“I’ve think we’ve got something really special here in Wichita, Kevin.”
“I agree, Lacy. I think we really do.”
This was the opening conversation I had with GoRun Wichita, a running store, owner Kevin Swinicki as we took off for more miles this past Saturday morning. We had just completed a raffle and a fun run with about 250 people. The totals determined that the running community of Wichita had raised $2,000 for Hurricane Sandy relief. All of this took place with just three days notice, a push through social media, and a cause worth of running for.
Early last week DietsInReview.com’s managing editor, Brandi Koskie, asked me if I thought we could get runners to show up and participate in DailyMile’s #Run4NYC virtual race fundraiser. Knowing the good hearts that dwell in so many people I’ve shared the road with, I told Brandi that I thought many would show up to support such a worthy cause. With that belief, Brandi hit the ground running to secure funds. Within a day, she had been allotted $500 to donate to the effort, which would go to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Boldly we agreed that we’d attempt to get 200 people, that way DietsInReview could contribute $2.50 per person who showed to run with us. This news officially hit the public on Wednesday, giving runners three days notice for the event.
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Eric Bruce arrived in New York City last week from his home in Bermuda to run his 39th marathon. He was checking into his hotel, which was without power, when he learned of the cancellation. He had just chatted with the porter after learning how his family had fared during the storm.
“I was disappointed I would miss what I originally came here for but as another runner said, ‘None of us knew what challenge we personally would face this weekend,’” said Bruce.
Most of us watched the drama of the 2012 New York City Marathon unfold from afar. Many shared their opinions of what they thought runners should do and what the city should have done, but the reality is that most of us weren’t there and we were just playing armchair referee. It’s always easy to problem solve from a distance and to tell people how they should feel when we’re not the one directly dealing with the impact of such a tough situation.
Bruce is one of three runners we spoke to who were actually there and traveled to the city because Mayor Michael Bloomberg told them the race was still on. These runners gave up months of their lives to train for this race, they spent money to travel to New York City, and they wrestled with the emotions of being told it was all for nothing.
However, Bruce encountered more good spirit than bad during his unique stay in New York. He recounted the grace and humanity he experienced from New Yorkers. “My hotel was downtown and I was without power for part of my stay,” he said. “Strangers offered to let me stay in their homes, extended well wishes, and hoped that they would see me in next year’s race.”
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Runners need only show up for Saturday morning’s 5K in Wichita and DietsInReview will make a $2.50 donation on their behalf!
We may be one of the largest health sites online with a presence across the country, but we call two places home – Wichita, Kansas and Brooklyn, New York. Last week, one of our homes, and many members of the DIR friends and family circle, were affected by the Sandy Hurricane, not to mention so many of our loyal followers. This Saturday, our editorial team, which is based in Wichita, will sponsor the first 200 runners at a special 5K event by donating $2.50 per runner to Run4NYC (up to $500). Run4NYC is raising money through virtual races across the country to support the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
“DietsInReview has called Wichita home and run our editorial team from here since we started in 2007,” said managing editor Brandi Koskie. “However, our site founder, developer, and dietitian live in Brooklyn, NY, so Sandy hit way too close to home for our tight knit DIR family last week. It’s in our nature to give back whenever we can, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to tie our two communities together.”
The fun run will take place in partnership with GoRun Wichita on Saturday, November 10 at 7:00am at Sedgwick County Park. GoRun Wichita will lead us through a 3.1 mile loop. We expect to see runners of all experience levels, including some of GoRun’s recent Start2Finish training team who completed the Prairie Fire full and half marathon.
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It’s been a hot summer and those of us who have been training for a fall race have had our fair share of struggles. Even the most seasoned runners have had to take extra water breaks, adjust our paces, and start even earlier to beat the heat.
But what about our gang of unlikely runners? Our Local Joes have been taking on the challenge of going from non-runners or novice runners to half marathon finishers. How have they fared this training season?
Our Local Joes are just 32 days away from the starting gun of The Prairie Fire Marathon. Just four months ago many of them couldn’t run a mile or even fathom running 13.1 consecutively. Their training has got them up in the neighborhood of running 10 miles and they are surprising themselves and all of us watching with what they’ve been able to accomplish since May.
Trainer Holly Perkins laid out specific plans for each of our runners back in the spring. The plans were designed to get our Joes to the finish line. They had to overcome more than just the physical, but the logistical and even emotional issues that all runners deal with. Time is always fleeting and our brains don’t always rally for us. The Joes have had to learn what all runners deal with. Simply put: life can get in the way of running.
Besides the hurdles of schedules and commitments some of the Joes have had to fight harder than others to feel comfortable running. But overall, they’ve all made amazing strides. We checked in with each of them this past week:
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Saturday was a big day for our running project, The Local Joes. They took on their first group long run and I got a chance to get to know these great people who have already inspired so many.
I had the privilege of running with the Joes this Saturday morning. We met bright and early at the start of the three-day weekend and took off for a three mile run. We were short one Joe as Cassandra Schwartz wasn’t feeling well. A mighty group of three Joes took off and endured my incessant talking for about a half mile and then I realized they were all on their individual interval plan from their trainer, Holly Perkins, and I shut my mouth and let them do their thing.
I just helped by showing them the route and the mile markings to help them get familiar with the course. This provided one of my favorite quotes of the day. As our 6’7”, 300-pound, football player Nathan Carr reached the spray painted one mile mark, he said, “Awesome. That’s the furthest I’ve run in a long time.”
Gives me chills. I can still recall my first mile and all the unknown possibilities that followed.
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