Meet Dan (and my winner)

To date I haven’t run any guest posts. I’m a writer and I guess I like my own ink! But Dan McKenna offered me one recently and he has such a good story that I wanted to share it with you all.

Before you read on to Dan’s story, however, I wanted to reveal my Tough Chik t-shirt winner: It’s Julie of the Finish Line Diaries! She was lucky number 170 out of 232, as selected by For those of you who didn’t win, Tough Chik is offering a 20 percent discount on all orders through the end of February. Just go their site and enter the code “Misszippy1.”

On to Dan’s story:

Hello Miss Zippy Readers!

My name is Dan McKenna, I’m a 23-year-old Villanova alum and I work in banking operations at Morgan Stanley in NYC. I’m a rookie blogger so please bear with me. I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you my passion for running and how I am using it to help others.
A few months ago I committed to compete in a race known as The Atacama Crossing. In less than 30 days I will be heading to Chile in an effort to run 150 miles across the Atacama Desert. The race will be held one mile above sea level and cover the distance required to make a horizontal crossing of the country of Chile. Seven days long, six stages and self-supported, the race ranks #2 on TIME Magazine’s list of Top 10 Endurance Competitions in the world.
I’m running the race on behalf of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives. (To find out more about the Foundation and support the cause – check out my race event page here)
The past few months of training have been challenging to say the least. Ten to 12 hour days in the office followed by three to four hour workouts almost every night, have not been easy. Going into the home stretch, I feel strong and VERY fit. On top of all the running, boxing sessions and weight training have helped me maintain a well-rounded build, both mentally and physically. I’m definitely not a traditional runner. I guess you can say I’m addicted to that feeling you get when your body has pushed itself to the limit.
I’m running each of the first five stages for a child with cancer and the last stage in honor of one of my best friend’s mother (who’s been fighting cancer for the past two years). These people and their families inspire me every day and I hope that the Miss Zippy readers will take the time to hear more about St. Baldrick’s mission to Conquer Kids’ Cancer.
Thanks again everyone for the chance to blog! If you want to learn more about what I’m doing, follow me on Facebook here.

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  1. Jason says

    Dan that is amazing. What a great cause and I am wishing you well on your tour of Chile. Please keep us updated on your performance and experiences out there.

    I will be making a donation as this is a terrific cause.

  2. The Hungry Runner Girl says

    GOOD LUCK DAN!!! You are an inspiration and HARD CORE!! That is such an awesome cause.

    Hope you are doing good Amanda!!! You are amazing!!! I think we are a lot alike judging from your comment today!

  3. Joanne says

    It's truly amazing what inspires people to push their bodies to extremes. It's so important to all the charities out there to get such support.

    Good luck. Stay strong.

  4. Fran says

    Good luck Dan! I admire you for running such an event but I admire you even more for doing it for cancer! As I have watched my Dad fight and lost the battle with cancer, I always have a warm heart for those who contribute to research for this awful disease.