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Travels With An Airhead

2004 Honolulu Marathon

— by Notch Miyake

All year people have been asking us, "What kind of dumb idea are you fools going to try this year?" As you recall, last summer we walked about 350 miles southbound on the Appalachian Trail before our knees gave out. The trip was not my idea. Margaret had wanted to do this since she was a little girl in summer camp. I just went along to carry the tent and act as a mosquito decoy (I attracted all the mosquitoes so she wouldn't get bitten). My trail name was "Sherpa".

After our Appalachian Trail experience, I resolved never to go into the woods again and to spend all of our future vacations no higher than sea level. So, what to do this year? I thought about the Club Med in Tahiti. There is nothing to do there but drink mai tai's all day while sitting on a lanai perched over a lagoon. OK, there is snorkeling and kayaking as well. But it doesn't matter because we can't afford it. Look, the reason I ride old BMW motorcycles is because I'm cheap.

Anyway, we are going to Hawaii for Christmas. It's not Tahiti, but close. The Honolulu Marathon is the week before we planned to arrive. Our knees have healed after last summer's ordeal. We're not getting younger. So, what the hell, go for it.

I?ve wanted to do a marathon for a long time. Both our kids have done them and survived. But every time I started training, I injured myself before I got to the starting line, usually with knee or ankle problems. I'm going to need help.

The Arthritis Foundation has a team going to the Honolulu Marathon. They make all the arrangements so all we have to do is show up and run. More importantly, they provide professional coaching to all the participants. The only problem is that we have to commit to raise $8,000. My first thought was, with the cheapskates I have for friends, there is no way. And I really shouldn't have pissed off so many people that might have been willing to help. Then it occurred to me that a lot of people would be willing to pay to see me suffer.

Maybe it is possible. Since I am begging for money, I'm not going to say we are a bunch of old farts, but lets be honest, arthritis is a big problem among us. You can help by giving generously. Visit our website (directions below), or send a check to the Arthritis Foundation, 3300 Monroe Ave, Suite 319, Rochester, NY 14618 (be sure to indicate it is in support of Notch & Margaret Miyake), or look for us at the rally. Contributions are tax-deductible. And since we have personally given $2,000 to cover our travel costs, every dollar you give goes to the Arthritis Foundation.

Maybe they will find a cure for the case of gout I am currently suffering from. Mahalo.

Check us out online! Go to http://www.arthritis.org/. Click on Joints in Motion on the left sidebar. Click on Search Here in the Donors box in the middle of the page, near the top. On the search page, just type Miyake in the Last Name box and Search. Click on our names (highlighted in blue) and you should be on our page. Make donations online in the yellow box to the left of our names.

— Copyright © 2004 by Notch Miyake.

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