It seems like whenever I run an event on behalf of Run Oregon, the weather has its way. Not this past weekend during the Race for Congo Portland event. It was so lovely, I didn’t even need my jacket!
This has been a year of firsts, my first non-chip timed event in January (awesome), my first urban dash in February (awesome) and my first group run in March (yes, you guessed it, AWESOME).
Packet pick-up and runner check in was at Foot Traffic in the heart of downtown Portland. It was so easy to get to, easy to park and a fun place to window shop and socialize while I waited for the event to start. I ran into a couple of runner friends and also got to see one of my favorite Cause + Event Portland race team captains Amanda Ulrich, who organized this event.
The course was along the Portland waterfront, probably one of my most favorite places to run. It was well marked and easy to follow. I chose to run the 5K this year and in a twist of irony I was the one person who missed the CLEARLY MARKED 5K turnaround at the north end of the course!!
I didn’t mind, it just meant an extra .3 miles for me, and since this was a group run and there was no chip (ahhh the FREEDOM in that!) I didn’t worry too much about my time. (yes, I did check my Garmin later to verify my negative splits. YES!)
But, aside from running a fun event for a great cause, it should be noted that all registration Fees are a 100% donation to Women for Women International’s (WfWI’s) Congo Program.
A quick search of their website will tell you that our cell phone, laptop, digital camera & MP3 players are fueling violence in Eastern Congo because of the Congo-mined minerals used to make them.
“Almost all of us enjoy using electronics: cell phones, computers, i-pods/mp3 players, video game systems, digital cameras, etc. Contained within all of these devices are minerals mined from eastern Congo (DRC), mainly: tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold. Militias from all sides of the conflict in eastern Congo fight to control the mines leaving innocent civilians in the crossfire, mainly women and children.
WfWI provides women survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency, thereby promoting viable civil societies. Women who enroll in WfWI’s one-year program learn job skills and receive business training so they can earn a living. They come to understand their rights and how to fight for those rights in their homes, their communities and their nations. They learn how to become leaders.”
I am proud to have been able to play a small part in supporting this effort. According to Amanda this year there were 132 race day participants, and 152 registered total. The total tally of funds raised won’t be available until Mid-March, Amanda confirmed $4,453 so far.
Amanda also asked me to recognize the organizations who supported the event. They are as follows: Equal Exchange Congo Coffee Project (donated raffle prizes), Starbucks – provided volunteer support, coffee, water & donations from food sales at one of their downtown locations, Great Harvest on SW 2nd & Yamhill- donated 100 cookies, LA Fitness Tanasbourne- provided 700 bottles of water & offered special sign-up rate for event participants, ProHealth Chiropractic offered free evaluations for participants using Dr. Jeff Robinson’s Active Release Technique & non-force adjusting for those physically active, the Never Again Coalition – a non-profit whose aim is to make Never Again a reality, Foot Traffic, the Event sponsor & check-in location, and Swanson, Thomas, Coon & Newton-, also an Event sponsor & after-event reception location.
I would also like to acknowledge the photos provided for this post, taken by Alexa Brand Photography. There are many more great event day photos to view on her website as well.
Amanda also told me that their next event is to bring a team to Cause + Event Portland on 9.13.14 and raise even more money for this very important cause.