Friday, September 7, 2012

A Heartfelt, Sincere and Urgent Plea.

Dear Friends and Family,

As many of you know, over the last two years, I have worked to transform myself through exercise. With the help of inspiring Marines, committed running buddies, and supportive family members, I have lost nearly 50 lbs and gone from couch potato to marathon runner. Now it's time for the next step of my journey.

Last December, two strangers bonded over shared weight loss and skin-removal surgery experiences. While recuperating from surgery, Rik Akey crafted an idea with Katie Foster to put together a team to run a relay race. But not just any team. Katie and Rik wanted to gather a dozen formerly obese strangers/runners and share the race experience together. And I'm so fortunate that I am one of those twelve people picked for this team. I am Runner 12.

Our team will run the Ragnar Florida Keys 200 mile relay race January 4-5, 2013. The race is expected to take more than 32 hours of running. Our team all shares the common bond of having lost an average of 100 pounds each through healthy eating and running but will all meet for the very first time at the race.

Co-founder of Media Meld Studios and running teammate, Jennifer Roe quickly came to realize that our teammates’ incredibly moving and inspiring weight loss stories, coupled with the challenging feat in front of us, would make for a motivational documentary film – From Fat To Finish Line. The film will highlight themes such as persistence, overcoming obstacles, dealing with setbacks, and achieving goals.

Amongst my teammates and featured runners are Katie Foster, down 125 pounds, and successful blogger of “Runs For Cookies,” Jen Small, who went from 255-pound couch potato to a sponsored REV3 Triathlete, and Ada Wong, runner-up from Season 10 of the Biggest Loser, maintaining her loss of 99 pounds. I'm in some amazing company for this experience.

Here's what I need from you. Our team is currently fundraising through Kickstarter to help make this film a reality. If we don’t make our goal, we won’t get any of the pledged funds. Click here to visit our Kickstarter project page and learn about the fun awards you can receive if you pledge money. Special Edition DVDs, Digital Downloads, Team T-Shirts, and opportunities to meet, run and train with the cast are just some of the available items.

I have come to my friends and family many times to ask for your support. Together, we have raised over $2,000 for Semper Fi Injured Marine Fund, $1,000 for Wounded Warrior Project, and smaller amounts for local charities and organizations. I am so grateful for each of you.

Now, I come to you again. This film is my opportunity to pay it forward. I want everyone to know that it is possible for them to build healthier and more active lives for themselves. I want them to experience the pure joy of waking up and feeling better than they did the day before. And I want them to have confidence that they can not only cross a Start Line, they can get to a Finish Line. So I ask you to help me share my experience with those who don't yet know that they can take that first step, make that small change, and build their own healthy, fit and active life.

I'm asking for your pledge. I'm asking for you to share the Kickstarter link on your Facebook Wall and on Twitter and with your own friends and family. We are 1 WEEK and a lot of money away from making our fundraising goal, and honestly, every little bit will help.

Pledge money. Get cool stuff. Tell others. And help a worthwhile project get to its own Finish Line.

Thank you and Semper Fi,

John Hulsey

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