with you in spirit as I imagine you nearing the starting line full of excitement and shivers (it's cold here on Cheat Mountain this morning-thermometer says 18F!) but the sun is rising to give you a beautiful day to run. YEAAAA Beth!!!
Jason & Amy
Sat, Nov 06, 2010
We will be thinking about you while we fat on the sofa. GO BETH!
Fri, Nov 05, 2010
You really are an inspiration. Good luck!
Tue, Nov 02, 2010
Beth -- Thinking of you as you are in the final days of prep for the race. I love you and wish you good weather, strong legs, mental clarity and the cumulative strength of all of those supporting you on this noble adventure.
Joyce and Len, France
Tue, Nov 02, 2010
Good luck Beth, you can do it, just listen for the cowbell and keep those little legs moving!
Heather McElroy Butler
Sun, Oct 31, 2010
Beth, thank you for supporting our precious state!!
donna dean/greycroft farm
Tue, Oct 26, 2010
thank you for your dedication! donna dean
Mon, Oct 25, 2010
Thu, Oct 21, 2010
Good luck during your run. I'm sure you'll keep your supporting friends and the WV mountains you are helping to protect in your mind during this endeavor.
Wed, Oct 13, 2010
Great note! Best wishes for a great run and thanks for all the work you're doing to keep West Virginia wild and wonderful.
Tue, Oct 12, 2010
Beth, You are a true inspiration! Good Luck in the marathon and THANK YOU for all of your hard work and dedication to conserving our beautiful landscapes!
Wed, Oct 06, 2010
Thanks for running for "Wild and Wonderful" West Virginia! We'll be cheering you on!
This personal nature fund page was created by an individual, whose views may differ from those of The Nature Conservancy. All donations made through this page support the overall mission of The Nature Conservancy, and the Conservancy retains the right to determine how the funds are used for conservation around the world.