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Ironman Wisconsin

David Pokela, Greensboro, North Carolina

In just a few days, a long-distance friend of mine, Doug Schneebeck of Albuquerque, will be racing in the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race. Doug won't be challenged only by the 104 miles of rough terrain, approximately 14,000 feet of total climbing or altitude of up to 12,600 feet -- Doug will be racing a little more than one year after being diagnosed with ALS!

I met Doug a couple of years ago by email via the Leadville 100 message boards. Although a total stranger initially, Doug was the first person to reach out to a Leadville "newbie" like me and share helpful advice. Doug and I have traded emails over the last few years and seen each other in Leadville. I consider him a friend.

Now, I am in awe of the spirit of life Doug has shown in training for and racing Leadville this year with ALS. I think of Doug often when I am training. In light of his friendship and inspiring spirit, I want to use my Ironman race as vehicle to raise money to fight ALS.

Good luck to Doug and thanks to those who join me in the fight against ALS by contributing!  Click here to donate to ALSA!