On Being Open to a Call


I am definitely prone to being wordy and nostalgic at times. This quest to figure out what the direction of Runners Doing Good has definitely had me leaning into that. I was really struggling with that “what’s next” and aching to find an inspiration that clued me into that.

Jenn and I have talked a lot at different times that maybe this is the year to take it off, reorganize, and if it’s in the cards, go from there. While I was struggling with that idea, it felt right.

I even got a message from a guy who’s been a HUGE inspiration and supporter of the team and he gave me that extra bit of advice from someone outside of our immediate circle that helped me find some peace with that impending decision.

He said, “Sometimes, it is time for something new. Don’t feel like this is an obligation just because you’ve built this amazing team. What you have done is amazing because you have all brought an energy and enthusiasm to it. You don’t have to create that spark if it isn’t there. Take a year off. Or retire the concept.”

What hit me most was the next part of his message to me:

“Whatever you choose, God will give you opportunities to do good, just in another way. Being open when the opportunity comes, is more important….”

At this point, I felt an absolute weight had been lifted from my shoulders. It was just the message I needed to hear and I was truly and utterly at peace with a decision to regroup, reorganize, and move forward in ’24 or…. not at all. It finally felt “ok” either way.

Until the call came….


It is hard to explain but, literally the next day, I saw a post on LinkedIN that Celeste, our head of HR at my employer was nominated and accepted a candidacy as a Visionary of the Year for the local Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

She’s running in honor of her husband and best friend, Elijah. He’s battled cancer since 2005! She has an audaciously massive fundraising goal and when I liked her post, I felt a calling but work and family were busy right now. And then the call literally came as she reached out through the page and invited me to join the team. I couldn’t say no.

Beyond that, the conversation turned at various points to what I’ve done in the past with Runners Doing Good and how an epic event like Ragnar Relay is something that catches people’s attention and makes fundraising easier.

I eventually agreed to put a team together and so I’ve started to put feelers out there on an mostly DIB team and I think the possibility is very real that by the time we kick the fundraiser off on March 2nd, the team will be set.

There’s a few things that we’ve got to do to make it all happen, such as finding sponsorship to cover the cost of the team, but, I think this is happening.

I’ve always maintained that if there’s an opportunity to do good in the world, you should and here I am, thinking of stepping away, even temporarily, and not only the opportunity to get back in presents itself, but one that goes to such a great cause for such great people but one that also has a more personal touch for my family and I.

I had an uncle pass away nearly 25 years ago because of Multiple Myeloma. My wife, Jenn had an aunt pass from Acute Myeloid Lymphoma and oddly enough, a good friend 6 months after her aunt passed, get diagnosed with the same thing and she went out and kicked its ass!

So yes, it is personal in many ways and completely unexpected but the thing is that in years past, I worried about the pressure of delivering a big number. This year, I don’t feel that and that’s with the concept that this will be a shorter period of time to fundraise and even going for a record fundraising amount. There’s a sense of calm with this that’s hard to explain but I just know we’re going to do great things.

Sometimes thinking about it, it doesn’t make much sense that I’m here again but to a degree, it also makes all the sense of the world. Stay on the lookout for what’s to come this week. It’s going to be the start of something good.

If you’d have an interest in sponsoring the team or know a good business who would, reach out at gabe@runnersdoinggood.com

Let’s do this!



LLS Campaign Update!


It always works this way. You end up where you’re supposed to be, somehow, some way, despite not necessarily planning on it. As I shared in my last post, On Being Open to a Call , none of this was planned.

In fact, I had planned to NOT run and fundraise this year but here I am, supporting a wonderful person, Celeste, as she shares her story, for the betterment of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

I committed approximately 3 weeks ago with the fundraiser beginning just a shade over 2 weeks ago and I’m thrilled to share where the team is at today.

As of right now, the team has received 32 donations from 10 different states, totaling an even $3,800 and we’re barely just getting started!

Several of our runners haven’t even begun fundraising and that’s pretty exciting. All of this and we have roughly 8 weeks to go. We are in a great position to go pretty big on this campaign.

If you would be willing to support our efforts, please consider at a donation at:

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Fundraiser

Thank you all for your attention and your potential donation.



It’s Been Awhile….


So it has certainly been awhile since my last posting. I thought I’d share the above picture because it very much speaks to me as I am, in many ways, seeking to make some sense of things.

I am grateful for the past experiences with Runners Doing Good and certainly at peace with everything we’ve done that in the present that I don’t feel that this is a “have to” type of situation any longer.

Where I struggle is with the vision for tomorrow. It is really hard to discern right now. For many a year, I found the work we were doing as necessary and when I mean necessary, it was because it felt as if there was an expectation to perform at a particular level.

I felt that, to an extent with NeighborLink For Wayne. They took a chance on letting us work with them and, at least to me, I felt the weight of expectations to deliver for them. In the beginning with Kate’s Kart, I believe they saw what we did as pure gravy, so to speak, but by the end, there were questions about what happens to them if I quit fundraising on their behalf? That was a whole different type of expectation and one I didn’t feel comfortable with myself.

With the fundraiser for the Dee family this past year, it was definitely a one-off type of experience. Being that it was for a family the team and I had known for some time, there was pressure to meet our goals for sure, but it felt like anything would be appreciated.

And so for the first time in 8 years of this, there’s nothing defined for ’23. I have a small core of a team that would run if the situations were right and not all of those situations include a Ragnar so that’s “different” too.

And so I’m meandering the beginning of 2023 here without a complete idea on what I truly want for Runners Doing Good. I’ve entered a season of life where my kids are more active than ever. In all honesty, those guys have asked me to not run a Ragnar this year.

The truth is, I want to, however, this isn’t a something you do half way. I won’t sign up for a race “just because we’ve always done it.” Life has to jive with whatever decision is ultimately made.

I’d also have to have a team to place in an event and right now, I think I could field 4 runners, including myself, if I took on Ragnar Trail Michigan again. These things aren’t for the faint of heart and you have to have teammates willing to walk into that storm because they’re either passionate about the cause, wanting to try something new, or willing to help a friend out. I’m confident that I could talk a couple of guys into it but without a “where”, it is hard to come up with “who.”

Beyond that, the “why” has to be right and this might be the area that I struggle the most. You don’t promise to run 125 – 200 miles to raise money for a great cause to get a pat on the back and a thank you. There’s never a wrong time to do the right thing and if the cause is right, we will find our “why.”

There are aspects of of what we’ve done and who we’ve worked with that have led to great pride as well as a fair amount of angst and disappointment. We proved that we can operate this on our own so if it’s to be done again in a larger team approach, don’t be surprised if it is through Runners Doing Good, the non-profit so that we can make the most impact with the fruit of our efforts and that is, by far, the most important thing to me.

If we’re going to do something, transparency and impact are paramount so if we pick up that ball and run, I promise you, that you will know exactly what we do with the money we raise and how it is spent but it will be a decision that our group makes and we’ll tell you why. If we’re disappointed, it will be on us, and while that might be disheartening, it’ll be better than doing a ton for someone else with very little pay-off for our donors.

And ultimately, it is you, our donors, who have made this as successful as it has been, for without you, we are nothing.

Individually, as I look for vision for the team, I am going to take some time to focus on myself. If the team comes back stronger than ever it will because there will be more assistance for me. The team’s efforts need to be more collaborative. Maybe some of my issues are self inflicted and I’ve taken on too much but I’ve burned out easier and easier the last 2 years despite the continued success of the team.

My fitness level, despite training to meet the requirements of a Ragnar, has suffered and following the burn out, I don’t hit the pavement post-Rangar, at all for far too long and I put on weight way too easily because I’m eating to burn calories because of all of the running but when there’s not running and the eating continues, it’s like the dam breaks and my will power is washed away.

So right now, I’m focusing on 2 things on the horizon, The Sunburst Races in South Bend, which ends at the 50 yard line at Notre Dame. I’m interested in the 10K there. I’m also thinking about the half marathon at the Fort 4 Fitness here in Fort Wayne. I’ve never run 13.1 and it is a race that I’d like to check off my list of things to do. I love my hometown and finishing at home plate in Parkview Field is pretty cool.

I’ve also had a coworker throw the idea of a triathlon at me in August. I don’t necessarily have the right type of bike for it but I’m not going to lie, I am intrigued.

Mostly and lastly, I’m grateful for each and every person who has supported Runners Doing Good. I know there’s a vision and a calling still there. I truly feel like if you have the ability and the wherewithal to do something good, why stay on the sidelines?

I just don’t have the clarity for what that is and any good thoughts, ideas, and prayers for what that vision and path could be, I’ll take it gladly.

Thanks for listening. I’ll be in touch much sooner than the last time. 🙂



RDG Month of Thanks, Day 8: NeighborLink Fort Wayne & Andrew Hoffman



Day 8 of RDG’s Month of Thanks remembers how great of a fit that NeighborLink Fort Wayne was for Runners Doing Good, especially at such a crucial time for us.

Ever feel that something is just meant to be? When the decision was made that we were going to be supporting a new charity, we didn’t really want to and honestly, didn’t know where to start. There were a lot of different groups that were amazing within our community but it was a matter of fit.

From afar, NeighborLink Fort Wayne was an organization that for a few reasons, made the list, but just seemed to have the it factor and I had a good feeling about. I didn’t know anyone there though. A couple of the organizations I was thinking about, I had a contact of some sort that I could reach out to and learn more about them. I had nothing with NLFW.

And then something started to happen. Some people might call it providence but there were these little whispers. Jenn had a coworker that had known Andrew because of cycling interests. They talked about how NLFW and Andrew were incredible. Then I met with a community leader, at his request, to learn more about the running team and what I was involved in with it. He was actually on a board for a group that does some amazing things for the connectivity of Fort Wayne and somewhere in the mix, “what next?” was brought up and I mentioned the dilemma I was in and he told me to not worry about the past. We’d done a lot there. He discussed what his group did and the feeling I was left with about that was that what they do is immensely expensive so the impact our group would have would be minimal, to an extent. Those are my words, not his.

But at the end of that conversation, he said, if you’re ever looking for someone great to work with, Andrew Hoffman and NeighborLink Fort Wayne, do amazing work. It felt like another whisper.

Not long after, I worked out a meeting with Andrew over at Hop River Brewing and we talked for about an hour. There was a calm about him. I learned about the organization and the things that they do and was blown away. He never asked who I was going to see next but wished me luck in my search.

Within a week, I met with the last of the organizations that I had a good inkling about. The Executive Director was a fellow runner and I was incredibly impressed with the operation they had. It met all of the criterion that we were looking for. He did go into some detail, having done some research on us, and gave me a bit of info on a sponsor of ours that might not participate for a pretty legit reason. Within 5 minutes, though, the question was asked, who else is in the running?

I mentioned Andrew and NeighborLink and it was like a light was turned on. He told me that as much as he’d love to work with our team, if I were to pick anyone else, NLFW was the way to go. He then spent 5-10 minutes singing their praises.

From that point forward, I knew what the plan was. We were running to benefit NeighborLink and there was no looking back.


And from that point forward, Andrew and his team did everything they could to support our little group and our efforts only grew even further. In total, because of their support in helping spread the word about Runnin’ Not Walken and then as we changed over to Runners Doing Good, we raised approximately $15,000 over 2 1/2 fundraising campaigns (2 full campaigns plus a few months before Covid shut it all down).

The best moment for us was really when Andrew told us that the nearly $7500 we raised in Year 1 with them was going to help pay for furnaces that were being replaced or repaired for folks within the Fort Wayne area. His willingness to tie our efforts to a project they had was awesome and it helped us show our donors a tangible thing that we were able to accomplish.

He’s moved on from NeighborLink and we have as well as we supported a former teammate’s family this year but what we were able to do together is pretty special and we’re truly grateful and thankful for the opportunity to work together.


RDG Month of Thanks, Day 7 – It’s all about the hardware


Day 7 is, as the title implies….All about the hardware. If you want a physical reminder of the effort involved in something epic, you need something cool and one of the things that Ragnar has done fantastically since the beginning is provide some kick-ass medals.

All of the sweat, blood, and tears are wrapped up in these. I’ve often found that it’s not some awe-inspiring moment that happens when you get them but it’s in the days and weeks post-Ragnar when the high of the race is long passed that you look at one of these and a smile will creep across your face. It’s the “I can’t believe I did that” moment when you recall that yea, you ran for more than 7.5 miles through a state forest at midnight. (That’s my most recent.)

They all tell a story. The 2 wooden ones above represent the 2 Trail Races we’ve run in Michigan and the bottom right is our very first on the shores of Lake Michigan. All of those come with an immense sense of accomplishment, pride, and a feeling of want. The want to be with that crew again to do something amazing again.

All in all, it’s a pretty special feeling. Yea, they are just medals and it’s not the Olympics but hey, what is? These though, in your own little way, mean just as much though because we’re not crazy athletes. We’re moms and dads. We’re therapists, salesmen, teachers, and nurses. We’re all just regular people doing something incredible and that’s what those medals represent and for that…we’re grateful.


RDG Month of Thanks: Day 6, Andrew



Due to a technical glitch, Day 6 didn’t post so today, you’re getting a double dose!

Day 6: Andrew!

This guy has been a building block for our team for years now. With the exception of 1 year, he’s been on every team since 2016 and is one of a handful of runners who have participated at each venue or format that we’ve taken on. With more than 80 miles run at Ragnars with us, he is in the Top 3, All-Time for career miles with us, which is remarkable because he always claims that he’s “not a runner” or that he “doesn’t like running.”

Overall, this is a guy that brings it each year and whether he’s feeling like he’s fast or slow, you know you can count on him. If he says, he’ll be back in 35 minutes, he’s usually pretty well on it. That’s difficult to do with these races but he’s just someone that’s always so steady. He’s one of our core runners for as long as he wants to be and we’re always grateful that he chooses to continue to run with us. We’re better because of him.

RDG Month of Thanks, Day 5 – Sue Teasdale & Coldwell Banker


When you’ve been blessed with the support we have throughout the years, it is pretty humbling and Sue’s has been remarkable. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Sue since Jenn and I started looking for our first home. She was our realtor to buy that first home, helped us sell it 6 years or so later, and find the one we’re currently in.

She’s excellent at what she does and such an incredibly nice person that when we began approaching businesses about potentially supporting Runners Doing Good that we thought she’d be a good starting point for Coldwell. She didn’t just help us facilitate that support. She went and got it for us and threw in to help us. Blown away doesn’t begin to express how we felt. It was awesome.

As you can see, we had a sign made to recognize the support of Coldwell Banker and herself when we ran at Ragnar Trail Michigan in 2021. If you ever need help finding or selling a home, please look her up.

Thanks for being such a big part of our story Sue!


RDG Month of Thanks, Day 4: RNW Team 1


Runnin’ Not Walken, Team 1….those guys. Those guys will always hold a special place in our hearts. This is the team that started it all. They said yes when they didn’t know what was coming….at all!

The one thing that was pretty special, at least to me, was that I look at that group and I had Adam, Ryan, Brandon, Joel, Sarah, and Courtney that were family members on that first team. Then I had Nerk and Artie who were friends so close that they might as well have been family. And Ruso, came along for the ride and got a good close look at all of us goof-balls in that Van 2 and still ended up marrying Joel! That’s 10 of the 15 people on the team that were that close.

It truly was an adventure and one that can never be forgotten. Without this coming together like it did, the mere thought to attempt something like this again wouldn’t have even come up.

So raise a glass in thanks to Runnin’ Not Walken, Team 1. You all rock!


Month of Thanks, Day 3: Enterprise


Maybe it’s odd to recognize a car rental company in a month of gratitude posting but I still maintain that life is all about relationships and doing well by others and Enterprise Rent-A-Car certainly did well by us.

For our first 5 years of this crazy adventure, we required the rental of two, 15 passenger vans. That certainly comes with a cost. From year to year, the deal got better and better as they recognized us as repeat customers and for the work we did to support charity. It was nearly to the point where it was very reasonable for us.

In the end, the local Enterprise folks made it far easier for us to do what do we so that, Thank you Enterprise!


Month of Thanks, Day 2: Ragnar Relay!!!


Day of Thanks, #2 brings a pretty obvious thing that we’re grateful for: Ragnar Relay. The challenge, the vibe, the atmosphere, and most importantly, the PEOPLE…it’s all a beautiful thing and we’ve been blessed to be healthy enough to cover more than 1,200 miles of Ragnar trails, paths, and roads over the last 7 year.

Epic events like Ragnar Relay provide us with the opportunity to show how crazy we are and drum up interest in supporting our causes. I’m not sure we would have ever gotten this far without an event like this to go after.

There’s something special about taking an action, like running, which is 90% of the time so solitary and make it a team effort. We’ve had a lot of great people involved throughout the years, 36 to be exact, and it’s just special to do this with folks you like.

We couldn’t be more proud to be Ragnarians so THANK YOU, Ragnar Relay, for being so awesome that equally amazing people come out to participate…like us!

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