A Personal Virtual 5K for the Dawn Treader

Update, 6/6/20:

I ran the marathon in 37:51, and together we raised $230 for the Dawn Treader! Amelia F. won the random drawing for donating, and Laure H. had the closest guess at 37:58. I’ll be contacting them both later today to work out logistics.

The Short Version

On June 6, I’ll be running a virtual 5k to benefit the Dawn Treader Book Shop, and I’ll be giving away two gift certificates* totaling $50 as part of it!

  • Donate any amount to their GoFundMe to enter for a $35 gift certificate.
  • Submit your guess for my total running time for the 5k to enter to win a $15 gift certificate.

The Backstory

Me, after finishing a May the 4th race

One of the odd ways I’ve been coping during COVID-19 safer-at-home rules is by running. Specifically, I pulled out my treadmill and have been mixing in virtual 5Ks with my at-home Crossfit workouts. I’d love to claim it’s because of the joy of running or the love of fitness… but it’s really because targeted ads are good at selling me on shiny medals and cool t-shirts that sort of vaguely tie into my sort of vague fitness goals.

Anyway, I’ve been trying to temper my covetousness for shiny medals with good causes. My first virtual 5K benefitted COVID relief efforts, and my third was directly run by To Write Love On Her Arms. My second virtual race, however, was based solely on my love for Baby Yoda; and my upcoming fourth similarly benefits the makers of Harry Potter-inspired medals and t-shirts. So when I got my packet, I knew I wanted to do something different for it, if I could.

The Store

Enter the Dawn Treader Book Shop in Ann Arbor, a wonderful, magical used bookstore managed by a friend of mine. They have been a landmark in Ann Arbor since 1976—the sort of place where you can browse for hours and you’re not expected to buy anything (though if you can walk out of a used bookstore without buying something, you’re a stronger person than I am). And if stores are closed, well, it’s kind of hard to browse. And that means the Dawn Treader is in a tight spot. They have a GoFundMe page going, but it’s not nearly enough.

The Details

On June 6, I plan to run my next virtual 5K, and I want to support the Dawn Treader as part of it.

So here’s the deal. The Dawn Treader has set up a GoFundMe. Donate any amount on or before June 5, 2020 and fill out the form below, and you’ll be entered to win a $35 gift certificate* to order books from the Dawn Treader. (If you prefer, you can paypal your donation directly to me and I’ll submit all donations in one fell swoop.)

Okay, giveaways are cool and all, but what does that have to do with a virtual 5K? Well, I’m glad you asked!

Regardless of whether you donate, you can submit a guess as to what my speed will be to complete the treadmill 5K. The person who gets closest to the exact time will win a $15 gift certificate—and yes, you’re totally eligible for both! If there’s a tie, I’ll pick randomly from the two. Just submit your guess on or by June 5, 2020, and you’re entered.

Currently, my PR for a treadmill 5K is 38:30. I’m slow. I generally run for as long as I can at 6mph, then switch to a 4mph walk until I feel like I can run again, and keep cycling. My goal is to beat my current PR, but no guarantees. I may or may not be distracted by whatever is going on in whatever episodes of The Clone Wars I throw on in the background. (In other words, you probably don’t want to guess below 35:00 for my time; that’s extremely optimistic of a guess on its own.)

The Fine Print

First, “gift certificate” is a very loose term. I don’t actually even know if they sell them. It might actually translate to “The winner sends an email asking if the Dawn Treader has some specific books in stock, and I cover up to $35/$15 of the purchase.” I’ll probably figure out exact details with the winner. The main thing is that I want $50 of my own money to go to the Dawn Treader through this.

Second, your total donation will be kept confidential. I only want to know how much people donate so I can send the total raised through this effort to my friend as a cool publicity thing for her.

Third, you won’t be entered into any mailing lists or anything. You don’t even have to follow me. I just need to know how to reach the winners.

Fourth, please only fill out the form once per person. That said, multiple people in a household can fill it out… so if your kiddos are old enough to enter a guess and/or donate, that’s totally cool! Just don’t try to take advantage of this and submit your own vote in honor of your toddler or whatever. The goal is to have fun and support the Dawn Treader, not game the admittedly loose system to up your personal chances of winning.

That’s it! May the odds be ever in your favor.

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