‘To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift’ -Steve Prefontaine
This is a meaningful and simple quote that really underlies what it means to be successful in running. Everyone is out there trying to do their best. Personally, I also find meaning in using my gift to help others. The Chasing Champions event has been occurring for the last couple years, at the Fueled by Fine Wine Half Marathon. The beneficiary is the local non profit See Ya Later Foundation.
The See Ya Later Foundation helps the community in several ways, by assisting families with medical crises, awarding numerous sports scholarships, as well as putting on various sports camps and local activities for children. They even award scholarship opportunities so that lower income families can send their kids to the camps. Their big dream is to build a multi function complex in the under served McMinnville area to benefit the community. This complex would include various indoor and outdoor sports fields, as well as an ampitheater.
In an effort to help raise funds, the Chasing Champions idea was born, as suggested by a fellow runner. Thanks to Chris, the Race Director of the Fueled by Fine Wine Event, I am allowed to officially start the run 10 minutes after the start. My goal is to run as usual (which generally means aggressively) on a notoriously hilly course around and through the vineyards bordering Dundee. With a race cap of 1200, there is a lot of dodging and weaving through the crowds for most of the event.
To get involved, just go to the website and guess how many I will pass. Each guess is $10 and the winner is the person who guesses the number or is the closest. All of the proceeds go directly to the non profit and I have a bottle of Stoller Pinot Noir I won from a previous race I will give to the contest winner. The local Breathe Body Spa has also agreed to donate a gift certificate for the correct guess. In addition if I place overall and they award a bottle of wine as they have in the years pass, that will also be given away. So the winnings is a gift certificate from a local spa and one or possibly two bottles of wine.
In addition, I made a foolhardy promise to complete the race in a blue tutu if we garnered at least 75 guesses. I have mixed feelings about that idea now…
I’m fairly excited about this event. It is a lot of fun to have this added aspect to the race. Starting after most of the participants are anywhere from a couple blocks ahead to already coming within shouting distance of the second mile mark really makes it hard to judge my effort and allows me to run the race as I please without stress. With only a couple weeks to go until race day (July 9th), I feel it will be a challenging and fun day for a great cause.