My List of Thanks: 2020

2020…Wow. There’s a lot that can be said for this year and much of it would revolve around feelings of negativity. We’ve all been down at some point this year. There’s been tons of events and things we had high hopes for that never came to fruition. As years have gone, it’s been a tough one but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t something we could learn from or even be thankful for having experienced.

Usually, I’d insert my list of running related thanks here. There will be some here for certain but it’s going to be full of other things as well since there was so little formal running events available.

  1. My Family – Despite the craziness the world has thrown at us this year, we have gotten through it together. We’ve not been able to do much but what we’ve done, it’s been with each other. Big family trip to the West? Shot down! We pivoted to an RV trip in Southern Indiana and it was awesome! It might have been pretty close quarters and I was more than ready to sleep in my own bed by the next to last night, but I’ll always smile when I think about that trip.
  2. My health – I’m healthy, so don’t worry there but I was in considerably better shape this time last year. I never got Covid-19, I put on the “Covid-19” as in pounds. It’s not always going to be easy to maintain a healthy lifestyle in this pandemic filled world, both physically and mentally, but I appreciate what I had and determined to go get that back.
  3. My team – They could have seen this as an opportunity to be done with it all. It was a thought myself too but this group of men and women are awesome and excited about next year.
  4. Our sponsors – To Sue Teasdale and Coldwell Banker, Ruoff Mortagage and Kim Gonzalez, OmniSource and Mike Franio, Sara Ayres and her team at Don Ayres Honda, and Cap n’ Cork and Rachel Burkholder, THANK YOU! We simply couldn’t do all that we aim to without the support of our community leaders. It is empowering to have people such as you and businesses like yours backing our efforts. We are truly grateful for you and will continue to work hard to make the investment you put into us bear many fruits for NeighborLink through us.
  5. 2020 – It was lined up to be an amazing year and much of that amazing was dashed away. Somehow we’re a month away from the year being over but the fight still rages on. Sometimes you don’t know what you have till you don’t and there was a whole lot of don’t this year. It’s been difficult to see things to be appreciative of in the moment but I say this year has been a brake check. It’s time to look at those things we took for granted, be appreciative of them, and move forward which brings me to….

2021!

I’m thankful for 2021 for this reason. It’s a new day, a new month, and New Year. Yes, we’ll still be immersed in the middle of the pandemic when it begins but I’m holding on to this hope:

There will be a day when science is followed, vaccines are given, numbers will fall, and and people will smile again when life begins to be restored.

What’s your favorite part of a good movie? Is it the good guy running roughshod over the bad guys from beginning to end? No! It’s the comeback. If we were in a Rocky movie and we were Rocky, we’ve lost the match already but here’s the good part….

Mickey’s standing before us yelling at us to train work harder than we ever have before and Survivor is tuning up for a hell of a training montage. It’s coming everyone. 2021 is The Comeback! We’re going to get better by working harder, getting healthier, and ultimately, smack Drago Covid to the ground one last time. Shoot, maybe the Russians will even applaud.

So yes, I’m thankful for 2021 because it might not be great at the beginning but I’m a believer that when the comeback begins, it’s going to amazing!

What are you thankful for and what are you looking forward to most?

May you and yours, from my family and I, have a safe, healthy, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Sincerely,

Gabe

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On Staying Positive

2020 has made it hard to do a lot of things. I think staying positive has been chief among those that have proven difficult for me and I’d assume that a lot of you have struggled as well. There’s just been so much that has been taken away or shifted from our routine that it is easy to get bogged down by the boredom, monotony, negativity, pessimism, and oh, did I mention anxiety that life has thrown at us this year.

That said, it’s also given us a lot of goodness too and I think we need to keep that in perspective. Yes, things aren’t all rosy, and they may not be for a bit but, I’ve had and I’d assume you have as well, more time with my family than I’ve had in a long time. My kids aren’t getting any smaller and there’s going to be a day approaching soon where I’m not very cool to hang out with so the fact that we’re doing so much together, it’s a blessing.

Admittedly, I’ve not been good with my fitness throughout this time. I have to get back into a routine and a rhythm which I’ve been just terrible at this year but here’s my perspetive….2021 gets to be a massive comeback story and I’m excited about it. And being excited about something is a blessing too.

SO with that, here’s a couple of things that will help you keep your chin up and give you a boost if you’re needing it:

The Positive Side Podcast is a pretty cool bit of listening goodness and it’s exactly what it sounds like. It is run by Jeremy Todd, who actually went to my grade school and was the older brother of a friend of mine. Again, it’s great. Check it out. If you need to know anything about it, check out the picture I’ve included today. I borrowed it for this post. I feel like we all should follow this mantra. Don’t wait for the light at the end of the tunnel to arrive…be a lot for others! Especially yourself!

Ted Lasso – This might sound weird to include an Apple TV show on there but I just finished watching this and it really got me. There’s definitely an English Soccer fan, not suitable language for the kiddies, aspect to the show so this is only for the adults, but the main character, Ted Lasso, played by Jason Sudeikis of SNL Fame, is a genuinely and authentically good person. The cool thing about it is that a lot of characters, in shows like this, come across as weak and this is played as the exact opposite. He’s goofy but eternally and optimistically positive despite life throwing some challenges at him. It’ll put a smile on your face.

Have a great weekend everyone! Be on the lookout for another post come Monday!

Take Care,

Gabe

Runners Doing Good: By the Numbers Post Ragnar Michigan ’19

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3 & 2 – Number of Ragnar Relays run in Chicago and Michigan respectively

10 – Number of Vans rented

32 – Number of different runners that have run on behalf of Runnin’ Not Walken Runners Doing Good since 2015

969 – Miles run, in total, by Runnin’ Not Walken  Runners Doing Good

5.8 – Fewest total miles run by one runner since 2015

82.66 – Most total miles run by one runner since 2015

11 – Longest consecutive miles run during a Ragnar – Kelly Kreischer running part of runner 1’s 2nd leg and her whole 2nd leg as well.

9 – Percentage of RNW’s RDG’s total miles that the runner with the most total miles has run

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15 – Runners who have run at least twice with RNW RDG

7 – Runners who have run at least 3 times

188.4 – Mileage of the shortest course we ran (2017)

201.1 – Mileage of the longest course we ran (2018)

31 – Fewest hours on the course (2015)

33.75 – Most hours on the course (2018)

32.50 – Most current course time (Ragnar Michigan ’19)

94 – High Temp when we finished in Chicago in 2016, the hottest temperature we’ve competed in.

43 – Low Temp during the night run in Michigan in 2018, the coldest temperature we’ve competed in

27,000+ – Dollars raised for Fort Wayne area charities

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November Inspiration Challenge

Let’s face it. 2020 has been a bit of a drag…make that a lot of a drag. That said, it is the month of Thanksgiving. Sometimes, during really difficult times, like we’re all experiencing in one way or another, it’s tough to come up with things we’re thankful for but maybe if we just take some time, it’s actually more obvious than you might think.

So, here’s a challenge for you. The mileage doesn’t matter but when you go out to run, dedicate your run to someone or something you’re thankful for this month. Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a single day. Make your mileage count in a different way this month!

So here’s how to share together:

Tag @runnersdoingood on Twitter, @runnersdoinggood on Instagram, or @runnersdoinggoodinc on Facebook and use the hashtag #thankfulrunning

Know we’re thankful for you all and that we can’t wait to see all of the wonderful things you share.

October Update

I haven’t written much lately but between team operations, work, and life, in general, I’ve just not had a ton of time to update things but I wanted to drop in and give you a bit of a quick update on what’s happening so far.

We entered October with the goal of adding new sponsors. Fortunately, we’ve added two: Cap n’ Cork, who was a returning sponsor from years past and an all new sponsor, Ruoff Mortgage! In all, they’ve brought our sponsorship total to $2250!

So where does that leave us? We are approximately $1,000 away from hitting the amount necessary to cover all of our expenses! It won’t be long and we’ll be right there and at that point, all bets are off and any sponsorship from that point going forward will go directly to Neighborlink, and counting as the first dollars of our fundraiser!

Hopefully we’ll get those sponsorship commitments this month!

Stay tuned for those announcements, plus a challenge for everyone for the month!

New Sponsor Alert: Ruoff Mortgage!

We have been blessed to work with a lot of great companies within the Fort Wayne area over the last 6 years, many of whom, have become multiple year sponsors of ours but in this pandemic world that we live in, getting new sponsorships have proven difficult to earn.

Now that we’re into the fall and have pivoted our efforts towards 2021, it is with immense gratitude and excitement that we announce that Ruoff Mortgage has pledged to be a Silver Sponsors, committing to $500.

To receive a commitment like that, as a first time sponsor, it’s incredible and we couldn’t be more appreciative of Kim Murphy and the team at Ruoff Mortgage for their kindness, generosity, and support of our mission.

2021 is shaping up to prove that the comeback is going to be pretty special.

New Sponsor Alert: Cap n’ Cork!

Raise a glass! We have a new sponsor and if you need to buy something to put in that glass, buy it from Cap n’ Cork!

2019 was the first year that Cap n’ Cork and Runners Doing Good were able to reconnect in a few years after they contributed to our fundraiser back in 2015.

The difference between those years and this year is that they’re contributing at their largest level ever as a $250 Bronze Sponsor!

It is a truly humbling feeling continue to have long time Fort Wayne businesses, who do so much within our community, support what we do. This isn’t easy and gaining their support is another confirmation that we’re on the right path.

Throughout the years we’ve done a great job of keeping the costs of operation consistent, continually under-budget, and decreasing from year to year by becoming more and more efficient. We are in a unique position because our sponsorships for what would have been our 2020 event, are being applied to ’21. So we’re way ahead of where we’d normally be if we were starting from scratch but nonetheless, with Cap n’ Cork’s support, we’re down to $1500 left to fully cover those costs and we just started this aspect of our operations on 10/1!

2021 is shaping up to be quite the comeback story and we couldn’t be more excited about that.

SO, if you’re looking to pick up a 6 pack or a bottle of wine tonight to celebrate this great bit of news, buy it at Cap n’ Cork as a way to say “THANK YOU” for supporting our team!

Thanks to Our Sponsors

As we begin our quest to earn more support from the local business community, I’d like to thank those that have supported us in 2020 so far. We’d not be in such a good position for 2021 without them.

Coldwell Banker Roth Wehrly Graber & Sue Teasdale has been a supporter for several years now. Sue helped my wife and I purchase our starter home, sell it, and buy our current home that 6 years later, we’re still thrilled to be in. She wouldn’t have to support us but loves the mission of Runners Doing Good and especially NeighborLink Fort Wayne, our charity of choice and that’s why they continue to support our efforts.

OmniSource & Mike Franio have supported our running group several times over the years with 2020 being the most recent and most generous backing yet. Mike is a great guy who I was told to contact through from Artie, who doesn’t work with him any longer, so it’s pretty awesome that Mike still goes to bat for us to support what we do.

Last but certainly not least, Don Ayres Honda and Sara Ayres were the first local business to support us and have stayed with us since the very beginning. They are a big part of our community as they support many different causes and to continue to be one of them truly is an honor.

Visit our Sponsors Page to see their profiled page, plus any additional success stories we have as we add new sponsors for 2021’s team.

Team Runners Doing Good ’21

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“Remember when you’re in a position to help someone, be glad, and do it. That’s God answering someone else’s prayer through you.” – Toby Mac #speaklife

I saw this quote the other day and it just spoke to me and continues to speak to me. Last year, when the money we raised went to repairing or replacing 4 or 5 furnaces in the area, it really hit. The pride that NeighborLink Fort Wayne was able to do something truly impactful with our money was immense but it paled in comparison to the happiness I had for those individuals and families who now had a warm home and probably hoped and prayed for a way to fix their furnaces but didn’t know what to do. It was just an incredible feeling.

So it’s with that in mind that I’m happy to expand upon our post over the weekend that detailed a bit, our goals for 2021. It sketched out some concepts but was light on details.

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Here’s some details:

We are aiming audaciously, daringly, and boldly for 2021 with the hope that it is a far happier, healthier, and safe year where the epic adventures, that we use to drum up interest and support for our annual campaigns, can be run.

What race are we running?

  • We will be running Ragnar Trail Michigan in Grayling Michigan at Hanson Hills State Recreational area. It’s 120+ miles of forested and hilly running madness. It might be 75-80(ish) miles less but this may very well be our toughest race yet.

Who are we running to benefit?

  • We are running to benefit NeighborLink Fort Wayne once again. They have been everything we ever could have hoped for.. They’ve been an incredible partner in this by allowing us to be true to ourselves and between a great first year, 2019, and this disappointing year, 2020, we’ve raised about $10,500 for them to date.
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Who’s running?

  • It’s the same group that committed to 2020: Jenn, Cherri, Melissa, Kylie, Andrew, Michael, Chris, and myself (Gabe).

What is our fundraising goal?

  • We said we wanted to go big. We mean it. We want to raise $10,000 to benefit NeighborLink Fort Wayne.

How?

  • It is our belief that we can raise $6000 in private funds.
  • Our expenses for 2021 will be minimal since some has been covered already so our plan is to, through local business sponsorship, raise enough to cover our expenses and then at least $3500 that will go directly to the NLFW through the fundraiser.
  • Additionally, we’d like to sell, at minimum, 50 of our Runners Doing Good wristbands that will help generate some revenue for our campaign.
  • Add it all up, that’s $10,000

So when does this all start???

  • Beginning October 1st, we will begin pursuing and accepting sponsors for our 2021 campaign.
    • If you’re a business owner or run one, let us know and we’ll get you details.
  • Beginning March 1st, we will open up our fundraiser for private donations
  • Wristband purchases can be made NOW. Click below to buy one.

Any questions, please direct them to gabe@runnersdoinggood.com

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A Runner Looks at 40: A Look Back

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5 years ago at Ragnar Chicago ’15

So 2020 hasn’t gone like I planned. There’s been some good and a whole lot of “meh.” Looking back at a post I wrote in December, just before my birthday, I had ALL SORTS OF GOALS. With what I had hoped and planned for, it was set up to be a great year.

Check out the article here: A Runner Looks at 40.

There were a lot of good intentions there, but reality didn’t quite work out as I’d hoped. I planned on setting goals for 5k’s and 10k’s, fundraising goals for the team in our efforts to benefit NeighborLink Fort Wayne, as well as, starting some unstated long term goals for Runners Doing Good and none of it happened.

It’s really tough to write that. None of it happened. My responsibilities changed at work and I loved it had some extra responsibilities so there was less time available and right when I was going to begin my training…quarantine. I spent 10 weeks at home working in a spare bedroom and while I ran several times to keep my sanity, it wasn’t enough. I sunk into work to take my mind off of not seeing friends and family and again, it wasn’t enough.

I had a few days in there where I was just an absolute mess and eventually had a day where I was on the verge of a breakdown the whole day. Fortunately, I have a wife who I’m blessed to be with and she arranged a socially distanced beer and pizza summit in the driveway with my best friend. It helped get my mind right, but my motivation for running endeavors was minimal. There was no Ragnar, no Sunburst, no Fort 4 Fitness, or any other race and as much as I can say I hoped I’d get the gumption to do a virtual race, it got me thinking….I run in my neighborhood all of the time. I’m not going to pay to do it just to get a medal. That might not be a popular opinion for sure but that’s where I was.

So yes, 2020 has been a disappointment but there’s still time. I’ve run 3 of the last 4 days and last night, I felt like myself out there. I was a slower and heavier version of myself last night but I wasn’t an “I can’t believe it hurts this bad to run” version of myself. It’s still not pretty but I felt like some rust was knocked off last night.

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So here’s my wish list for 2020 and into 2021 to finish this year off in a more acceptable manner and to kick a$$ in 2021:

  • For 2020:
    • Find 100 miles between now and the end of 2020 – trail, road, pathway…it doesn’t matter
    • Get back to that 210-215 range. I’ve not gotten Covid-19 but I’ve found THE Covid-19, it feels. I just can’t anymore. Whatever it takes.
  • For 2021:
    • Personal
      • Get to 190-195
      • Run 500 miles in 2021.
      • Indy Mini in May
      • Bolder Boulder in May
      • Sunburst in June
      • Ragnar Trail Michigan in June
      • Ragnar Black Loop somewhere???
      • Fort 4 Fitness in September (Triple Crown???)
    • Team
      • Refine operations
        • establish official email
        • create revenue stream
        • grow relationships
          • donors
          • sponsors
      • Establish Time Line for 2021
        • Announcements
          • Sponsorship
          • Fundraising
        • Events
          • Relays
          • Members

So again while 2020 was pretty disappointing and “eh”, “whatever”, and “blah”, the team and I are excitedly looking at 2021 thinking it could be the best ever!

Stay Tuned and follow along if you’re not already. Announcements and updates on team activity will be coming in the weeks ahead with the first announcement to be made next Monday, September 21st!

Thanks,

Gabe

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