#35K4SMA You Guys Are More Awesome Than My Sweater


That’s the sound of me giving each of my wonderful friends a huge smooch on the cheek. That includes you bloggy readers! In anticipate of Saturday’s Ugly Sweater Run, I spent a chunk of time last week spreading the word about 35K For SMA over as much of social media land as I could, and thankfully, so many of you stepped up, donated and shared my efforts. On December 1, I had raised just over $1,000. Today, my total is more than $2,000! That’s at least $500 for each of the four charities I’m running for! And I know other people have given directly to one or several of the charities themselves.


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When I got this idea, I wondered if people would embrace it, and with God’s grace, they have. Maybe not the media, but I’ll keep sending press releases and annoying tweets until somebody listens. Even without a newspaper headline,  thousands of people discovered 35K For SMA, and hopefully learned a little bit about Spinal Muscular Atrophy too.

Of course, I’m not done. I’ve still got three more races to go, but I’ll have at least a few months off until any more are scheduled. I’m hoping to take #35K4SMA on the road and run in my hometown and in some other areas near and dear to my heart when spring rolls around. Until then, the pleas for donations will cease…


you can always visit my 35K For SMA page and make a donation via PayPal, or email me at kellymantoan(at)gmail(dot)com for my address to mail a check at any time. Don’t forget, you can also donate directly to any of the charities yourself if you prefer to give to an official non-profit. Just let them know I sent you.

Besides all the money that was raised this week, I also got to run in my ugly Christmas sweater, which is pretty special in and of itself. Thankfully, the weather was cold enough that I didn’t sweat to death while running, but it was hard to unwind and enjoy my two Angry Orchard ciders post race when my fingers were frozen and my teeth were chattering.  I did manage to suck it up and flaunt my sweater and become a finalist in the ugliest sweater contest. Although I didn’t win, I was relieved that I didn’t lose to the women in the homemade snowman pasties complimented with huge carrot noses. (Think “winter themed Madonna bra” and you get the idea.)

I also ran with my friend Kellie, who recently ran the Philadelphia Marathon and qualified for Boston(!!). She had one of those fancy watches that told us our pace and I was all, “Do you think it’s realistic for me to come in under 30 minutes when my time was 34 minutes last time?” And she told me the pace we’d have to go, then she told me the pace I was currently traveling at and I quickly scrapped the idea. However, having her along was great because she could chat on and on about all sorts of things and distract me so the race seemed to take much less time. In fact, the race route did get cut short due to flooding so technically, I have half a mile to make up somewhere. Kellie said we did a lot of running back and forth to the car that day, so perhaps I’ll count that. As someone who usually runs alone, I’m going to try to make sure I have a speedy partner for future races, if not just a snazzy pace keeping watch. Any good models I can add to my Christmas list?

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Here’s my team, all rocking our free Ugly Sweater Run hats. We’re oozing festive.

A local radio station even snapped our pic, but in trying to hold the sign to the side of my awesome sweater, I inadvertently covered up the cows with my arm. D’OH! Several strangers did stop me and take a picture of my sweater (and they hadn’t started drinking cider yet, honest!) All this positive attention to my sweater has made it totally worth every over priced cent I spent on eBay to acquire it. (I think Tony might agree by now.) I also had “35K For SMA’ written on each cheek but, the cold temps, combined with my always over rosy apples meant the words looked more like bad acne scars or something, rather than a call to action. Maybe I’ll try it in black marker across my forehead next time.


So thanks again everyone! Now it will be back to serious blogging business as usual around here. Although I can’t guarantee my cow sweater won’t make another appearance, or three, before the new year.


  1. Thanks for the shout out! It was a great morning. Your sweater rocked, and you are stronger than you think. You ran that race with ease. Can’t wait to see you sprint that finish the next time 😉

  2. p.s. I just blogged about the run at Building Cathedrals. Don’t be shy about commenting there with more information about the cause and links to donate.

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