Sunday, February 04, 2007

Friends, Heroes, Role Models, the nature of Celebrity.

In an interview the other day I was asked, "Who are your heroes?"  I liked the question, because it really made me think.  I realized that I can't really identify a present day person I'd call a "hero."  I told the interviewer that I guess heroes are for people who live vicariously.  The general direction of my life is that I don't.
Now, as for role models, I probably have a bunch of them.  They're those people who figure out how to take something they like to do and make a living doing it.  Guys like John Bingham, who turned being a slow runner and a writer into a career.  Guys who build businesses and provide opportunities for other people.  Those are the people I have as role models.  However, having a person as a role model doesn't mean that I have to approve of everything they do in their lives.  I just want to emulate the good stuff.
"Lance Armstrong is a jerk", one of my friends told me recently.  Maybe he is.  Substitute any celebrity name for Lance's, and there are people who would say the same.  I think it's more likely that there's a contrast--between the society-idealized person who gets all the press and the flesh-and-blood person who's really not much different from the rest of us.  Famous, beautiful people still do the same stuff as the rest of us.  Their hair is messed up when they get up in the morning.  They clip their toenails.  WE put people on pedestals.  Most of them don't do it to themselves.  I know sometimes people get caught up in their own celebrity, but I think sooner or later they all come back down to earth.  So, maybe Lance isn't a jerk.  Maybe he's just a human being like the rest of us.  I'm thinking that's more likely the story.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Check the other blog too!

Today I started posting to my seven continents blog.  You can find out all about it by going to the seven continents link at the top of my home page.  Should be fun.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Press Release


Donald Kern
Phone 616 293 3145

Don Kern from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Attempt Guinness World Record™ By Running Marathons On Seven Continents In 35 Days

Grand Rapids, Michigan, 30 January 2007.  On 11 February 2007, "Marathon" Don Kern will begin an attempt to break the Guinness World Record "Marathon on each continent - Shortest duration to complete (Men)" by running in organized marathons on each of the seven continents in 35 days.  Scheduled conclusion is 18 March 2007.

The marathons included in the "world tour" are: Mercedes Marathon in Birmingham Alabama (North America), Egyptian International Marathon in Luxor, Egypt (Africa), Maraton Popular de Valencia in Valencia, Spain (Europe), The Antarctic Marathon on King George Island (Antarctica), Fin del Mundo Marathon in Ushuaia, Argentina (South America), Six Foot Track Marathon in Sydney (Australia), and the Donga Seoul International Marathon in Seoul, South Korea (Asia)

All of the above marathons are officially organized events, recognized by the Association of International Marathons and Road Races (AIMS) or other international running bodies.  None are contrived just for the purpose of this world record attempt.

Affiliated charities 1) Alternatives in Motion, a local Grand Rapids charity provides new made-to-order wheelchairs and other mobility devices to people who need them.  2) City to City Run to Defeat Malaria, Donating Bti (bacillus thurengiensis var israelensis) to Equator Belt Countries. This bacteria naturally kills mosquitoes without disrupting personal health or environment, as opposed to spraying DDT.  

Kern is an IT Consultant, freelance writer, and the Race Director of the Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon.  He has run 133 marathon or longer races, in all fifty states, in twelve countries, and at the North Pole.

For additional information, contact Don Kern, or visit