Matty Reed and Follow-Up on Susan G. Komen Foundation

I knew it was a mistake when it happened — I took my eight year old Hoss skiing on Saturday and let him drink from my CamelBack after his broke. Now we are a public school family, so that means he is exposed to all the latest and greatest germs that come out of the petri dish that is elementary school. So the inevitable has happened this week — I got a cold. It hasn’t been too painful. Thanks to the great advice from friends like Lesley at Racing it Off, I think I have minimized the symptoms and I am getting over it. I think I am on the downhill of this. But that also means the last ride I took was Tuesday. I skipped my ride on Thursday and am planning on getting my next ride or run in on Monday. I just want this to pass. I hate missing workouts.

In other great news, I got a retweet from Matty Reed on Twitter on Thursday. That’s right people. I am now famous. Matty is one of my favorite triathletes right now. As you guys know Lance Armstrong is going to participate in some 70.3 and 140.6 Ironman events to try and qualify for Kona in 2012. Matt tweeted the following:

The thing is I agree with him. I think people are falling all over themselves about Armstrong’s return to triathlon. I think what he has done to raise money for cancer is amazing. I think that seven Tour de France wins will not be repeated in our lifetime. But come on people. Athletes like Matty Reed have worked their entire lives building this sport.

So Jen from MilesMusclesMom and I were making fun of how much people were overreacting to Lance Armstrong and his return and then this shows up in my Twitter feed… think I have died and gone to heaven. Matt, when you read this post (which I am sure you have reading on your daily To Do list), just know you get nothing but love from the triathlon community. You are a hell of an athlete and I hope that when you meet Mr. Armstrong in a race, you make sure he reads that Fuji D6 Matty Reed Signature Edition logo on your ass.

All you Armstrong lovers fans out there take a chill pill before you comment on this article. Armstrong racing Ironman and half Ironman races will be good for the sport, but assuming that he will come out of the gate and dominate is presumptuous. I am betting he will finish in the top 20 of most of the races he does and will either qualify or be granted a slot at Kona in 2012. Either way, he will raise more money for the LiveStrong Foundation. But if you think his return to triathlon is just about raising money and awareness for cancer research, you are fooling yourself.

Update to Susan G. Komen Foundation

Thanks to the amazing amount of groundswell that supported the use of Planned Parenthood to deliver breast cancer screening and services to disadvantaged women, the $600,000 grant to the organization was reinstated by the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Karen Handle, who was the VP for Public Policy and viewed by many as the person who pushed the administrative rule through that denied Planned Parenthood their funding, has resigned and claims she was among a group that supported the rule change. I gotta take her at her word and assume it is true. But still, it must suck giving up a $400K per year job.

The backlash from the decision was immediate. 6,000 online donors contributed over $400,000 in just one day. On top of that, a Dallas philanthropist donated $250,000 and Michael Bloomberg announced that he would provide a $250,000 matching grant as well. That is almost $1.0 million by my calculations.

Not only did people put their money where their mouth is, but on this blog and others I saw a mountain of comments that condemned the decision to cut funding. I gotta think that from what you said that fewer of us will be raising money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. If you still want to support breast cancer research and treatment, there are other options available for you. One that I love is the Army of Women that was founded by Dr. Susan Love, herself a breast cancer survivor. They are doing some amazing work and definitely deserve your consideration.

Personally, I think it is never too late to make the right decision. The departure of Ms. Handle was the right move — the Foundation would have had a difficult time demonstrating their commitment to continued support of prevention in poor communities. I saw it called Keynesian Selection and I don’t think that was the intent of the decision, just the unintended consequence. I have seen a ton of articles about local Susan G. Komen local chapters losing financial support and I think that is too bad. I just hope the corporations who took their money off the table take a look at other organizations that fund breast cancer research and use it to help other groups.

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About the Author

I have been participating in running and triathlons for 10 years and love the feeling that training provides. You may not agree with me, but you know you just can't look away...