Marathon Completed on Cape Cod, Peace Still an Uphill Climb
October 28, 2009
Dear family & friends,
Cape Cod was both the prettiest and the hilliest of the 26 marathons I’ve run. On last Sunday’s stunning New England autumn day I made my time goal, coming in at 4:17:47, three seconds faster than I finished Marathon for Peace 2008 in New York City. My 9 minutes/50 seconds per mile pace landed me 6th out of 24 old guys in the 60-69 year-old division. It was a team effort: my son James ran with me the last three tough miles, boosting me with the story of his best 400 meter track run and getting me to the finish, where Rockin’ Kaiser Ladies Ellen and Jeanne, and friends Jim and Susan, cheered me across the line.
Thanks to the generosity of so many of you, this marathon also achieved its fundraising goals, bringing in more than $2,500 for War Times so far.
The money is much needed. Though the death toll and financial costs climb every day, mainstream debate over U.S. Middle East policy remains stuck in the narrowest of parameters. It will take a groundswell of protest to force Washington policy-makers and the country as a whole to confront the fact that U.S. and U.S.-backed wars and occupations in this long-suffering part of world are wrong, dangerous, hopeless and must be stopped NOW.
A host of hard-working peace and social justice organizations can make good use of your support. Please donate as generously as you can to the one of your choice, and sing, chant, march and holler loud for peace.
Max (If War Times is your choice for a donation, all donations to War Times/Tiempo de Guerras are tax-deductible, you can donate on-line at http://www.war-times.org or send a check to War Times, P.O. Box 22748, Oakland CA 94609.)
October 2 2009
“If you want to end war and stuff you got to sing loud.” – Arlo Guthrie, Alice’s Restaurant, 1967
Dear family & friends,
I started raising my voice against U.S. wars a little bit before I first heard Arlo Guthrie’s inspiring antiwar ballad. But as most of you know, I can’t really carry a tune. I am much better at putting one foot in front of the other, whether it’s in a peace march or (since 1995) in a marathon race. So again this year my version of “singing loud” will be to run a Marathon for Peace, and I’m writing to ask for your support.
A lot has changed since 1967. One thing that hasn’t is U.S. involvement in dirty colonial wars and reliance on militarism to try to push the rest of the world around. It was a pleasure to see naked war-mongering and overt racism take a big hit in the 2008 election. But a grassroots movement clamoring LOUDLY for peace is still needed if we are going to end today’s updated versions of Vietnam-era colonialism and brutality from Afghanistan to Gaza to Honduras and cut the bloated military budget to meet pressing human needs.
With a new phase of grassroots movement building in mind, I will be running 26.2 miles in the Cape Cod Marathon October 25 to support the antiwar institution I’ve worked with the last eight years, War Times/Tiempo de Guerras. You can check out War Times materials, including my recent Month in Review column (“Long Peace Movement Needs a Noisy Next Phase”) at http://www.war-times.org
This will be my 26th Marathon and the fourth year in a row I’ve run a Marathon for Peace. Age and wear-and-tear on the body are slowing me down, plus the Cape Cod course will be the hilliest one I’ve run yet. So matching my 2006 Marathon for Peace time of 3 hours, 54 minutes is not in the cards. I hope instead to come in somewhere between my 4:09 finish in Marathon for Peace 2007 (just after I turned 60) and my 4:17 time in New York City last year. I’ll have some special incentive with my partner Ellen and her Mom waiting for me at the finish line, and my son James – having a great first year at Boston College – pacing me the last few miles when that extra boost is needed most.
Whatever my pace, I’ll have maximum motivation with your help and support. You can pitch in by donating a dollar (or more) for each mile of the Marathon to help build a noisy and persistent antiwar movement. All donations are tax-deductible, you can donate on-line at http://www.war-times.org or send a check to P.O. Box 22748, Oakland CA 94609.
It is a blessing and a source of hope to be connected to so many wonderful people who are making a difference. Thanks in advance: please sing loud and dig deep for peace.