2021: The Comeback Starts Now

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I am a child of the 80’s and nothing was cooler than watching Rocky 5. The end of the Cold War was ending and Rocky in all of his flag trunked glory defeating Ivan Drago, garnering applause even from fake Gorbachev was awesome.

That movie as well as every other movie in the Rocky series wouldn’t be the same if Rocky just steamrolled everyone. If Rocky were Ivan Drago, how fun or interesting would that have been?

Rocky wasn’t Drago and he had faults and often lost, in some fashion, in every movie before he rose up, trained, and ultimately won the day. I feel like 2020 – 2021 will be like that.

So many lost so much in 2020. Even those of us who were fortunate to not suffer the loss of family, a job, or even deal with catching the virus itself have dealt with isolation, depression, and various other issues that only this year could throw at us.

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So here’s the deal….THE COMEBACK STARTS NOW!!! This doesn’t mean that we’ve found the light at the end of this tunnel of suck that we’ve endured, however, it means that we’re encouraging you to finish the planning and hit the road THIS YEAR to make a difference in your space, your life, your community. Many have been stuck in neutral or felt cooped up during this year and it’s time, like Rocky, to hit play on your favorite training montage, get off of the canvas, and win the day!

So with that, here’s….

Runners Doing Good’s Goals for 2021!!

1) Achieve Epic Goals by Tackling The Epic

For us, this is a multifaceted goal but when it comes down to it, we are a running team primarily consisting of “average joes” who look to use their love of running and community to achieve an above average amount of success for a great local charity.

This has manifested itself in us participating in long distance, relay style races every year, with the exception of 2020, to raise money for local charities.

Once again in ’21, we’ll be running to benefit NeighborLink Fort Wayne! Learn more about who they are here and how they’ve used the money we’ve raised in the past, here:

NLFW helped keep Fort Wayne warm by using some of the funds we raised to help fix or repair furnaces in area homes.

So what is a Ragnar Trail Relay? Here’s a good description:

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What is comes down to is that our team is going to run 128 miles through the forested hills of Hanson Hills Recreational Area in Grayling, MI and it’s always an exciting endeavor to take on a task this large.

The beauty of running a Ragnar whether it is a road race or the trail race is that it’s an epic task that we could only achieve together and that’s a lot like what NeighborLink is doing within our community. They are tackling needs and projects of folks within our community that if one or two people tried doing it all, it’d be impossible.

But when you bring groups and teams together, anything is possible.

Our goal to benefit NLFW is set at $10,000 combined between sponsorship and private donations. We’re not aiming small by any means. Again….Achieve Epic Goals by Attacking The Epic.

$10,000 for charity because we tackled 125+ miles of hilly and wooded trails? Epic.

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2) Create a Revenue Stream

For more than 5 years now, we’ve been able to gradually increase our sponsorship so our expenses were fully covered which allowed our runners to spend more time concentrated on their running without worrying about how much this would cost. As the sponsorship dollars exceeded our operational needs, we’ve been able to give more and more to our charity of choice.

Yes, we’ve had an incredible amount of private support but the increase in sponsors has made a considerable impact on our ability to bump our totals from year to year. Initially, it was a couple of hundred dollars but in ’19, we had more than $1,000 in sponsorship dollars that went to NeighborLink. That’s impactful for what we do.

What we’d love to do is not only increase those sponsorship dollars but also increase the amount that goes to the charity because we’re able to cover some of our costs on our own. It’s why we started our ONLINE STORE with something small, wristbands:

We’ve only sold a dozen or so and at $5 each, it’s going to take a good bit for that to pile up but if we could cover one item through the sale of these wristbands, it’d be incredible to say we did that on our own and that those dollars will definitely be going to charity.

If we can achieve that, it’d be a huge step in our team’s continued evolution.

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3) Plan for 2025

Every year since this all began, it has surpassed anything I could have ever imagined. I’ve had a thousand ideas and goals of what this could be and at this stage in life I’m still grappling with questions like:

Do I truly have time for this?

Should we formally organize as a non-profit? Going non-profit, will it make it easier or harder?

Will people run for us without being on the Ragnar Team? If not, do we have the ability to field 2 teams?

Same race or different? How about running a Ragnar outside of the Midwest?

We’ve raised more than $27,000, in 6 years, can we get to $50,000 by year 10? Do I want to be doing this when I’m in my mid 40’s?

What can we truly be? Do it we grow this as far as it can, or do we remain a group of friends who enjoy the adventure of the run and the challenge of doing some good for folks?

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All of these questions are ones that need to be answered at some point. I feel like we have accomplished so much but there is room to develop this more, refine it, create community, and see it become impactful in a significant way.

I can not describe how blessed we’ve felt to receive the support we have throughout these years. It is humbling and I’m excited to answer these questions and to see where this goes but if we’re going to continue on, at least for the next couple of years, we need to start planning now.

2020 might have taken a year of competition and fundraising away but we’re game for reaching towards heights we’ve not hit yet in 2021 and that means we’ll have one heck of a comeback.

That all starts…NOW! Who’s with us???

Happy New Year’s everyone! May it be filled with wishes granted, good health for you and yours, and happiness that shows no bounds.

Sincerely,

Gabe

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