Sam Thompson's first attempt at this run to all of the Seattle Public Libraries to get his Library Passport stamped was in a snow storm. Due to ice, cold and shortened library hours, he managed to get to 11 out of 27 open branches. He ran 50 miles. And he vowed to do it again, this time hitting all the branches.
And now he is. But he is not alone for the ride. Tomorrow, Thursday January 22, 2009, North Face runner Sam Thompson will set off again to complete the task. But this time he is not alone. This time he is joined by fellow ultrarunners Brock Gavery, Jonathan Bernard and an on-leave librarian for SPL, Devon Crosby-Helms. The mammoth task ahead of them? Going to 27 libraries in 10 hours, a run of over 65 miles. Why you ask?
About the run Sam said:
"I sure do love my local library, and I go there often. Every time I go in I'm amazed by how much information is there- just asking to be read! So when I heard that the Seattle Public Library had started a new passport program to encourage people to get out to see all the new and improved libraries around Seattle, I knew I had to get busy. "
"My goal in this is quite simply to get people excited about their public library, and to get out and use their local branch (hopefully on foot or bike!), and to encourage you to help out the SPL Foundation as well. More info about them can be found here. "
When ultrarunner & librarian, Devon Crosby-Helms heard about the first attempt at the run and Sam's plan to get involved, she immediately volunteered to join him on his next attempt.
"To me there is no greater resource to the public than the Public Library. Especially in these trying economic times, people need to look to the library to find resources to navigate through. Whether that means checking out DVDs (instead of renting), using the Internet (instead of paying for it), checking out books (instead of buying them) or attending free lectures/storytimes/activities (free entertainment!), the library is the place where people need to start & continue to look for resources to support them through these tough times. The library has a fantastic staff of highly knowledgeable Librarians who are excited and waiting to help you with anything you can possibly think of! I just love the library and bringing any sort of exposure to the library brings me great joy." She said.
None of these four runners are strangers to the library or strangers to distance running. Sam Thompson has run 51 marathons in 50 days in 50 states plus DC to bring exposure to the hardship after Hurricane Katrina and Rita. Brock Gavery was nominated as Outdoor Magazine's Fittest Real Man. Jonathan Bernard not only runs every distance from marathon to 100 miles, he is the Race Director for Dizzy Daze 100k and other forthcoming runs. Devon Crosby-Helms is a sponsored ultrarunner by Moeben, Vespa and Nuun and has won races of every distance from marathon to 100 miles. Even their support is a librarian. Librarian/Ultrarunner Linda Barton will be traveling around town with the runners to support them, the only reason she is not running is she just completed the HURT100k in Hawaii over the past weekend. Together this intrepid band of ultrarunners will attempt to do what was first thwarted by the snow and hopefully highlight just a bit the power the library has to move you.