“I’m not going to say it was quick,” Audrey Somers, a junior at Boston College, joked while doubled over in the parking lot of Los Gatos High School. Somers, along with fellow residents of Los Gatos, Sara Deck and Nicole Dalcielo, had just completed a homemade marathon. For fun. On a casual Sunday. In quarantine.
In a week’s time the girls planned and ran a marathon, as well as raised over $800 for Feed the Need Bay Area, an organization dedicated to providing meals to families in need, while also supporting local businesses. Donations from Feed the Need are used to pay restaurants and workers, who then prepare meals to be delivered to community members who are not able to put food on the table due to the pressing circumstances of Coronavirus. With a $10 donation able to feed a hot meal to someone in need, the girls raised enough to feed over 80 people.
“They could be old, they could be young…so many families and individuals are going through hard times right now,” Dalcielo explained, “Communities now more than ever have to stick together.”
With an organization in mind, the runners decided a marathon fundraiser was in order. The plans began to fall into place while on a casual three mile hike on a sunny Tuesday afternoon. Half kidding, Deck announced that the three girls should run a marathon. With none of them having any previous experience running anything close to 26.2 miles, Deck assumed her wild statement would fall on uninterested ears: “I thought it was going to be at least 10 minutes of convincing, but everyone jumped on the bandwagon pretty quickly” Deck recalled.
“…and on Tuesday night Sara Deck learned how to use GoFundMe,” Somers piped in.
With a GoFundMe live, the make-shift marathon went from a mere concept to a full on plan. Somers’ father, Jeff, who has run several marathons, designed the course: looping the girls through Saratoga and Campbell, as well as through different parts of Los Gatos.
“My dad set up the course in a way that we could maintain a minimum distance of six feet between each of us, while still passing through some of our friends’ neighborhoods,” Somers explained.
By Thursday, the runners had raised over $500, and by Sunday morning they were ready to go; homemade tie-dye shirts and all. Knowing full well they would be power-walking most of it, the trio set off from Los Gatos High School at 8 am.
Live streaming their progress along the way, the girls sent updates to their friends and donors — from California to Boston, and many places in between. They circled back to their former high school, and crossed a homemade finish line held up by their parents — celebrating with homemade snacks and music from car speakers.
The spontaneity had paid off: the trio finished 26.2 miles in just under 7 hours, and ended up far exceeding their $600 fundraising goal, all on a Sunday in quarantine. As Somers’ sees it: