Browsing articles tagged with " #SQLRun"

Cheer Us On, Part 2 – 6 October

Oct 6, 2013   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Fun, Need Your Help  //  No Comments

Sunday Yanni Robel (@yannirobel). Rob (@projmgr) and I (@datachick) will be running the Portland Marathon. Yanni has done so many I can’t keep track.

Tonight we did the pasta dinner are now hoping to get a good sleep.

This is my second full marathon and Rob’s first. So this is where you can help. We all us Runmeter, an app that will not only track and tweet our progress, it will also read your tweets and Facebook posts to us as we run.

Today Yanni showed me she had selected a sexy French voice to read your messages. Just so you know.

I can’t even begin to explain how much hearing your support helps during a race.

You don’t have to install anything. All you have to do is tweet at us. There are just a few things you need to know:

– We can only hear tweets directly tweeted to us, with our twitter IDs right at the beginning of the tweet.

– That means that you will need three separate tweets to talk to all of us. If you mention more than one of us, only the first person will hear the tweet.

– We won’t hear retweets.

– We will probably set our apps to tweet our progress every 2 miles or so. If you reply to those, we will hear your tweet.

– You don’t have to include anything else in the tweet. No need for the Runmeter ID or a hashtag.

– We won’t hear DMs or private messages.

– Status updates also go to our Facebook walls. You can also talk to us there, too.

– I am slow. I will take more than 6 hours to finish. You can sleep in and still help.

– Our corral will probably start at 7:15 -7:30 or so AM PDT. But you don’t have to cheer us only as we start. Messages later are appreciated a lot.

I hope you can help us along the way. Even if you can’t, sending good vibes are also appreciated.

And thank you to all of you who supported us during our training runs.

See you on the other side of 26.2 miles. Upright and smiling.






Go @YanniRobel

Jun 2, 2013   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Fun, Snark  //  2 Comments

Yanni is great.


Need Your Help: Cheer Us On

May 31, 2013   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Fun, Need Your Help  //  1 Comment

This Sunday, 2 June Yanni Robel (@yannirobel) and I (@datachick) will be running the San Diego Marathon. Yanni has done so many I can’t keep track.

This is my first full marathon. It will be the first time I have run 26.2 miles. Even typing that makes me queasy.

So this is where you can help. Both Yanni and I use Runmeter, an app that will not only track and tweet our progress, it will also read your tweets to us as we run.

I can’t even begin to explain how much hearing your support helps during a race.

You don’t have to install anything. All you have to do is tweet at us. There are just a few things you need to know:

– We can only hear tweets directly tweeted to us, with our twitter IDs right at the beginning of the tweet.

– That means that you will need two separate tweets to talk to both of us.

– We won’t hear retweets.

– We will probably set our apps to tweet our progress every 2 miles or so. If you reply to those, we will hear your tweet.

– You don’t have to include anything else in the tweet. No need for the Runmeter ID or a hashtag.

– We won’t hear DMs or private messages.

– Status updates also go to our Facebook walls. You can also talk to us there, too.

– I am slow. I will take more than 6 hours to finish. You can sleep in and still help.

– Our corral will probably start at 7AM PDT, although cellphone congestion at the start may interfere with our auto tweets and your responses.

I hope you can help us along the way. Even if you can’t, sending good vibes are also appreciated.

I’m very happy to have Yanni with me for this run.

And thank you to all of you who supported us during our training runs.

See you on the other side of 26.2 miles. Upright and smiling.





We did it! #SQLRun Portland Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k #SQLFamily

Nov 1, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Fun, Travel  //  4 Comments

As I previously blogged, a group of PASS Summit attendees ran events in the Portland 40th Anniversary Marathon. And we all finished.  Some with amazing times, and others (like me) with a "I’m happy to finish upright and smiling".

#SQLRun team

I nominate this as one of the best #SQLFamily photos ever.  I get all teary-eyed every time I see it. This was taken after the people running the Half Marathon finished and went to breakfast.  Look at those happy "I just ran/walked 13.1 miles" smiles.  I can’t tell you how much more fun it was to run my second half marathon with a group.  My first, a Nike Women’s Half, I ran all by myself.  Literally, as it was a virtual half using the Nike+ system.  The difference was astonishing.

Starting in back left going clockwise: Brent Ozar, Rob Drysdale, Rob Farley, Jes Borland, Erin Stellato, Karen Lopez, Yanni Robel.  Missing from this are the people who ran other events, namely Doug Lane (10k) and Allen White (Full Marathon).  Doug blazed a great time in the 10k and for Allen this was his 26th state in which to run a marathon.  He ran ANOTHER FREAKING MARATHON the weekend after PASS, too.  Amazing.

Allen blogged about his races here:


The Fun in Fundraising

P1030351We didn’t just finish our races; we raised a pile of money for great charities. Jes, Rob, Erin and I raised money for the Ray of Hope, a tiny charity based in Portland that provides services to women and children in Kenya.  In total, forty runners for Ray of Hope raised almost $20,000 for a charity that normally has a budget of about $50,000 a year.  Do you see how we in the #SQLFamily made a real difference to this group?   Rob and I raised $1,850, which I was impressed by until I saw that Erin raised more than $2,250 and Jes raised more than $1,100 all on their own.  So the four of us, as a #SQLRun informal team, managed to motivate all of you to help the works of Ray of Hope to the tune of $5,200.  That’s 10% of their previous budget and more than 25% of their goals for this event.  I’m so proud of all of us who ran for them and all of you who helped them continue their work in Kenya.

Ray of Hope fell just short of their goal of $20,000.  So if you were thinking of making a real difference with a charity that has almost no overhead and only a tiny administrative budget, this would be the time to pony up a few coffees’ worth of cash.

Jes Borland blogged about her race and fundraising experience at Her fundraising page is at

Erin Stellato’s fundraising page is at

Rob and Karen’s fundraising page is at

And then there are the people who ran for Team in Training, a fundraising group for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Yanni Robel, Rob Farley and Brent Ozar ran or sponsored for this great charity that directly contributed to helping Yanni survive blood cancer.  Yanni is a huge inspiration to me: she survived while training to climb a mountain, then trained to run her first half marathon and is now training to run another half and a full marathon. I think there’s more; I can’t even keep up with all she has signed up for. All after taking up running just this year.  Amazing woman. 

Yanni raised just over $2,200 and inspired Rob Farley’s LobsterPot Solutions to be a corporate $1000 sponsor for Yanni’s team.  Team in Training raised $316,455 for their charity at the Portland Marathon. Across both the Portland and Nike Marathon, runners raised $760,340.  That’s a lot of life-saving dollars.  I’m still amazed. 

Yanni blogged about her race and fundraising efforts here:

Rob Farley blogged here:

Getting to Meet my Running Guru

You’d think that with all that magic going on, my race weekend experience couldn’t have gotten better,  but you’d be wrong.  At the Marathon Expo, I briefly got to introduce myself to Jeff Galloway, Olympic athlete, author, and trainer. I have been reading his works and using his running methods since I started running again after shaming my middle school track team one time too many.  Jeff’s methods involve a run/walk interval for training, something that just works for me.  This sort of not-running-the-whole-distance method is controversial in the running world ("You aren’t a real runner"), but I don’t care.  At my age and ability, this is the only way I can cover distances like 13.1 miles.  Meeting Jeff with a  brief handshake and babbling "You are  the reason I am here" was a great addition to my race experience. 

But wait! It gets better.

After the expo Rob and I walked over the the Starbucks to get my daily fix of Quad Tall Soy Latte (QTSL).  As I looked around for a place to sit, there was Jeff, sitting next to the only two open seats in the place.  We sat down next to him and I dithered about bothering him.  I, who had pushed Barbies in the faces of astronauts, Homeland Security officials, pilots, Twitter friends, politicians, celebrities…was afraid to say "Hi" again.  But you know what, Barbie gives one courage, so I dragged her out of my bag and said "Jeff…Hi…It’s me again and I need to take your picture with this Barbie." And guess what?  He was fine with that.


It’s always amazing to me that 1) I have the courage to ask people to have their picture taken with Barbie and 2) That they say "yes" on a regular basis.  In fact, I’ve only had 2 people ever say "No". Jeff was great about my story of @data_model and how Barbies help me talk to people about STEM education. For about 30 minutes Rob and I chatted with Jeff about his training programs, his experiences coaching people like me, his travels and how race registration websites are less than optimal. I talked to him about using his Twitter account more often. I told him how he really made an impact in my life.  Even though he had never met me. The whole time I was thinking "You really should attend one of his retreats or training runs".  I need to add this to my 2012 goal list.



Our Scream Team

I said that I ran my first half marathon virtually.  The best thing about that is I didn’t have to follow a course. Most of my run was via the Waterfront Trail along the shore of Lake Ontario.  The worst part was that there were no water stations, no candy and no portapotties anywhere along my route. I had to carry all my supplies with me and hope that I didn’t need to powder my nose anywhere. There was also no one cheering along the way.  You’d be amazed at how motivating having a Scream Team can be. 

In Portland, I ran with an app on my iPhone, Runmeter, which allowed people to Tweet supportive messages and have them read to me while I completed each mile.  I can’t tell you how wonderful this simple technology was.  I wish I’d remembered to set up a log of these tweets; I so want to read them again.  Perhaps when Twitter gets around to letting us see Tweets over 5 days old I’ll go get them.  Every single one of your Tweets made a real difference. 

In person, Harry Chandra, Ryan Malcolm, Bill Fellows, Mike Decuir, Camille Warwick and John Robel were part of our in person scream team.  I saw some of them a few times. My friend Kirstin was there, too, cheering from her hotel window. I think there were others, but I didn’t do a good job writing them down.  If I missed you please let me know.  I want to thank you here.

#SQLRun is Now a Thing

Given the success of our first #SQLRun, Jes Borland added at #SQLRun event during the PASS Summit and Steve Jones blogged about it.  This was a fun training run, but it looks like she had 40-50 people out early in the morning running the streets of Seattle.  I ran on my own so that I could get back earlier.  I wish I had just been late.  The pics look amazing.

Looking back now, I couldn’t imagine that one short Twitter discussion with Erin Stellato led to all this coming to be.  If you’d asked me then how much money we’d raise, how many people would join us, etc. I’d come up with a number no where near these numbers. I learned we can make a difference as a group of dedicated data professionals who have come together to enjoy something else we have in common.  I’m also excited to see how our stories have inspired others to take that first step in getting in to or back in to running.   You can follow the future success on Twitter by searching for #SQLRun hashtag.

So at your next SQLSaturday, or even the next conference, consider seeing of anyone else wants to get together and go on a run. You never know how you might just change some lives.

Donate to #SQLRun and Be Famous

Jun 27, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Need Your Help  //  No Comments


If you have donated to our SQLRun fund raising for the Portland, OR-based Ray of Hope Charity, we will put our thanks to you on our blog.  First, we’re going to recognize you by first name or company name right on the front page of our blog:



We will also give you a Tweet shout out of thanks to our 4,000 followers.


All those who donate will also be listed on our Thank You Blog Roll at the top of our blog page:



If you donate $100 or more, you can have your own image and text banner displayed in the same area as the thank you banner on the home page — and this can link to your blog, website, or social media page.  Donate $500 or more to our Ray of Hope campaign and you’ll get your very own sponsored blog post and all of the above.  We will include any company matching donations in your total.

Of course, we reserve the right to post only content that is professional and in the right spirit of our fundraising mission.

If you have already sponsored us you can send me (@datachick or the links or content you’d like to have listed. 

Finally, if you donated anonymously, we will not be listing your information anywhere unless you ask us to.

Thanks to all who have already donated and to those of you who will.  We think Ray of Hope is wonderful charity.

#SQLRun Support Rob and Karen in the Portland Half Marathon

May 31, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Fun, Need Your Help, Travel  //  1 Comment

Click To Sponsor us

Rob and I will be running the Portland Half Marathon (that’s 13.1 miles) on 9 October 2011.  We’ve even created a hashtag, #SQLRun , to help follow our plans and races. Other #SQLRun participants will be using it, too.  You can help us by donating and being part of our scream team.



As part of our entry, we must raise at least $1500 for a charity, Ray of Hope.  We chose this charity because:

  1. It’s a small charity.  No multi-million dollar advertising campaign, no lawsuits to enforce their alleged trademark on certain colours, no primetime commercials. 
  2. They are program-oriented. There are no spew of pink/green/bluewashing third party products in weak fund raising schemes, no celebrity endorsements, no product deals with companies hoping to make their products look better.   They don’t pay any salaries at all, just a tiny budget for office supplies and marketing.
  3. They need our help.  With such a tiny budget, I imagine that our data community could make a huge difference in what programs they are able to deliver.  With almost all your donation going to programs (see below), you personally can make a big difference in someone’s life.
  4. Let’s just say that Kenya is well-known for their running expertise.  We will be drawing upon our inner Kenyans to complete this race.

A great fit for us in that we I love fund raising for causes where the charity meets those requirements and they sound as if they could use some help getting more of their programs in the field.  I’d love to blow the top off our fundraising goal for them.

From the Ray of Hope website:

What does your contribution to Ray of Hope provide for our programs in Kenya?

  • $20 Gives labor support and nourishment to a woman delivering at the Bware Maternity Center
  • $25 Water for one week at the ROH Clinic and Learning Center in Kawangware
  • $50 School supplies for one primary school classroom per term
  • $100 Monthly salary for an HIV/AIDS Outreach worker in Kawangware
  • $250 Cost of a Girls Empowerment Seminar for 100 girls in a rural community
  • $750 Full year sponsorship for one student at a secondary boarding school
  • $1200 Cost of a 6,000 L water harvesting tank and roof gutters at a primary school

You can see how even a small donation can make a difference.

Click To Sponsor us

Be on our Scream Team

What if you aren’t able to donate at this time?  We’ll, we’d love to have you on our scream team, either in person or virtually.  As we get ready for this race, we’ll be training and running local races to help whip us into shape…at least in shape enough to finish the race upright and smiling.  Your virtual shout outs on Twitter and Facebook will mean a lot to us and the other #SQLRun participants.  So when you see our Fitbit, Runkeeper, Runmeter, Nike+ , Garmin or other data collection/reporting status updates "cluttering" our timelines, remember that we are training for a very long run as well as raising money for a great cause.  Tell your community members running #SQLRun that you support them in their efforts.

If you are going to be in Portland the weekend of 8-9 Octobers (remember, there’s a Portland SQLSaturday on 8 October), you can come downtown Portland to cheer us on.  The race has a cut off of 8 hours, but we don’t expect to take nearly that long Smile.  All the #SQLRun participants would LOVE to see you on the side the course, cheering them on.

You can be part of our team by running, walking, fund raising, donating, cheering our training or cheering for us during the race.  Just do it. (Apologies to Nike).

#SQLRun #SQLPASS Want to Run a Half Marathon with Other SQL Runners?

Apr 19, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Fun, Social Networking  //  7 Comments

IMG_0146Erin Stellato (twitter | blog) and I were talking about Jes Borland’s (twitter | blog) recent half marathon race (Go Jes Go!, Go Jes Go!).  Erin was looking for a half marathon to run some time around the PASS Summit.  We found the Portland Marathon and Half Marathon on 9 October 2011.  Portland is about a 3.5 hour drive from Seattle, but also just a $50 train ride, so not really that expensive to get from Portland to Seattle.  You could run the event and get to Seattle the evening of the 9th.  And just to entice you some more, there is a SQL Saturday planned for Portland on 8 October.  So in one weekend you could cram in:

  • SQLSaturday Portland
  • SQLRun Portland Half Marathon
  • SQLTrain to SQLPASS

That’s a whole lot of SQLfun all packed in before SQLPASS has even started.

This marathon and the half marathon are known for being a very friendly event, and on race day the course is open for 8 HOURS.  For a half marathon (13.1 miles) that’s a 36 minute a mile pace.  A leisurely walk is usually 18-20 minutes per mile.  With 8 hours to complete this marathon, nearly anyone can join the event.  In fact, you could run a bit, do some shopping, have lunch, take a nap and finish the race with time left over.  Did I tell you it is a friendly race?


The Portland Marathon is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary, so spots are tough to get.  In fact, the half marathon has sold out for the regular price.  However, there are other options for running the half:

  • Pay a $250 entry fee and get a tax receipt for $125 in return.
  • Commit to raising donations for one of the official charities and either have a reduced entry fee or the entire entry fee waived (see below)
  • Run the full marathon and pay the regular entry fee.

The key is that if you want to be part of this event, you’ll need to get entered soon.  The charity entry method is the most complicated so I’ve contacted all the charities and have heard back from some of them. 

If you are interested, leave a comment below with how you are registered and which event you plan on participating in.

Confirmed Registrations (people who have paid up or committed to fund raise for this event):


Ray of Hope Foundation

Do you still have charity entries available?  Yes, we still have plenty of entries left at this time.

What is the fundraising minimum for your charity?  We ask each runner to raise an amount of $750. In exchange each runner receives several benefits which are detailed on the attached information flyer. We also have a limited amount of entries available for "sale" at a price of $350. The buyer will have no further obligation to raise funds and will receive a Ray of Hope tee shirt. Part of the $350 will be tax deductible and buyer will receive a tax receipt.

Do you have an information page I could point people to so that they could choose to participate via your charity? I have attached the information sheet. If they want more information on our charity, please visit our website at

Is there a date for which the fundraising is to be completed? Fundraising must be completed in full by September 28, 2011. An initial amount of $250 must be raised by no later than August 25. The entry code will be held by Ray of Hope until the first stage of $250 is raised, at which time the free entry code will be released to fundraiser.

How should people contact you to get set up? The best way to contact me is through email at, or my cell (503) 998-4789. I can email the contract and we can do everything by phone and email.

Anything else I’d need to know to get people registered and starting to raise funds. We would LOVE to have all of you on the Ray of Hope team!  We had a blast last year with runners coming from all over the country, and we expect to have an awesome team again this year!! This is a wonderful cause and because we are a small non profit based in Portland, our administrative costs are quite low and your fundraising dollars go directly to our programs in Kenya, Africa.


American Cancer Society

Thank you for your interest in becoming a 2011 American Cancer Society DetermiNation charity athlete for the Portland Marathon/Half Marathon! Our American Cancer Society DetermiNation program provides our athletes with a meaningful experience to help fight back against this terrible disease.

We do have reserved half marathon entries for our program. In order to receive one, participants must commit to fundraising $1,000 due by 9/23/2011. We also have Marathon entries which require a $1,200 commitment. Upon registration, a fundraising commitment form will be completed online.

To register as a DetermiNation Charity Athlete or learn more about our program, please go to: Upon registration, you will receive a customizable charity athlete fundraising web page, and your charity athlete welcome packet and racing jersey will be mailed to you.

Please visit the ‘Info for Athletes’ page of our DetermiNation website for more program details, including our program benefits and fundraising requirements.


Komen For the Cure

Thanks for your interest in registering for the Portland Half Marathon through Susan G. Komen for the Cure/Marathon for the Cure program.  We do still have half and full marathon entries, and we would love to have you and your friends participate!  Here is a link to an info page that you can send along to anyone who might be interested:

The registration fee for a marathon or half marathon entry to the Portland Marathon is $100.  In addition, you will need to commit to fundraise a minimum of $1,000. This number is set to keep our program costs low and to ensure your donations are utilized to maximize our investment in breast cancer research, screening, education and treatment.  You will have up to 30 days AFTER the event day to continue fundraising, and once you register, each participant will have access to an online fundraising page that can be personalized.  I’m also available as a resource to assist with fundraising ideas.

You can register on the Marathon for the Cure site via the following link:

Click here to register

Once your registration is completed, we will take care of your registration with the Portland Marathon/Half Marathon through the back end with our charity entries. 

Program benefits for registered Komen Marathon for the Cure participants at the Portland Marathon and Half Marathon:

  – A welcome New Balance t-shirt
  – A fundraising page that you can customize to email your friends & family for support
  – Fundraising tools and tips
  – An exclusive Komen Marathon for the Cure New Balance tech-tee shirt to wear race day (sent out when you reach your fundraising minimum)
  – Prizes for your fundraising efforts
  – The fact of knowing you are raising funds to help save lives and end breast cancer forever!!

Please let me know if you have any questions, and thanks for considering participating in Komen’s Marathon for the Cure program! 


Children’s Tumor Foundation

Thank you for your interest in running the 2011 Portland Marathon and Half Marathon with our NF Endurance Team, fundraising team of the Children’s Tumor Foundation.  We are thrilled you would like to join us.  I know you will find us friendly and inviting.  You will find your experience with our team a rewarding one, helping the millions of people affected by neurofibromatosis (NF).

We do still have charity slots available.  There is a minimum fundraising requirement for this opportunity.  We require a minimum fundraising commitment of $600 for a half marathon slot, and $1000 for a full marathon slot.  We have a limited number of slots for each event.  I will attach a commitment form if you are interested.  The fundraising must be completed on or before September 9, 2011.

Our Foundation has a website where you can find information about neurofibromatosis and the Foundation as a whole.  We also have the website that gives you an overview of our endurance team.

Once you have registered with us (for free) at, a fundraising webpage will be created.  It makes fundraising as easy as an email to friends, family, and coworkers.  We can even provide you with information about one of our NF Heroes to feature on your fundraising webpage.  We have the amazing Bob Skold in our Colorado office who is fantastic at helping our runners with their fundraising webpage.  His email is   


The other charities have not yet gotten back to me. I will update here when I have more information from them.

Rob and I will be running the half.  I’ve only ever run a half once, so I’m not going to have a target time set.  I will be in the "finish upright and smiling" mode.

I’m looking at perhaps renting a house to for the weekend to keep the cost down or even arranging to places for people to stay locally.  Stay tuned for that information, too.

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