The Runner We Hope You CAN’T Beat


Charity Chaser Sam Felsenfeld with his son, Jack.

Don’t take this personally, but I’m running the San Francisco Marathon on July 31 and I’m aiming for you. I want to run you down and leave you in the dust. I want to fly by you and I’m going to do everything I can to not let you pass me back.

It’s nothing personal. It’s just that there are lives at stake.

I’m a charity runner. In 2010, I ran 61 full marathons and a couple of ultramarathons to raise money and awareness for a charity I’m a member of called Train 4 Autism. I did it in honor of my 7-year-old son Jack. I’m a father of three, and Jack, my middle child, is severely autistic. I do charitable things because of him and in honor of him so he can make a difference in the world. I’ve named this mission Operation Jack and you can see more details and read my blog at

In the San Francisco Marathon, I’ll be running as a charity chaser. I’m starting dead last and collecting pledges for each person I pass. That’s why I want to run you down. I chose to raise money for the American Institute for Cancer Research and the Be Aware Foundation in honor of a friend of mine, Sue Dailey, who died in January after battling cancer.

She was a wonderful person and a wonderful mother and I chose these two cancer charities because of what she went through. I’m optimistic that the money we raise will end up saving lives. Like the things I do for Jack, this will help her continue to have a positive impact on the world. She certainly had a wonderful impact on everybody she knew.

I’m extremely focused on running the race of my life in San Francisco. Each person I pass will result in more money going to these two great charities. It really could be a matter of life and death.

I’m coming off a 2:57 in the Boston Marathon on Monday and I’m going to do everything I can to improve significantly on that. I’ll be training hard, pushing the pace on my long runs, fighting to hit my marks on my tempo runs, and mixing in plenty of hill workouts to make sure I’m adequately prepared for the hills of San Francisco.

I’ll be running every day and totaling more than 90 miles a week. My weekly long runs will all be at least 24 miles and I’ll add extra workouts during my lunch breaks running inclines on the treadmill. In the evenings, I’ll be working on my core and upper-body strength to round things out and make sure I’m as fit as I’ve ever been.

And when the race draws near, I’ll taper wisely and watch my nutrition closely. Like I said, I want to run you down and I don’t want you to even think about passing me. I’m determined to run an incredible race for Sue and for Jack. I can’t wait — see you on July 31!

Guest Blogger Sam Felsenfeld (possibly better known as Operation Jack) is a Charity Runner from Southern California.  He has completed over 90 Marathons, 4 Ultramarathons, and has over 25 Boston-Qualifying Race times. He’s returning to The Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon to battle Dane Rauschenberg in the Charity Chaser Challenge.  Both men will compete to raise the most money for their causes by starting in the back of the pack and racing to pass the most runners possible.

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