The Hansel Family

The Hansel Family

Sunday, October 7, 2012

And then I get emails like this:

Hi Peeps,

I don’t usually write letters like this but I felt compelled to reach out to people I know this one time.  Here’s the scoop…

You probably know that I’ve had back problems.  Whether you’ve seen me in dorky back shoes, or schlepping around my back cushion, it’s just part of the routine to keep me from breaking in half.  In the spirit of avoiding back surgery, five years ago I took to loping along the trail by my house for a half hour each morning, kind of trot walking.  I did it in the dark so people wouldn’t have to gawk at the hideousness.  Somehow, inexplicably, five years later I am a long distance runner.  I blame the shoes. 

So my dorky back shoes are MBT’s which stands for Masai Based Technology.  They rock back and forth and don’t really have a heel.  When I was started running more, I called their marketing department up and left a message trying to convince them that I should be to them what Jared is to Subway sandwiches.  The marketing department didn’t bite, but they had legal call me back to advise me not to run in the shoes. 

My fantasy of sponsorship and free MBT’s faded, but as the months wore on, and my mileage increased, I started wondering more about people’s experiences running in MBT’s.  Thus I turned to the Internet.

It turns out that MBT’s are widely criticized on the Internet as running shoes.  Nobody runs in them.  With the barefoot running craze, minimalistic shoes are the rage.  An MBT looks like somebody turned a Hummer into a shoe.  It’s too heavy and rounded to run in.  I couldn’t find anyone that was running any kind of distance in them, until I heard about Bernie Hollywood. 

Bernie, as it turned out ran 900 miles in 21 days.  And he ran it in MBT’s.  He’s in the Guiness Book of World Records. 

Bernie also motivates himself to do ridiculous endurance challenges by getting a bunch of sponsors and raising money for a worthy cause.  This is why I’m writing you.  I’m trying to run the Boulder Marathon on October 21st.

But I’m also writing for another reason.  As you may also know, we live on a cul de sac and are very fortunate that there are three other families each with three children that are our own kids’ ages.  If you’ve spent time over here, you’ve seen how they are like family.  One of these families, the Hansels, are embarking on a truly amazing journey.  They’re raising money to adopt a boy from Uganda.  You can read about their story in Erin Hansel's email below.

Being the dad of a multiracial family, with some adopted kiddos (a la the 80’s Sitcom Different Strokes) is the greatest joy in my life.  But our kids don’t know any family like ours.  Soon they will.  Soon the Hansels, a family that we spend parts of most days with, go camping with, whose kids wander into our house without thinking they need to knock, soon they will be a family with adopted, multiracial kids too.  And Maya, Eli, Sadie, and Jonah will know a family on a journey like ours.

They need some help and I need some too.  I am hoping that I have 100 friends who are willing to sponsor me at $1 a mile for a total of $26.20.  Together, we can raise $2620 to help sponsor this adoption. Will you help me now?  Please send a check to:




Memo: Hansel Adoption

I’m not sure if I know 100 people well enough to pester them about this so please don’t hesitate to pass it along to someone who might help too, or to sponsor me at more than $1 per mile.  Also, Erin Hansel's email below lists other ways of donating, including a Paypal account if that's preferred. 

And I’m hoping that if enough checks start to come in between now and October 21st that I’ll be sufficiently inspired to get through the marathon.  I managed to run 19 miles for the first time three days ago, and I’m really not sure if I can make it.

Thanks for your consideration and for being in my life regardless of whether or not this fits for you.

All the best,


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