Featured

RDG for Dee Family Adoption

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Today’s announcement is all about choices. It’s about choosing to step out and do this on our own, standing on our own 2 feet for the first time. It’s a bit risky. It’s a bit scary. It’s definitely exciting, though, because for us, it allows us to come out, be clearer and bolder in our mission than we ever have and that allows us to, hopefully, make an impact in a way that we’ve not in any year up to this point.

With that, we are excited to introduce the Dee Family to you: Tony & Jayme Dee and their 3 daughters. I have had the great fortune of knowing these two for the better part of 20 years. They are a wonderful family and it’s been a blessing to know them.

Tony was actually a runner of ours in 2016 & endured the blast furnace that Ragnar Relay Chicago was that year. He was a major contributor to our campaign to benefit Kate’s Kart. That’s just another reason why we’re excited to support them as he’s one of our own.

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As a family, they’ve felt a call for awhile, to adopt internationally. They discerned that call and CHOSE to accept it but they’re not just adopting a little baby. The impact they’ll have for their family and their new daughter goes beyond a child’s infancy. They plan on adopting a young girl from Colombia who is aging out of the foster system. To be a young teen who could be emancipated, at some point, because she wasn’t wanted because she’s too “old”, and left to the world is scary and dangerous for that matter.

It could be devastating to such a young person. With them, her life’s trajectory will be altered beyond measure but to get there, it doesn’t come without a considerable cost.

The Dees are attempting to raise more than $35,000 to cover the cost and are about half way there but it’s also come with a ton of stress, as you’d imagine, in how to accomplish such a large goal.

As always, we’re going to take on another Ragnar Relay. We are firm believers that we’d not have had the success by just running a 5k. A team relay where we all can share in the suffering of the run as well as the fundraising effort is so much bigger and effective. When you have a great cause and family like this to support, we couldn’t be more excited about what we can accomplish.

That’s where RDG comes in. Our last 3 campaigns have netted more than $5,000 a piece. If we can do that again, then we can provide them with a great boost that, while it might not get them the rest of the way to their goal, maybe it helps speeds up the process of bring their world and hers together a bit quicker.

So with that, this #GivingTuesday, we’re officially kicking off our running and fundraising campaign, both on Facebook and through GoFundMe so that those that aren’t on Facebook can donate as well.

Please consider this your invitation to support this wonderful family and their dream to add a new daughter to their family and by doing so, set this girl on a lifepath that is drastically altered for the positive.

Thank you all for your past support. We’d certainly not have been able to accomplish all that we have without you all.

Sincerely,

Gabe Arnold – Founder

Runners Doing Good

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RDG4DFA: 1 Month Update!

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It’s been a heck of a month to say the least. The last several years we’ve been blessed to have had a very generous fellow runner match our donations for a month and we’ve been able to cross $3,000 in a month because of him.

What that, obviously, means is that we’ve been able to raise approximately $1,500 in a month with private donations as a kick-off. We’re truly blessed that this person is a friend and in our corner.

That said, we’ve not put anything together with them this year because the window was tight and we needed to get some funds lined up as soon as possible so that we could ensure that expenses are covered and funds could flow to the Dee’s.

So with that, I’m excited to announce that we’ve crossed the $2,000 mark! We’ve never reached that number without a sponsorship or matching promotion giving folks the shot in the arm needed to coordinate their giving around a certain period of time.

What a great first month! So here’s a huge THANK YOU to all who have given and to those that haven’t, please consider doing so. Every dollar given helps support the team and the Dee’s as we look to give them a major boost in their fundraising efforts so that they can bring their soon to be adopted daughter from Colombia, home.

Visit the following link to give:

Runners Doing Good 4 Dee Family Adoption

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Merry Christmas Update!!!

It keeps getting GREENER!!!

Hello everyone! I’m back for one last update before Christmas and then it’ll be silent on social media till the 27th.

We are happy to report that we have now received donations from Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia! 12 States so far!

That’s pretty awesome because I know that there are states we’ve gotten in the past that haven’t chimed in yet that I know that will. Off of the top of my head, I know that we have the ability to easily add donations from 4-5 more to get us approaching 20 states. We’ll definitely need more help to get us to halfway, which is a small goal. We’ve never gotten that many before. If we could pull that off, that’d be incredible.

In total, those 12 states have equaled $1,655 given! Beyond that, due to some things that Jenn has done on the side, I know there’s at least another $100 to add to that list so we’re really $1,755+ right now.

The last week has been quieter but that make sense. We are, as you are too, have been busy with Christmas and holiday preparations but I have a challenge that I’m ready to issue.

I might be a lot of things with this, Found of the Team, Team Captain, runner, fundraiser, etc. but I’d never say that the runner part has been particularly great. I’ve run well enough to complete the effort but it’s been more about the fundraising. The fundraising part won’t change but 7 years after this has all started and looking at our 8th campaign, I’m willing to throw a challenge out there that puts a bigger emphasis on being the best running version of myself as I can be and part of that is putting in miles in a way that I’ve never done.

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For instance:

How?!?

Let’s face it, it’s a miracle I’ve been able to pull this off. I’m not sure if I should be amazed, surprised, or sheepish about it. 2018, I was cruising with my running and had to really taper back when I hurt my hip. I was seeing split times in numbers I’d never seen before. Seriously, for me hearing high 7’s and 8’s in my splits, it was incredible but once I was injured, it just wasn’t there. I’ve talked about that night run in northern Michigan where it just throbbed and ached so badly that I wanted to quit the run. Artie wouldn’t let that happen. Again…never heard anyone that chipper at 3 in the morning but I digress.

2019 was definitely better but I never got that type of speed back. I guess you could say I was in better shape, pain free, and at a normal base for myself. The same runs I took were faster than 2018 but again, I should have been faster than a guy with a hip problem.

2020 was a wash and honestly, I was half depressed with things. I was at home for nearly 6 months of the year and I had all of these great thoughts of running more than I ever had and I got a bike and even dabbled in that a bit but as you can see, it just didn’t manifest itself in much.

2021, was a great return to Ragnar but my mileage wasn’t good. We all were still struggling with our running and getting enough mileage. Outside of our really good runners and those blessed with youthful legs, the rest of us struggled mightily with getting our mileage in. Experience gave us the confidence that we could pull it off but could we have been better? No doubt. Were we ready for our first dose of trails? Not really. It was definitely a survive and advance type of mentality.

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2022 won’t be that way. I have visions of considerably higher mileage totals in the coming year and enough so that I’m willing to commit to something:

IF……..

We can get to $2500 by January 1st, before we finish Ragnar Trail Michigan, I will run 1 mile for every $10 raised to support the Dee Family Adoption. That could equal a lot of running for me but if we could pull that off, I’ll be thrilled to put in the mileage.

So with that….LET’S GET AFTER IT!

To give, we have 2 ways:

GoFundMe: Tony and Jayme Dee GoFundMe Adoption Fundraiser

Facebook: Runners Doing Good 4 Dee Family Adoption

Thank you all for your love, support, consideration, and generosity and may you all, from our team to your family, have a very Merry Christmas!

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On Caring

Joy is rejoicing in another’s progress…

Fulton Sheen
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As we keep rolling with our fundraiser to support the Dees. I’ve been overcome with “stuff” getting in the way and when I think of how to continue to promote this in the middle of the holidays, the “stuff” of the season keeps bogging me down.

It’s a beautiful time of the year lends itself to work holiday parties and get togethers as well as family Christmas reunions and that doesn’t even count obligations within your own families. With children, as many of you know, there are winter sports, Christmas plays, and the expectations, fancies, and wants of Christmas.

It can be magical, but it also can be exhausting. I’ve had a few weeks here now where half the week, I’m not sure that I’ve seen the sun but for an hour each day. It’s felt like a blur. So when I hear something that’s inspirational, it shines brightly and outshines the darkness of the season.

For me, this past Sunday, the pastor at my church talked a lot about “caring.” It focused on how caring is far more than just being nice. Being nice is being nice but we are called to care deeply for others because caring is an act. It is an act of acknowledging someone’s struggle and working to make it better. It is looking at someone and seeing their pain and their struggle and doing something tangible to take away whatever may be making them miserable. And when whatever is burdening them is gone, we rejoice not just in our accomplishment in helping but because that burden, that weight, and those struggles are taken from them.

It got me thinking alot about what Runners Doing Good has tried to do in the past and what we’re attempting to do in a more direct manner this year with Tony and Jayme Dee and the adoption they’re pursuing.

For a long time now, we’ve worked to raise money for causes that were amazing organizations within our community but for us, the involvement was little more than running a crazy race and because of that effort, we’ve been able to raise a lot of money. That’s not insignificant, however, where that money when, how it was applied, and who, specifically, it impacted…those decisions were made by the wonderful organizations we partnered with.

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With our campaign 2022 campaign to benefit Tony & Jayme Dee, the impact we’re attempting to make is one that has exponential positive repercussions. They have a mountain to climb, or more appropriately, raise, to make this dream come true but it’s more than just a dream, it’s an answer to a call.

If you read about them in our previous article: Dee Family Adoption: In Their Own Words, you know that this isn’t just something that they decided to do one day. It was something that came to them, that they’ve prayed about, that they’ve discerned if this was right for their family on multiple levels, and despite all of the challenges that an International Adoption presents, they’ve said yes. It hasn’t been easy either but then again, nothing worthwhile generally ever is but they’ve been steadfast in their faith that this is the right path for their family as well as for this young lady that they’re looking to adopt.

For us, what we’re attempting to do is an act of care that helps them raise that mountain of money so that they can pay for all of this. That is a monumental challenge in itself and with the abilities that this team has shown over the last 7 years, we’re confident that we’ll produce. But it’s more than just raising money.

When we talk about an act of care acknowledging someone’s struggles and working to lighten their burden, it’s so much more than just throwing money at the problem. Yes, the end game is to help them hit that goal but in a more big picture way, this is about taking something or things off of their list of things to do.

Over the last several months, I’ve seen and heard of them absolutely hustling and grinding to make this happen. They’ve organized multiple garage sales, sold goods at a couple craft bazaars, poured hot chocolate at a holiday parade, partnered with a local popcorn company for a sale, and most recently took orders for nearly 250 apple dumplings that they made and are delivering themselves.

Apple Dumplings….How yummy are these going to be?!?!?!?!

As you can see, the burden isn’t just monetary but in the work and effort to make it all happen. When they hit their goal, it certainly won’t be for a lack of effort. There will be no “lucking” into this. They will have put blood, sweat, and I’m sure some tears into making this happen.

It’s why CARING, in this case, means seeing that effort and supporting them through trying to raise money, as we’ve done so successfully in the past, so that the burden of operating another garage sale, another round of cooking dumplings, sitting at a craft show for a weekend, and every other thing that they’ve had to do already, is lifted. The hope is that whatever we can raise for them can eliminate a few of the things they’d have to do without our help.

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Caring for, supporting them, and helping to lift some of the burdens upon them also has other repercussions because it brings caring, hope, and love to a girl that’s aging out of her country’s foster system.

Think of yourself as a teen. Now think of yourself feeling unwanted during this sensitive, confusing, and complex time of your life? How many of us would have gone down a darker path if we didn’t have the support of a great family? Have many of us have benefited because we had a warm home, clothes to wear, a good education, and a family that loves us? Many of us have and it’s something that no child should go without.

Supporting and caring for the Dees means that we’re supporting their caring of this girl too. It means they’re lifting her burdens by bringing her home and providing her with a life that that only the love and care of a family can give. It means she’s is lifted up and put on a path that is tremendously more positive than if she were emancipated and left out on her own someday soon.

By supporting this campaign, you will support both a family and impact a girl’s trajectory in life. Join us.

Visit Dee Family Adoption to give today!

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Week 1 Update!!

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We’re a day late posting this but so far, the fundraiser to benefit the Dee’s is off to a great start. In fact, we couldn’t be happier with how it’s going. Our best month that we’ve ever had was a shade over $3,000 and that was with a match included in that so really it was a $1,500 month, approximately.

Our first week between our Facebook and GoFundMe pages? $1,240!!!!

We are most definitely well on our way. We received a couple of donations last night that gave us a pretty good boost too and covered a couple of states.

Counting those states, our map looks like this:

It’s getting GREENER!!!
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As we mentioned, we’re well on our way. I won’t tell you what our total is right now but my expectation is that we’ll be pushing $2,000 or more by the time we give our 2 week update.

If you would like to support the effort, please visit our GoFundMe page below:

Dee Family Adoption – Go Fund Me Page

Have a great week everyone and we’ll be back next Wednesday with our next update.

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Dee Family Adoption: In Their Own Words

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“We, (Jayme and Tony) have been married for almost 17 years. In 2018, God laid it on our hearts to pursue adoption while we were serving on a mission trip in Belize. We travel 1-2 times per year with Jayme’s nursing students serving in mountain/jungle regions of Belize. On this particular trip, our team stayed on the grounds of a girls’ home. All the girls in the home were removed from their families for various reasons. We spent our time connecting and building relationships with the girls while we stayed there. Each child we met held a special place in our hearts and as we were excited as we returned in subsequent years to continue to interact with the same group of girls.

On a specific trip in April of 2019, Jayme had a deep emotional conversation with one young woman in particular. The children’s home was closing per government regulations and the girls had all been told that their immediate future was unknown. It was at that moment when God confirmed in our hearts that adoption was a path he wanted us to take. We jumped in with both feet and were so excited at the potential of adding another sweet girl into our lives (one who we already knew and loved!).

Not many adoption agencies work with Belize so we found an attorney in Georgia who had facilitated multiple Belizean adoptions in the past. We started our adoption process on this child’s 15th birthday, knowing we were in a time crunch to have the pieces in place that we needed prior to her 16th birthday.

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God was so faithful, taught us to trust Him deeply and showed us we could lean into Him more closely than we had ever experienced. Throughout the process, we heard Him speak in many very intimate ways, which confirmed that we were stepping forward in faith on a path he had laid. However, we know that His ways are not our ways and His path for us doesn’t always lead where we expect it to, but we are comforted in the fact that He is in control!

When we learned our adoption journey was halted, we were heartbroken. We were told from our attorney in Belize that the child was being pursued for adoption through a domestic Belizean adoption, therefore the door for us to adopt her had closed. Through our grief, we knew that God opened up that space in our hearts because He intended to fill it!

In September of 2019 we had asked a question in an adoption group that came to mind as we wrestled with our grief. Through that Facebook group, we met a wonderful friend who shared with us about her orphan hosting journey with Project 143. As we researched this organization and the idea of orphan hosting, we knew that this is the next step in God’s plan for us.

Project 143 provides an avenue that orphans can come to the US for 5 weeks and experience the love of a family and have the opportunity to be “seen”. After hosting, these children have a higher probability of being adopted- most of these children are between the ages of 9-15. This age group of children are generally less likely to be adopted and that broke our hearts, knowing the desire we had to give an older child a family.

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We had the amazing opportunity to host our new daughter in the Spring of 2021.  Hosting was originally supposed to happen in Summer of 2020 but due to COVID, our hosting was cancelled twice. The time came and we were so thankful to have her here for 3 weeks in March/April 2021. “M” acclimated well into our family, interacting well with each of our children. “M” enjoyed riding bikes, playing in the yard, dancing, going to the zoo and aquarium, swimming in a hotel pool, bowling, cooking, sharing family meals, meeting extended family, sitting in the hot tub, going to a trampoline park, playing games at an arcade, going to church,
and watching movies.

In conversations with our children after hosting, each child indicated that they are excited to add “M” to our family and will accept her as a sister. Our girls are elated to learn more about her and get to know her more when she joins our family. We have shared our adoption plans with extended family and they are fully supportive of her joining our family. While “M” was in our home for hosting, she was able to meet both sets of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Tony’s sister has adopted multiple times from Bulgaria, including a child with significant special needs so adoption is not foreign to our family. Over the years that have followed the heartbreak from our first adoption attempt, God has
shown us that He had a purpose for our experience. He softened our hearts to adoption for a child that we already loved and gave us many signs and experiences to deepen our trust in Him. He laid the foundation of that deep trust to use as a building block throughout our current adoption process and we are so thankful for His sovereignty.

We hope and pray that God will work miracles throughout our adoption process, making it smooth, fast and in alignment with His plan for our family.”

To donate visit the GoFundMe link here: Dee Family Adoption GoFundMe

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On Choices

“It is our choices, gentlemen, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

Ted Lasso quoting John Wooden.

First off, I love Ted Lasso. Period. Moving on… 🙂

Secondly, choices come with consequences. I can want or have a desire to run a half marathon but if I don’t CHOOSE to train for it, I won’t have the ability to run it. My ability at the beginning is far less important than the ACTIVE CHOICE to train for it.

Headed into 2020, Runners Doing Good had some choices to make and we did. The idea was to eventually strive towards formalizing the team as a nonprofit so that we could contribute more directly to causes, people, and charities however we wanted.

We scaled the team back to start anew with some core members so that our baseline expenses could be as minimized as possible with the hope that if things went as swimmingly as we hoped, that we could expand again someday soon.

In many ways, I think we became a leaner and better team because of that choice. Because of the pandemic, it certainly made what we did far easier. It’s why we’re choosing to run the same strategy back out in 2022 but with a few select choices:

#1 – We’re choosing to do this without a net. If we want to move towards operational independence. Now is the time. Our hope is to receive some help from past sponsors but if they can’t support us because we’re not a nonprofit yet, it’s understandable. We’ll work to earn their support when we’re set up.

#2 – We’re choosing to promote us on our terms. Since our inception, we’ve always operated within the confines of the cause of choice that we were working to benefit and oftentimes didn’t receive a ton of support in that effort. If we are going to have to work hard to promote what we’re doing anyways, it’ll be nice to be doing it our way this year.

#3 – We’re choosing exactly where the money is going this year and it will be clear. We have no doubt that the organizations we’ve fundraised for have been good stewards of the money that our efforts produced. That said, when we worked on behalf of Kate’s Kart, they never told us how many books our money purchased and only in one year did NeighborLink tell us what project our fundraisers covered. This won’t be just supporting a good organization this year. When you give to our 2022 campaign, it will be abundantly clear where those dollars are going. That’s extremely important and a choice that we’ll be making every year going forward.

#4 – Our choice of cause this year will be unique and emotional because we’ve never approached anything like this before. This is will not be us helping an organization. It will directly impact 2 worlds by helping bring them together and both will, for certain, be better for it.

Finally, the last choice, #4, is very much an intentional choice. In the past, we’ve sought to reach for the stars with our fundraising and it’s always felt like whatever we raised was pure gravy for the organizations we’ve worked to benefit. Beyond that, it’s always felt like because we were something “extra” for them, if it didn’t work, they weren’t out anything.

With #4, if it goes like every other year has, the upside to this is that 2022 is a stepping off point for Runners Doing Good as a group. There will be proof of concept that we can take this plan together, which has always been aided by past organizations help, and bring it to fruition on our own.

Good Lord willing, it’ll be the official start of something amazing and we’ll be able to spread that love in a thousand directions before we ever call it quits.

So, to follow along, please come back on Sunday at 6 pm when our official announcement is made!

A Future to Fuel? – Part 2

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All of Our Dreams Can Come True if We Have the Courage to Pursue Them

Walt Disney

If you had to nail me down on whether Runners Doing Good exists in 2022, I would say yes it does.

My intent in this post is to explain where I’m coming from and my hope of what RDG can actually look like if it’s fully realized.

I think those last 2 words of the first paragraph are the most important when it comes to RDG….. Fully Realized.

Runners Doing Good started as Runnin’ Not Walken which was catchy and fun. Enough so that losing 2020 to the pandemic didn’t keep Jay, the emcee at Ragnar Trail Michigan, from forgetting us from previous years. We raised a lot of money as RNW and all combined, we’ve raised nearly $33,000. I feel we can do more but is what we’re doing, “Fully Realized?”

I don’t believe it is. What is something that is “Fully Realized?” To me, it’s something operating as the best version of itself. We operate very well and have earned a good reputation because of that but is there room for improvement? Of course! But what would a fully realized version of the team look like in 2022 and beyond?

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Keeping in mind that what we do is ultimately run by people with lives, families, and responsibilities, it’s going to be difficult to push this incredibly far quickly, however, I do believe that there’s an ability to achieve a tremendous lot for 2022 with an eye towards what lies beyond that.

At its simplest, the team would be organized formally so that it could perform all functions of the process, in-house. There may be some added responsibilities associated with that but the truth is that we’ve been blessed to be able to partner with great organizations who have let us operate under their umbrella and that means waiting on some things to come to fruition as their processes play out. That’s not a gripe but for us as a group, we could be more efficient working on our checklist if we were able to perform all functions.

Once set up as a Non-Profit, the potential is there for us to tap into different revenue streams that we’ve not had the opportunity to approach before. That will only allow us to strengthen our intake, which only expands the strength we have to do more.

Until now, we’ve raised nearly $33,000 in donations, since 2015, along with probably more than $10,000 in sponsorship dollars. We have kept $0 of that for our operations from year to year because of how our partnerships with our charities of choice were structured. Again, that’s not a gripe at all! With the ability to create some level of savings, we could position the team for future years in ways that we’d not be able to otherwise, while also making a difference for organizations, individuals, and groups within our community.

Speaking of impact…one of the biggest benefits of taking this to another level is the fact that we’ll be able to support organizations, causes, groups, and individuals directly through our fundraising.

Are we going to go out and start up a soup kitchen? No. Are we going to be building ramps and doing many of the things that organizations within our community are already doing? No.

We’re good at raising money and formally organizing our group allows us to pick and choose all of those above things to support in whatever ways we want. We can spread it around a bit but I can see us doing things like raising money to:

  • Support NeighborLink Fort Wayne for a specific projects
  • Buy books for Kate’s Kart
  • Purchase food from a local grocery store to give to the Food Bank around the holidays
  • Help fill some of the curbside food pantries
  • Purchase diapers for new moms who need assistance
  • Donate to individuals needing help covering the costs of surgeries
  • Help families experiencing tragedy
  • Donate to Brave Like Gabe who help fund rare cancer research
  • Support Run Freely which helps defer the cost of an Exosym Device to Vets to get them running pain free again.
  • And SO MUCH MORE!!!!

There’s a lot to be enthusiastic about if this step is taken but there’s certainly a lot to be a bit scared about too. Like everything else with this team, what if it snowballs? This was never meant to be what it is and here we are talking about formalizing the team as a non-profit in some manner. That’s crazy right?

It’s a good thing but it’s still rather daunting and for that, I’d ask for any good vibes, prayers, and thoughts you might have while I discern whether these next steps are right for our team.

Sincerely,

Gabe

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A Future to Fuel – Part 1

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A legacy is only worthwhile when there is a future to fuel.

– Peyton Manning

I heard that quote awhile back when Peyton Manning was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH. It honestly got to me a bit. I was watching the speech on my phone and it stopped me dead in my tracks. I couldn’t help but watch the snippet that contained that quote a couple more times. It has left me thinking ever since.

It has left me thinking about where Runners Doing Good goes from here. I don’t have to make a decision right here and now by any means. Ragnar Trail Michigan opened up a awhile ago and I was ready to jump on it to lock in the price and didn’t. I have had businesses that have supported us well over the years and until the pandemic, it only got easier to earn those sponsorships. It wasn’t so simple this year.

I’ve put some feelers out on next year for runners and as you’d expect, barely 6 weeks past the big race and it’s definitely still too soon to be sure of anyone’s comfort level in signing up again. Life is different for all of us in 2021 than it was in 2019 when we set out on this most recent campaign. Many of us took time away this summer and when we came back, the pandemic is still there, seemingly ever present. Vacation didn’t make it go away. ’22 could be even better for the travel industry as maybe we’ll get this figured out by then. I don’t honestly know.

I do know that for 7 campaigns and 6 races, we’ve put our best foot forward. We’ve raised money for Kate’s Kart and NeighborLink Fort Wayne and have done well by them and consequently, I feel uniquely supported our community. We are moms and dads, medical professionals, civil servants, sales people, and life is busy in so many facets that we can’t “DO” what these organizations can and do on a daily basis. They are truly remarkable and special to the people they serve. After all of this time, I do feel satisfied in the efforts we’ve put forth on their behalf.

Is it enough that I could be satisfied in doing this for another 10 years? Is it enough that I could be satisfied in saying, “I’m good” and calling it a good run and move on?

Yes and Yes.

I feel the team has a legacy. We’ve earned a reputation. That’s something I’m incredibly proud of. When we lace ’em up, people know we’re going to run something that most people would deem absolutely crazy. We also raise a pretty solid sum of money, too! It’s that expectation that makes me smile because it was never supposed to be this but yet, an impact has continually been made year over year over year. Something nearly accidental has grown into something with a weight to it that is felt.

It is felt whether they knew it or not, by the children that received books. It is felt by those inspired to join our team. It is felt by the families with the warmer homes because their furnace was fixed. It is felt by those that have run year after year after year. And it is felt by me.

There’s a pressure to it all that borders on thrilling and panic inducing at times. It is overwhelming happiness when the fundraiser is rolling well. It’s also fear, disappointment, and frustration when it is not. It is regret when the midnight run through the woods is nightmare inducing and a joyous satisfaction due to the sense of accomplishment when it is over. I have sprouted tears of frustration and tears of joy and been ready to run through a wall I’ve been so excited and so angered. I have felt the rainbow of emotions and it has left me feeling full and able to step away from the table as well as wanting more all at the same time.

This has been a gift beyond measure but it is not just a gift for me. To receive the support that we have been getting for the better portion of a decade is something worth sharing and it’s why I feel that we’re not near the true finish line here but maybe nearing an evolution.

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I look at the pictures above and there are microevolutions with the collage that tell a story. The team has changed a few times over whether it’s the runners, the destination itself, the cause, and the type of race. There’s Chicago, Muskegon, Traverse City, Madison, and Grayling. Team 1 which produced the core for 2 and 3 that had the seeds of the core of 4, 5, and 6 within it. The necessary change from Kate’s Kart to NeighborLink Fort Wayne propelled us even farther ahead and the race format change for this year, team 6 that simplified the roster and produced probably the most easy going group we’ve ever had.

I think about the heat of 2016 that about broke us all and the wind and cold of ’18 which almost brought us to that point again. Surviving that made us even tougher and willing to tackle the bookend hills of Trail Michigan with a devilish grin and a proverbial middle finger to them, although, I’m not sure that some of us didn’t actually do that, too! Haha.

It’s the evolution and improvement that we’ve seen from one team to another, from one destination to another, from one format to another that gives me the belief that there’s more to come. So what does the next step look like?

Stay Tuned….

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Runners Doing Good: By the Numbers Post Ragnar Trail Michigan ’21

Runners Doing Good

3, 2, & 1 – Number of Ragnar Road Relays run in Chicago and Michigan and Trail Relays in Michigan

10 – Number of Vans rented

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

1,097 – Miles run, in total, by Runners Doing Good

5.8 – Fewest total miles run by one runner since 2015

98.76 – 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 RDG’s total miles that the runner with the most total miles has run

16 – Runners who have run at least twice with RDG

8 – Runners who have run at least 3 times

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

128.8 – Mileage of the shortest course we’ve run – Ragnar Trail Michigan (2021)

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

31 – Fewest hours on the course for a Road Race (2015)

33.75 – Most hours on the course (2018)

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

28 – Hours on the course at Ragnar Trail Michigan ’21

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

32,870 – Dollars raised for Fort Wayne area charities

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