After 10 months of intense training I have finished the New York Marathon last Sunday November 2. It was an INCREDIBLE and FANTASTIC experience running through the streets of New York City with 40,000 runners, being cheered by 2 million New Yorkers. My God, the crowd was so amazing……. Thank you New York for supporting us runners !
Starting from the Verrazano Bridge on Staten Island, we ran through Brooklyn (great atmosphere !), and Queens, before entering into Manhattan. My start was good, too good to be true, so when I arrived on 1st Avenue I was punished very hard for that. East Manhattan and the Bronx were very heavy for me, and when I arrived in Central Park I was blessed with so many people yelling me to the finish line. Also, having a carefully selected playlist (see image) with some of the best music around on my iPod helped tremendously. It was an intense moment of glory passing the finish line (and a BIG relief as well :-) ……) with Jason's 'Meet me in the morning' on the iPod……..Despite the cold weather and the differences in altitudes, my finish time was 3:47:05, which is a time I could only dream of.
All of you know that I ran this race also for Jason Becker. The past 10 months I have been very involved in setting up a Charity for Jason around this marathon. The element of being able to do something for a fellow human being in need, was and is very rewarding and just gave this triumphant run an extra flavor. The Charity for Jason was very successful, I have been able to raise some good funds for Jason and it got a lot of attention on the internet in several rock-communities. I am very glad I could help a bit to raise some more awareness for Jason's cause.
From now on the Charity activities will be on a much lower level in it's current form. There are some more rock memorabilia items that will be auctioned over the next couple of weeks and months, since they are still underway from some musicians. Keep an eye out for that, some great stuff coming ! I have some rough ideas on how to possibly continue activities for Jason, but I need to give them some more thoughts and I will be back in 2009.
Of course I could not have done all of this without the help of many people, without whom this Charity would never have been a success, let me thank the following people:
Jason Becker: the man that has inspired me from the moment I first heard about him in the late 80's. Jason, you have been such a great source of inspiration, musically but especially as a human being. Your way of looking at life, people & society has been so valuable, it makes me very humble and grateful for all that I have. I have enjoyed your music every day for the last 20 years and I will do so for the next 20 years, it makes me so happy and also makes me realize how terrifying talented you are ! Thanks my friend for everything !
Pat Becker: Pat, thank you very much for believing in me, and helping me to fight and get this Charity running for Jason ! You are a great person. Your love for Jason is so great to see, and on behalf of all of Jason's fans I thank you for taking care of Jason in such a fantastic manner.
Frankie Banali, Tony Mills & Will Schut: You guys have been extremely helpful; you have a very good heart and love for your fellow musician Jason. You do what you promise and this has helped me enormously ! Love you guys !
And more rockers: the following rockers have helped me out very well by donating some of their valuables so that I could auction them for Jason. Please know that your stuff sold very well ! Thanks you for the great support: Paul Gilbert, Virgil Donati, Ray Luzier, Rusty Cooley, Bumblefoot, Steve Stevens, Steve Vai, Mike Keneally, Gus G., Chris Amott, Marcel Coenen, Gert Nijboer, Joe Stump, Phi-Yaan Zek, Lale Larson, Ron Keel, Craig Erickson, Marco Minnemann, Carl Canedy, Joey Allen, Shane Gaalaas, Eric Vandenberg & Danny Seraphine.
All of my friends in cyberspace: many people have supported my Charity for Jason by all means. Some stopped by the MySpace page every now and then, some promoted the Charity on their sites, some did a donation, some helped out by advising me etc. etc. This has all meant a lot to me. A big THANK YOU for the following people: Greg Phillips, PaScAlee, Rod DeGeorge, John Denner, Fredrik Prantare, Erick Ferini, Sebastian Salinas, Licia, Michelle and Lois, Dennis from ProTone Pedals, Stuart from Paradise Guitars, Laurie Monk, Andrew McNeice of MelodicRock.com, Rory Sullivan of Alloutguitar.com, Oscar van Eijk of Aardschok.com, Jason Houston, Bas Verbeek of Brabants Dagblad, Jonathan Artz, Markus, Jeremy K., Linn, Roemir & Di and to all the people that made a donation for jason ! Thanks to you all, it has been a great couple of months and I hope we can stay in touch somehow ! Take Care, Ron