"Marko Baloh's RAAM" the book
An autobiography telling the real story of my eleven years near or at the top level of ultra-cycling
Marko Baloh is an asthmatic, who in his childhood years would be voted the least likely to succeed in sports, but through his determination he has become one of the best ultra-cyclists in the World. Some will say he is the best of also-runs, as he has never won solo RAAM (yet). His results and the World Records he has set would confirm our point of view as him being one of the World's best at what he loves the most – ride his bike, ride it fast and for long, longer, the longest stretches.
Marko wants to write an autobiography telling the real story of his eleven years near or at the top level of ultra-cycling, from his start in year 2000 with qualifying for the Race across America and setting the Slovenian 24h cycling National Record, until his last attempt of winning RAAM in 2011. The pivotal races that were/are also the driving force behind his ultra-cycling endevours are the Races across America, so most of the story will be his account of how he tackled those. He's raced RAAM 5 times as soloist (2003, 2005, 2006, 2009 & 2011) and one time (2008) as a member of a two person team (from where his only RAAM victory comes from). It is a tale of an ordinary man beating the odds against him, facing life threatening health problems, taking on an extra-ordinary task of crossing the American continent in less than 10 days and trying to win the hardest sporting event in the World. The story will be told from the riders perspective, so fasten your seatbelts and prepare for a fast ride! The time has come to tell Marko's story.
This story may be about Marko but it is really about having a goal and never giving up. It is a book that anyone with a dream should read. It is the story of the intense physical and mental endurance necessary to ride virtually non-stop for almost ten days whilst battling the heat of the West, cold at the hight of the Rockies and the agony of a body and mind being broken apart in the last part of RAAM. It is also the story of endless training miles (close to 20.000 miles/year!) and of all the people that helped make it happen. Ultimately it’s the story of one man, his bike and his dream to see how far you can push the human mind and body to achieve something truly remarkable. If you’ve ever ridden a bike, whether it be in the backyard, across town or across continents, this book is a must for you.
The Marko Baloh Story (working version of the title) is a true story of Marko's impossible journey - a journey from his beginnings in ultra-cycling world, dreaming about RAAM, having to quit RAAM the first two times because of life threatening health issues, but non-the-less never giving up, finishing the race in 2006 and after fulfilling his dream coming back from year to year to try to win the race he loves so much. The book will document Marko’s journey from the beginning – dreaming of one day crossing the American continent, learning the ropes of ultra-cycling at the entry level of the sport, getting to know some of the World’s hardest competitors and with helping hand of some of them rising to the top level of the sport. The Marko Baloh Story is a story of perseverance, hard work and relentless belief in a dream...it is a story that needs to be told.
Help Marko write his story and get it told. This is our reason for posting this project on PleaseFund.Us. Through the unique funding mechanism of PleaseFund.us, we are seeking help from friends and fans of Marko's, members of the ultra-cycling community and all others who would like to read the story to enable him to write this story. The unfortunate reality in these days is that time is money. Many of us spend so much time just trying to get by that we don’t have time for the creative projects that we would all rather be doing. Marko is caught in this trap, as are a lot of people. But with your support, Marko is seeking a temporary escape; He is seeking to buy the time to tell the tale that he knows he has to tell. He's betting that it’s one that many people will want to hear, whether they tried out ultra-cycling in one way or the other, or are simply curious about how did an ordinary man get into doing something so extra-ordinary. If you think this is a tale worth telling, if you would like to read it, then help us ‘clear the decks’ by pledging your support in exchange for one or more of the incentives listed on the project website.
As we sit here in January 2012, thinking about the time line for the project, Marko's goal is to have the book completed and available to the world by the end of 2012. How will these funds be used? Our goal is to raise €50,000, which may sound like a lot, and it is. Approximately half of it (20 to 25 thousand) will be used to self-publish 2,000 hard copies of the book, and also to pay for translating from Slovenian language, editing, layout, publicity, and order fulfillment. We will find a reputable self-publisher who will work closely with us through all stages of this process. The remainder of the funds (25 to 30 thousand) will be used to buy time, to partially defray expenses over the 6 to 9 months that Marko estimates it will take to write the book in a way that does justice to the story. If you want to contribute to the realization of this creative project, and receive something very special in return, then we respectfully request your support.
PleaseFund.us is the funding platform for creative projects. Every month thousands of amazing people pledge a lot of money to projects from the worlds of music, art, film, technology, design, food, and other creative fields. Every PleaseFund.us project must be fully funded before its time expires. "All or Nothing" crowdfunding enables project owners to be confident they will have the budget to complete their project and fulfill their obligations when they are successful. Backers know if the target funding is not reached their money will be returned (minus Paypal's fees).
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DON’T REACH OUT GOAL
If we don't raise our goal, we don't get anything. Donors make a pledge, but if we don't reach our funding target by our deadline, all the money is returned to you the backers. We want to avoid this so please spread the word. Everything helps!"
HOW YOU CAN HELP
This book is only going to be possible with the help of you (ultra-cycling fans, anyone who loves a positive, inspiring story). We want this to be your book just as much as it is Marko’s. The more people who participate the more chance we have of getting the story out. To help out please Twitter it, "Like" us on Facebook, email this PleaseFund.us link and let your friends, teammates, supporter groups, and co-workers know about the book and this campaign. We would love for people to get involved on a local level. Email me marko.baloh(at)gmail.com to get more information and become involved.
***PROJECT UPDATE 1***
As my supporters already know, this book will be an autobiography telling the real story of my eleven years near or at the top level of ultra-cycling, from my start in year 2000 with qualifying for the Race across America and setting the Slovenian 24h cycling National Record, until my last attempt of winning RAAM in 2011.
Whilst prepairing material for the book, I couldn't overlook my cycling years before year 2000. Lots of interesting events and photographs from those years exist, so I decided to make sort of a photo-prologue to my book. Meaning I will try to let you know about my beginnings in cycling and my progress from (pretty old) beginner through becoming a member of Yugoslav and later Slovenian National Team (for Team Time Trial), finally winning the National Championships Races 5 times and reaching as high as 8th place in the World Championships for TTT.
Here you can find the first two parts of my "pre-story":
There are no campaign updates yet
Marko's eternal gratitude and your name added to Marko's mailing list where you can track progress on the book and read occasional items of interest.
Everything above, plus Marko's Promotional Cycling Card with his personal message, autographed and sent to your address.
Everything above, plus an official Marko's Fan Club T-shirt. Limited.
All items above (except for those that are limited), plus an autographed, hard copy of the book when completed
All items above (except for those that are limited), plus 2 autographed copies of the book with a personal message; OR -- 1 autographed copy of the book, plus an autographed DVD of Marko's RAAM 2011 documentary.
All items above (except for those that are limited), plus your name included as a “patron” in the Acknowledgements section of the book and on Marko's website.
All items above (except for those that are limited), plus a copy of a limited edition poster of Marko's photograph from RAAM 2011. We intend to make a number of high-resolution copies of this image.
Limited (to 50 backers).
All items above (except for those that are limited), plus autographed Marko Baloh cycling jersey. There are only 25 passes available at this incentive level.
Limited (to 25 backers).
All items above (except for those that are limited), plus a two-hour Skype or Google+ Hangout video conference call with the donor and a selected group of friends.
After the book is complete, Marko will travel to your city and present a one-day workshop and/or have a training session with the patron and a selected group of friends (Marko will request an additional contribution to cover airfare and accommodation expenses). This reward level will also include 2 autographed hard cover copies of the book, or one autographed copy + one autographed DVD of Marko’s RAAM 2011 documentary as you prefer.
Limited (to 5 backers)..
This is a unique item that we’re auctioning to the highest bidder, starting at the incentive level of €6.000. The patron will receive all items above (except for those that are limited), PLUS Marko’s TT bike with which he has set a 24h World Record on outdoor track (Marko will request an additional contribution for shippment costs). It is Orbea Ordu, size 57cm, equipped with Shimano Dura Ace and with ZIPP999 wheelset.
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