Our spring training season is over, so many of the team members are doing some short, local races here and there. Although we continue to meet on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings, our official summer session will start in late June, when training for fall races starts (notably, Air Force, Cleveland Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Columbus). While we’re in between the spring and summer sessions, this is a good time to share an update on how our 2013 campaign is going.
This was the first year we decided to become a charity partner of the Flying Pig. In exchange for discounted registration and a percentage donated back to us, a tent in charity village, and being listed on the Pig website, we had to commit to raising at least $5,000 for our charitable cause. We exceeded $5,000 in each of our first two year, so it didn’t seem much of a stretch to reach that mark again. Sure enough, not only did we exceed that minimum goal, we raised over $6,200 by May! Including what we raised for Action for Healthy Kids in 2011 and to help with medical expenses for a two year old with leukemia in 2012, we have raised just over $17,000 in two and a half years.
Some of that money has been raised by the personal fundraising of our members, along with unsolicited donations from members of the Troy First United Methodist Church, our main sponsor and “parent organization”. But we are very fortunate to have been able to organize successful events like our annual spaghetti dinner, and for the first time this year, a Father/Daughter Dance near Valentine’s Day (which we took over from a now defunct nonprofit.)
Although we surpassed the goal we committed to for the Pig, our plan is to continue to fund raise through the fall for the organizations we’re supporting this year, Girls on the Run Dayton, our local YMCA (in Troy and Dayton), and other charities that support and promote healthy lifestyles for children. We still have races to run this year, so why not continue to promote our mission and the causes we’re supporting?
So, about the running part of Team G(race). It’s going well, no, not well, it’s going great! I still enjoy a solo run every now and then, but I really love running with the team. There’s always good conversation during and after the runs, team members are constantly encouraging one another in person and online, and we really have a good time at our post race celebrations. We’re even already planning different destination races in 2014.
Unfortunately there have been a few injuries this year that prevented some members from participating in the Pig. Injuries come with the territory, but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with not being able to run. My hope is that those members who have been dealing with injuries are staying positive and benefiting from the encouragement and positive thoughts of the team.
Instead of writing a long recap about the Flying Pig, I’ll just list a few highlights, and then share some pictures.
- Meeting the two Tarahumara Indians at the Expo, who would be running the marathon the next day. (I might want to go on a running tour of Copper Canyon some day!)
- Team dinner at Arnold’s Bar and Grill the night before – we went there before the Pig in 2011 and decided to eat there again. Established 1861, it is Cincinnati’s oldest tavern.
- It rained during the race (sprinkles here and there), and after (a lot). Good thing we had a tent in charity village, where we could wait for our teammates and stay dry. This was the fourth time I’ve participated in the Pig, and the fourth time it has rained.
- The “Hill”, miles 6 to 8.5, was hard. I guess I have a short memory and I didn’t remember it too well from 2011. Doing intervals helped, and the view of the city and the Ohio River at the top was awesome.
- My time for the half was 2:17:20, a couple of minutes slower than the Xenia half in April, and about 10 minutes slower than the Air Force half last September. But it was a Pig PR for me, and I think a pretty good time for running 5/1 intervals.
- We had a couple of first time marathoners, and several PRs (full and half).
I’m excited about the rest of the year. When we enter the summer session, there typically is more bonding among the team – earlier training times on the weekend to try to beat the heat, warmer runs, and perhaps longer runs as some train for full marathons in the fall. We’re also doing the Glo Run in June for the first time, and the next few ORRRC team series races are fairly close to us. It doesn’t seem possible to me and Cynde that each year we continue to exceed our expectations for Team G(race), but considering everything that has happened in the first five months of 2013, it looks like we’re on track to do just that again this year.