Friday, November 17, 2017

I wrote this and forgot to publish back in June. I am now preparing to enter my second 24 Hours of Stratton. If you would like to help go to the link below, and I will do a run in your honor.

As I sit on my deck on a warm summer night, I think back to the awesome Ski Season we had. It started with the 24 Hours of Stratton (details below), and it finished with an amazing day in early April with my daughter at Mount Snow (Mom was home sick). I got close to 20 days on the slopes this season, with some quality days with family and friends.

My first blog post was about a charity ski race I entered in memory of my brother Tom, and I thought I would share how the event went.

Joining me on the team was my wife Suzanne, daughter Marissa, my sister Kate and sister-in-law Jen, who was married to my late brother, Tom and sister, Anne-Marie who was our base lodge support. I raised $2,410 for the charity and our team raised a total of $5,266. I was truly touched by all of the donations from family, friends and co-workers because the charity is about helping families in need, and I consider you all part of the greater Berg family (whether you like it or not). This year's event raised $201,377 and over $1MM to date.

OK, now onto the race results:
  • I skied through the night, taking two 1.5 hour breaks during the wee hours for quick cat naps on the floor of the base lodge, so I skied a total of 21 hours. I now know how it feels to sleep in an airport, the photo below shows some athletes sleeping in the lodge, the snowboarder is sound asleep, sitting in a chair with all his gear on, and another is half under a table. Suzanne, Marissa and Jennifer came back to join me and ski in the morning before sunrise.
Sleepy Snowboarder

My Team at Sunrise

  • Out of 300+ entrants I finished 31st, 4th in my division, with a total number of runs at 55 (matching my age BTW) and a total of 47,810 vertical feet skied
  • Our little team of five finished 25th out of 50 teams, not bad for our first attempt
  • Now this is the stat I am most proud of; my wife took the Silver Medal and my sister-in-law the Bronze in their division. Tom would be so proud of the girls and how they kept on going
                                                                    Jen and Suzanne

  • Marissa (our only snowboarder on the team) fought through some pain and finished out the morning with a couple great runs to see the sunrise from the chairlift
The experience of skiing as the sun set, through the night, and then to see the sunrise the next morning was something that is hard to put into words. I felt that Tom was with us the entire time and kept us all safe throughout the 24-hour event. I made badges (see below) for our team to wear during the event with his photo and an expression on the back that he liked to use to end his emails with "Onward and Upward".  I thought it was rather fitting for the event.

                                                                     Our team badge

Thank you again to all who donated the bottom of our hearts.

Jay Berg
Team F.O.T.H. Captain
(BTW, the position of Team Captain was a self appointed one)

Monday, November 28, 2016

How I Spent My Summer

After an amazing summer, filled with a ton of cool adventures, I suggested to my 12 year old daughter that she should log it in her journal. She wasn't too keen on that idea, so I decided it was up to me to do it, only on my blog :)

Most of you who know me know that one of my passions is Auto Racing, and we are fortunate enough to live near an amazing little racetrack in upstate Connecticut called Lime Rock Park. We started our Summer by going up there Memorial Day weekend for some great racing (the Pirelli World Challenge), we returned in the Fall to see a full day of Ferrari Challenge racing. In between we attended the Indycar Race in Toronto as part of a long road trip through Canada on our way to Michigan, that was so much fun we want to go back to Toronto again next summer. Now some of you might think "what's there for a 12 year old girl to do at a racetrack all day long?", well...she can't get enough of it. We had barely pulled out of our parking space after a long day in the sun at Lime Rock on Memorial Day, when she said "Daddy, when can we come back here?". I recently looked at who she follows on Instagram and there was a race team or two there, this dad is #SoProud. She even asked if she could get a used tire from one of the race cars, and after she got it she put it to good use, using it as a seat on the hill overlooking the track.

Our long road trip through Canada in July was to get us to the a Family Reunion at Crystal Mountain Resort in northern Michigan. My family has these reunions every 3 years or so, moving the location around so it's close enough for some family members to drive since we are spread out all over the country. This year we had a record number of attendees, around 85 people came to spend 5 days together, playing golf, exploring the mountain, playing cards and just enjoying each others company. The youngest attendee was a 2 week old baby, and my Mom was the oldest at 88 years young (anyone who knows my mom understands the "young" part).

In between there were trips to Rhode Island beaches, an amusement park, camping, and I also took Marissa out to teach her how to sail on the Long Island Sound.

We get so wrapped up in our day to day work and random stuff around the house that's it's easy to forget just how fun these little trips can be, and how much they mean to everyone involved. I don't ever want to miss an opportunity for a NEW adventure. 

I saw a billboard for an insurance company in Grand Central as I left the city today that really summed it up nicely, it said "Be good at life".

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


 This is my first attempt at a blog post so please forgive me for any errors

After losing my brother to cancer last year I wanted to do something to honor his memory and have it be something he would be proud of. With that in mind I have decided to enter the 24 Hours of Stratton Ski Race because Tom lived in VT and cared very much about the local charities. We spent many a day skiing the slopes of Stratton Mountain as well as other VT ski areas and he lived a half hour from Stratton so we always considered it our "home mountain". This just seemed like the perfect way to remember him.

The Race

This race is to benefit The Stratton FoundationVermont is a great place to visit and enjoy all the beauty of the mountains and changing seasons, but long winters, high cost of living, and seasonal employment makes it a challenging place to raise a family. Schools report up to 80% of their children who live at or below poverty, with limited resources. At least 1 out of every 3 families depends on food pantries to feed their children, and the rural geography limits access to health and dental care. Unfortunately, the cycle of poverty can persist generation after generation in families where education is not considered a priority, and funds raised support programs designed to help these children realize their potential for success. 

Since 2013, over 1,400 athletes have raised $800,000 for the Stratton Foundation to make a powerful impact and this year is set to be the biggest and best year yet!

My Brother Tom at Stratton

A little bit about our team
Team F.O.T.H - The name game from something Tom used in his emails to refer to himself, it's a reference to the Beatles song "Fool on the Hill". We have assembled a team of Tom's family and friends (also fools on the hill) to compete and help raise awareness of this worthwhile charity.

If you would like to help please go to the link below and donate, I would very much appreciate it. I will also be posting more about the event leading up to it, as well as a follow up after. I'm working out on a regular basis to get in shape and sure hope I can go for 24 hours, I'm gonna give it my best.


Video from 2015 event