It makes me happy that so many races benefit charitable causes. The twofold positives of getting exercise and assisting a good cause makes our hobby so much better. Now our running becomes about so much more than just being beneficial to us as individuals but for a greater purpose on some scale. Sometimes there comes an opportunity to make a greater impact, and for me personally, the Chasing Champions for the See Ya Later Foundation is how I am trying to do more.
First off, here is a little about the beneficiary. They are a non profit organization based in McMinnville, called the See Ya Later Foundation. They host numerous sports camps for kids, give out multiple scholarships to high school seniors, and assist families when they fall victim to a medical crisis. They are also working on trying to build a youth and family sports complex.
Last year, the idea was given to me by a fellow runner to do a fundraiser run that would take advantage of my speed. The idea was to collect pledges for every participant I passed, and to make it more difficult, start after the gun. I decided the most entertaining distance would be a half marathon and six minutes sounded like a nice time to hang out and take advantage of the lack of porta potty lines before starting my race. It was fun, painful, and exciting. Which of course meant that I should do it again.
For this year, the plan is a bit different. One of the snags I hit last year was I caught a huge pack of people about a mile in, going through a vineyard. Trying to hold pace, dodge people who did not expect to be passed by someone moving my pace, and hopping wires was a bit too risky. I have bumped the delay time to ten minutes to allow the pack to thin out a little more by the time I reach them. To make the donation process simpler, you can go here to submit a guess for how many participants I will pass. Guesses are $10 each, and the winner(s) will split 50% of the pot. The field is limited to 1200 people, and to help you out a little, after the time difference was subtracted last year, I actually finished 2nd overall. You can find random tidbits about my running and talk to me on the event facebook page as well.
I’m really looking forward to this event for various reasons, first and foremost being that I am helping a charity. The RD for the Fueled by Fine Wine Half Marathon was kind enough to donate my entry, and for that I thank them. This is a fun but very difficult course. The views are incredible, but the climbs can be torture. I also enjoy that there is no pressure running the race in this manner. I can’t pace off anyone, and don’t wear my watch, just run what feels comfortable. I can’t imagine a more pure, fun, or beneficial experience than this. Please, donate and make your guess if you are interested, or just pass along the word. Thanks, and happy running!