Hello to our baker biker love army! A LOT of ingredients have been mixing up lately, and I’m so excited to share the #bikelove into 2014. But first, here’s a recap of 5 *BIG* things from where we left off & we have LOTS to share to bring your cookies up to date. Grab a glass of milk, & let’s dig in.
1. The Cookie Project 2.0 = Success
In follow up to our last post (http://wp.me/p3ydUL-1G), our chocolate chips melted hearts out in New York. A great friend of mine, Nicole, raced at Ironman Lake Placid and as she was driving into town, she sent me this pic of one of the cookie bags hanging from a mailbox along the route. Major cookie kudos to the Ironman Foundation Newton Ambassador team for making it happen out there. This group does amazing things for our communities that we race in. As an athlete I’m thankful for their support and the impact they have on our sport of triathlon.
2. The Cookie Project at Ironman Wisconsin
September 8, 2013. Finally the date was here. A day that thousands of athletes trained long hours & waited for. This is by far the most exciting weekend in the Madison triathlete community world, and I couldn’t wait to get out there and show support for the athletes. A week before the race, I got a call from my friend Dave, the Executive Director at the Ironman Foundation. He was going to to be out at Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Vegas that weekend, and asked me (!!) to speak on behalf of the Ironman Foundation at the Ironman Wisconsin dinner the Friday night before the race. HOLD THE MIXER. WHAT.
Yes. Publicly speak, on stage, to 3,000+ athletes & supporters, at the Monona Terrace Convention Center, the Friday night before the biggest race of their life. Let that one soak in a little.
You can watch a video of the speech here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnBXwWOickY). It was so cool to meet the Ironman production events staff (wow, those guys run a swift operation) and Mike Reilly was so kind & sweet to me.
Race morning came and my friends & I were ready to take on the all-day endurance challenge also known as Ironman Spectating. No joke – sunrise to midnight, zone 5 (tri talk for high intensity) cheering (most of us lost our voices by noon) and doing our best to give energy to each & every athlete out there competing.
In effort to calm anxious athletes, I was handing out little cookie bites to the athletes as they made their way down the Helix into the water before the start. Little Irondudes cheering on family stopped by to have a couple cookie bites.
It was an awesome weekend to spend with friends and have the opportunity to share what The Cookie Project is all about – our Ironman family of athletes.
3. The Cookie Project Experiences Ironman World Championship
In September 2012, I finished Ironman Wisconsin in 13hrs and 26 minutes and 53 seconds. I crashed hard on the bike course at mile 56, right in the middle of the wonderful Verona Festival (the whole town comes out to cheer along a main stretch through center of town). I managed to finish the 112 mile bike with lots of road rash and, at the time an unknown displaced shoulder, but by the time I got to the run I was in low spirits.
Right outside of T2 I bumped into my friend Dan Johnson. Dan & I ran together 21 of the 26.2 marathon miles together, and we worked together to get him into 1st place for his age group. That day he qualified for the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii for 2013. Dan helped me finish Ironman Wisconsin so the least I could do was make the amazing trip out to Kona to cheer for him.
Thank you to the amazing folks at The Ironman Foundation for hooking me up with VIP passes for the week (SCORE!) and allowed access to the best viewing areas at the race. As a race director by profession, it was an eye-opening behind the scenes look at how the best in the industry execute massive events. Everything was top notch.
4. Time to get official – “Inc”
When I started this whole cookie thing, I had no idea it would catch so much momentum. I just wanted to do something nice for the residents that drive nicely around me. Turns out, something as simple as baking cookies has really caught attention from large organizations and I’ve been contacted by several groups to have a Cookie Project be done on additional cycling routes. I couldn’t be more excited to share the #bikelove. Because of the request to expand locations, it was time to become an official organization. To properly do a Cookie Project, it takes materials & resources, all of which I paid for myself individually. If I really wanted to get this going into additional areas, I would need help. I did my due diligence and founded The Cookie Project Incorporated. We now are an official organization and are working on becoming a non-profit organization. Becoming a non-profit is a 30 page, $750, 3-12 month process, but we’re rolling. The motivation to do all this work comes down to this: keep the people I care about safe out on the roads by reminding drivers to be cautious.
We’re hard at work getting a webpage created and facilitating online donations (now knows as DOUGHnations). We’ll be sure to let you know when that’s up & running.
5. 2014 Hot in the Oven
So much is in the cookie jar for The Cookie Project Inc. We’re working on merchandise, donation events, and planning out 2014.
We’ve got plans for multiple Ironman course locations and additional routes in Wisconsin. Although all locations are still being determined, mark your calendars for May 23-26, 2014 for The Cookie Project on the Ironman Wisconsin bike course. Be sure to keep up to date with us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/thecookieprojectinc) and on Twitter @cookieprojectwi.
Thank you for all the support so far. Sharing the roads is sweet.