Thursday, September 24, 2009

VM Ware "runs" up the total

By Natalie La Van, Restoration Volunteer Coordinator

The fog is setting in and I’m absolutely freezing while standing next to San Francisco’s most iconic landmark, the Golden Gate Bridge. I’m not alone. There are over 100 other people here with me from around the globe -- I know this by the myriad accents and languages I hear floating through the atmosphere. And these people are ready.

I have never been a runner myself, so I’m just sitting back watching the largest number of fabulously fit forty-somethings in almost obscenely short shorts with pure glee! They are poised on the edge of their starting line waiting for that moment when they are set loose and the pure rush of adrenaline is theirs to do with as they please. Oh yeah and did I mention that these righteous runners are practically throwing money at me from the bottom of their sweet Nike’d soles? Heaven!!!

This is not just any run, my friends; this is the VM World Fun Run. Every year, the virtualization mogul VM Ware holds a conference for their international and local markets called VM World. This year they decided to give some thing back. When Craig Williams -- the leader of this effort -- started receiving emails from participants interested in going for a run on the world renowned Golden Gate Bridge and wanting him to suggest a trail, he saw this small request as an opportunity for those weary conference-goers to get out, stretch their legs and see the sights our lovely Bay has to offer. Being a champion of the environment himself, and knowing the commitment Palo Alto-based VM Ware has to the local ecosystem and the care their clientele has for the entire planet, Craig decided to bring this event full circle by donating the entry fees to a local charity.

Remember I said they were practically throwing money at me?! With only a shirt and a beer to entice them back to the finish line, each group took off into the blustery twilight to enjoy the view of the sun setting gently over the ocean with the tapping of tennies on the Golden Gate Bridge singing in their ears.

My hands were cold but my heart was warmed when, after the run, even more people who were inspired by our lovely Bay, emptied their bitsy britches of every dollar they had to support the efforts of Save The Bay. All in all, the VM World runners and TrainSignal raised about $2,300 dollars!!

Save The Bay will use their donations to continue restoring the Bay, educating many more future environmental stewards, removing trash and repopulating our shores with native plants and wildlife.

It is the simple efforts of people like Craig Williams -- taking a small request and turning it into a big event that keeps me toasty during those brisk early San Francisco evenings. And those diminutive drawers don’t hurt either!

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