Jamie Williams is rounding out 19 years at The Nature Conservancy, most recently as director of landscape conservation for North America, and will soon serve as president of The Wilderness Society. Before he leaves the Conservancy, Jamie is running 26.2 miles in the Boston Marathon for Team Nature. Go Jamie!
Wow, spring has arrived and the Boston Marathon is now just days away!
I can’t say enough how inspiring it is to see the outstanding support from so many for Team Nature. Thank you! And it’s good to know there’s still time to donate before the big run on April 16.
Many have asked me what in the world am I doing running a marathon. It’s a really good question, but here’s why I am really loving this challenge: because the real prize is not the marathon, but the road to it.
The training required gets overworked people like me outside regularly in a way that focuses the mind, puts things into perspective and awakens the senses.
For the first time in human history, most of us now live in cities and no longer have that daily connection to nature we all once had. Running pushes us into the green spaces of our cities, which helps us think about the green places of our planet and how we might live a bit more lightly and smartly to be sustainable. So, for me, running feels like a great way to build a healthier life and healthier planet at the same time.
Now, what I would not recommend is training for a marathon with only 9 weeks to prepare. The speed at which I have had to ramp up to some really long runs has been a bit painful.
A recent 19-mile run in the mountains near Boulder was more than my cartilage-free knee could handle. Recovery has been slow. So the marathon itself will be a true struggle between my heart and my left knee.
But regardless of the outcome, the road to Boston and the wonderful support for The Nature Conservancy from so many friends has been the magic. To that end, let me just add that this marathon comes just at the moment I am leaving 19 years with The Nature Conservancy to become President of The Wilderness Society.
So what this fundraiser has now become is a chance to honor the incredible people at The Nature Conservancy — a family of friends who have transformed my life in the process of helping communities all over the world safeguard nature for us all.
The Conservancy’s true secret lies in the humility, collaborative style and incredible dedication everyone brings to their work, and it is precisely those values I see in The Wilderness Society and why I am so excited about helping them protect America’s wildest places.
So, here’s to the people of The Nature Conservancy! I can’t thank you all enough.
[Image: Jamie Williams (right) bikes the Triple Bypass in Vail, Colorado. Image source: Jamie Williams/TNC]