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$9,786 pledged of $25,000 goal
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By Michael Lebowitz
$9,786 pledged of $25,000 goal
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About this project

My name is Michael Lebowitz, and I want to introduce you to “Slammin’: Voices from the Middle of the Pack-The 2013 Ultra Grand Slam  a coffee table book that will tell the story of one of the hardest endurance events in the world.

Slammin':Voices From The Middle Of The Pack
Slammin':Voices From The Middle Of The Pack

Slammin' is the essence of what I do; documenting, bearing witness, telling the stories of the mostly ordinary folks who embrace their perseverance, suffering and in the end, their victory.

I’m a writer and a photographer and a lifelong runner. I have been a race photographer for years. You can see my photography work at LongRun Pictures under the Gallery menu. You can find my writer archives at Marathon & Beyond Editor's Choice Archives , at my blog, Tarmac Meditations and at  Life As A Human. My work has appeared in UltraRunning, Marathon & Beyond, Trail Runner, Newsweek and various other newspapers and running magazines.

Joelle Vaught on Leap of Faith 2012
Joelle Vaught on Leap of Faith 2012

Many people consider summiting Everest to be one of the most difficult physical accomplishments. Yet, completing a series of 100 mile foot races across North America is perhaps even more challenging. There have been 266 finishers since the event began in 1986 when Tom Green did it for the first time. In that same period 3500+ people have summited Mt. Everest. Everest is 29 028 feet high, about about 5.5 miles There is a total of nearly 80,000 ft of elevation gain during the 400 miles of the Slam, nearly two and a half times more than Everest. Climbing Everest requires teams of people, weeks of hiking climbing, expensive equipment, clothing, extensive training, guides. The Grand Slam is 400 miles, requires long run training, a very small crew made up of wives/husbands and friends and several pairs of running shoes.

There will be approximately 24 people on the starting line at Western States 100 mile whose dreams go much further than 100 miles of this most famous of ultra courses with it’s 18000 Ft of elevation and legendary conditions. For these athletes it is only the first step of a very long journey and will be followed, three weeks later, by the Vermont 100,with its14000 Ft of elevation gain. Four weeks later is the Leadville Trail 100 at 16200 Ft of gain , and finishing with the Wasatch Front 100,with an almost unimaginable elevation gain over the course of 26, 882 feet. It’s unlikely that more than 10 or 12 will cross the finish line at Wasatch, the Slam in hand. We’re going to be focusing on this group of ordinary people who have it in their hears that they can and will accomplish this extraordinary thing.

Whatever the final results of their efforts they will no longer be strangers but friends, brothers/sisters in arms in search of something of value. As a writer, runner, photographer, I want to open it up to runners everywhere and, equally, to make it available to non-runners as well, to anyone who has big dreams and sets out in search of finding out who they are and what they can accomplish.The Grand Slam is the province of dreamers, as much about preparation as it is about humility and good luck.

We’re asking for $25,000 in order to create a coffee table book of substantial size that tells this story. I can’t do this one on my own;  so I’ll need your help. I want to put together a team of investors, people who are part of the running community, of any community that wants to see, to believe in the nature of human potential. I’d love to have you come along.

All the gathering work, travelling, interviewing and shooting, will be done by the middle or end of September. It will take about 6 months to put the book together. Available as rewards in Kickstarter language will be signed prints of the photographs to be determined later. There will be framed photographs and signed book copies in various combinations of size and value.There will Photo Shoots for runners. And others.  There may be a book launching party. If there is you will be invited. Please consider investing. Thanks for reading.

I'm Workin' Here!
I'm Workin' Here!

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Risks and challenges

Writing and photography in the natural world are always a risk. The events themselves may be cancelled due to weather and fire and other acts of God. The focus runners may get injured and not be able to proceed to the next event, let alone finish the Slam. Assuming that everyone's health, injuries and weather permitting, there is always risk in writing and "shooting" an ongoing event. I have never failed to complete an assignment, no matter the difficulty. There WILL BE a manuscript with pictures...the contents, the final story lines, the photography of it, are yet to be discovered. The Author will seek a publisher upon completion. Self-publishing quality books for distribution to the contributors will be part of a considered approach to a legitimate industry publisher. Contributors will receive complimentary copies according to reward levels that are in place.

My back up for injuries to the three runners who are already on board is to keep in touch with and follow all of the others who are attempting the same feat. In the final analysis there will be runners who DO finish the Slam. Their stories are yet to be told. This will be a book about the human spirit whomever the final players may be.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    TEAM SUPPORTER:
    Special Slammin’ team supporter post card mailed to you. Thanks for joining the team!
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    TEAM HONOREE :
    Special Slammin'team supporter post card and your name honored in a special supporters page in the book.
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    One of either a signed copy of Slammin' or a 9x12 Photograph print signed by the artist from a choice of Selected Images plus your name in the book.
    Estimated delivery: July 2014
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    SUPER DEAL: One 8x10 Photograph print signed by the artist, one signed copy of Slammin’, postage in the US included, plus name in book.
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Large PRINT: Signed 11 x 14 black and white print from a choice of Selected Images, Slammin', invitation to the book launch party plus name in book.
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Animal Athletics will offer a 10-pack of "Bootcamp Classes" for a $100 donation. 5 free 10-packs and people will have the opportunity to come train w/ us for free up here in Portland. One of a Signed 11 x 14 black and white print from a choice of Selected Images, or Slammin', plus an invitation to the book launch party plus name in book. Add $20 to ship outside the US Pledge $100 or more. Thank you Yassine Diboun and Willie McBride for your support and generosity. If you want to run better, Run Like An Animal!http://kck.st/YzD5Hp

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Running Print AND BOOK: Signed 12 x 18 black and white print from a Selected images gallery. One signed copy of Slammin', invitation to the book launch party plus name in book.
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    COLOR PRINT AND BOOK: Signed print 12x 18 from a choice of Selected Images. One signed copy of Slammin', Invitation to the Book launch party plus name in book.
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    2 PRINTS AND BOOK: 2 Signed 12 x 18 black and white/Color prints from Selected Images. One signed copy of Slammin', invitation to the book launch party plus name in book. For additional prints, please add $75.
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    POSTER and BOOK One from a select collection of original Framed poster size collage of images from the Slammin’ .Plus one signed copies of Slammin', Invitation to the Book launch party plus name in book.
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Photo shoot With LongRun: I will visit you at an ultra event in the Oregon, Idaho, Washington and take race images or favorite running place images. Estimated delivery: September 2014 –September 2015 Pledge $500 or more

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    NSpire and The Mountain Trail Series is offering 3 FULL Series passes for the Inaugural MTS in 2013. You will also get Slammin', plus an invitation to the book launch party plus your name in book. Add $20 to ship outside the US.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Photo shoot With Ian Sharman: One runner will go on a running tour and private training run with Bend Oregon based Ian Sharman, an elite ultramarathoner with 12 hour and 44 minute 100 miler. He will take you on his favorite training trails in the Bend area and tell you all his secrets (about running). He is also a participant in the 2013 Slam. You will also get signed copies of Slammin', 1 signed image from Selected images from the book. and images from your run. You will be invited to the party if there is one and have your name on the supporter page of the book. Estimated delivery time to be worked out accoring to the schedules of the folks involved.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Photo shoot With Ian Sharman and LongRun: One runner will go on a running tour and private training run with Bend Oregon based Ian Sharman, an elite ultramarathoner with 12 hour and 44 minute 100 miler. He will take you on his favorite training trails in the Bend area and tell you all his secrets (about running). He is also a participant in the 2013 Slam. Each additional runner up to 5 more runners will pay 300.00 for a total reward value of $3000.00 if you put together a group of 6.You will also get signed copies of Slammin', 1 signed image from Selected images from the book and images from your "training" run. You will be invited to the party if there is one and have your name on the supporter page of the book. Estimated delivery time to be worked out accoring to the schedules of the folks involved.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Photo shoot With Hal Koerner and LongRun: One runner will go on a running tour and private training run with Hal Koerner, winner of Hardrock 100 in 2012 and dozens of other ultras, and the Rogue Valley Runners on their favorite trails in Ashland Oregon. Each additional runner up to 5 more runners will pay 350.00 for a total reward of $3000.00 if you put together a group of 5.You will also get signed copies of Slammin', 1 signed image from Selected images from the book and images from your "training" run. You will be invited to the party if there is one and have your name on the supporter page of the book. Estimated delivery time to be worked out accoring to the schedules of the folks involved.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Photo shoot With Joelle Vaught and LongRun: One runner will go on a running tour and private training run with Joelle Vaught, winner of Waldo 100K (first F) in 2012 and dozens of other ultras, on her favorite trails in and around Boise, Idaho. Each additional runner up to 5 more runners will pay 300.00 for a total reward of $3000.00 if you put together a group of 6. You will also get signed copies of Slammin', 1 signed image from Selected images from the book and images from your "training" run. You will be invited to the party if there is one and have your name on the supporter page of the book. Estimated delivery time is to be worked out accoring to the schedules of the folks involved.

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    Photo shoot With LongRun: I will visit you and your group/at an ultra event in the Oregon, Idaho, Washington give a presentation, Take race images of the group’s participants and supply copies of Slammin' to every one involved. Limit 25 people to a group.
    Estimated delivery: September 2014 –September 2015
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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Photo shoot With LongRun: I will visit you and your group at an event of your own choosing be it corporate or athletic or personal. All travel expenses and other costs are included. Limit 25 people to a group unless otherwise specified and agreed.
    Estimated delivery: May 2014- TBD
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Funding period

- (31 days)