2014 in Review & Team G Athlete of the Year

My procrastination and busy schedule resulted in this post coming out later than I wanted. There were many notable events and activities in 2014, so there is so much I could write. From races, both local and destination, to social activities, and even the weekly group runs could be highlighted. I’m sure I’ll forget something but here is my recap of the fourth year for the Team Grace charity running team.

Fundraising/Events

We had our annual Father/Daughter Valentine’s Day Dance in February, and our Spaghetti Dinner fundraising in April. These 2 events annually make up the bulk of our fundraising efforts. For the year, we raised just under $5,300, bringing our 4 year total distributions to charity to $22,400. In 2014, we supported Girls on the Run, LLS, The Jenna Parlette Memorial Foundation (#JennaStrong), ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer and Free To Run Foundation.

Running to help others is one of the main reasons this team was formed, and we will continue to make that a focus.

Races

Team members ran in a number of races last year, in a number of different states, from 5k races to 50+ mile ultra events. Some of the notable races were:

Carmel (IN) Marathon & Half Marathon (April)

Carmel2014-hotel

Group pic in the hotel lobby the morning of the race

 

Flying Pig Marathon & Half (May)

Always a fun race, with great crowd support. The course is challenging but I think that is outweighed by the atmosphere, the great views and the post-race party. After doing the half numerous times, this was my first Flying Pig full.

Market to Market Relay, Cincy to Dayton (September)

The inaugural Ohio Market to Market Relay, a 76 mile relay from Milford to Dayton, was probably the biggest surprise of the year. My only prior experience with a relay was Ragnar Florida Keys, and while overall I enjoyed that experience, there are some challenges with an overnight relay that we weren’t going to have to deal with at M2M since it was just one day.

We had enough interest to field 3 different relay teams, all starting at different times. Going into the day, we weren’t sure how the team chemistry was going to be, but we couldn’t have done a better job forming the teams. While the running part and the feeling of achievement that went along with covering that distance during the day were good, everybody had the best time in the vans, just going from exchange point to exchange point. It was really neat when more than one team was at the same exchange point at the same time. After the day was over, we were already committed to running the race again in 2015.

Air Force Marathon & Half (September)

Photo Sep 20, 12 30 46 PM

OBX Marathon (November)

The OBX Marathon was one of funnest experiences yet in the short history of Team G. We had 6 first time marathoners on the trip, and it was great to be there with them when they finished. Although I didn’t have my best race (my 3rd full of 2014 and 2nd in the span of about a month), the time spent in our beach house and going to different places in Outer Banks made the trip unforgettable. And yes, it’ll be fun, they said.

 

ORRRC Team Series

In only our second year in the team series, we finished in 5th place out of 11 teams, moving up a few spots from the previous year. There were only a couple of races where we didn’t reach the minimum 5 runners, but many races we were well represented.  Way to go team!

Trail Running Adventures

Trail running for me has provides some variety, and a break from the normal pavement pounding. I completely my first 50k last year on trails, so I put a lot of miles getting ready for that. In addition, portions of the group periodically met at different parks for some trail running adventures.

Farewell, but not gone forever

Three team members moved out of state in 2014. We definitely miss running with Katie, Terri Ann and Rachel, but because of our group page on Facebook, we still interact with them frequently. Destination races to Tennessee, North Carolina and Nevada/Utah will be planned in the future.

 

Running Around the World

Each month, those who keep track and wish to report their miles do so on our Facebook group. For fun, we decided to keep a running total of the miles and see how far around the world it takes us. Not only did we run all the way around the world, we had some miles to spare and decided to go to some place sunny, preferably with a beach. We ended up being over 3,000 miles past the goal of 24,901 miles (the circumference of the Earth).

Athlete of the Year

It was tough to decide on our Featured Athlete of the Year for 2014. We have so many inspiring people on the team, always motivating others, achieving personal bests, and generally just being great teammates. The individual selected for their accomplishments and contributions to the team is Jim Bulach. He is the most dedicated runner for honoring team members’ birthdays with birthday runs, and if a shoe company ever needs somebody to put as many miles on one pair of shoes as possible, he’s your guy. If anybody ever needs a partner for a long run, Jim will be there. He trains so consistently that you can count on about 120-130 miles per month. He topped off his year with a marathon PR at OBX.  Congratulations Jim!

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