Opportunities in Africa to do More
It’s no secret that runners like their shoes. I would be quite ashamed to actually count the number of shoes in my closet, but to prove a point, I can think of six pairs of running shoes alone (Hoka Clifton, New Balance 860v5, New Balance Zante, Altra Torin, Mizuno Inspire 11, Mizuno Sayonara 2), and that doesn’t even include several pairs of spikes, flats and lawn mowing shoes. Since last fall, the 605 Running Company has been partnered with the MORE (Modular Organic Regenerative Environments) Foundation Group to take gently used athletic shoes out of US landfills to re-sell where profits can be used to support life-changing efforts in Africa. This partnership has resulted in two full boxes and close to 100 shoes being donated, with a third box being close to filled.
Another opportunity for shoe donations has come up recently as well. I do some accounting work for a non-profit called Opportunity Education. The mission of the organization, in short, is to “provide an education to children of the world”. This includes supporting nearly 1,300 schools in Africa and 375 in Sri Lanka, India and Nepal by providing school supplies and a curriculum to help aide students of all ages. Since I started doing this work, I was able to meet Martin Russell, an Omaha, NE resident who spends significant time over in Tanzania over-seeing the work being done in the country by Opportunity Education.
In talking with Martin, he has seen a multi-purpose need for shoes, but mainly just for wearing. Many of the people he interacts with on a daily basis don’t have the right shoe size or even shoes on their feet at all! As a result, the 605 Running Company has sent over 30+ pairs of donated shoes to Tanzania where they have been gifted to individuals who are extremely grateful for my last pair of Mizuno Wave Inspires that have 400 miles on them (but are still in good condition). As we continue with this relationship, I’ll try to keep the 605 area up-to-date on some of the cool stories that come out of it through this blog.
We want to encourage anyone and everyone to drop off any old athletic shoes at the store, where we can direct the pairs to one of these two great causes (and a big thanks to the couple that dropped off two large trash bags of old shoes at the store last weekend that made up half of the old shoes they had around the house…we’d be happy to take the other half of them too!).
I read a great Runner's World article that was posted to Twitter over the past couple weeks (article was originally from November 2013). It tackled the delicate subject of "down time", which can be difficult for runners of all levels to come to grips with. For many, injuries force a reprieve from running/training. For me personally, I typically try to schedule at least 1-2 weeks of offseason three times a year (around the New Year, in late spring and in early fall).
This article is great because it emphasizes that our bodies do need a break, and that doesn't necessarily mean stop running. I think the author summed it best when the offseason is just a chance to do things you might not ordinarily do, including biking, hiking, swimming, etc. It not only allows your body a chance to recover, but you can re-energize/motivate yourself into the next big training cycle.
For me, I am in a difficult place for training. I signed up for the Twin Cities Marathon on October 4th, and even with planning a twelve week training cycle, I have a 4-6 week dead period where I feel as though my running does not have direction. It is too early to start training for Twin Cities, but I don't want to take off this time completely.
As a result, I ran my second ever, official trail race last weekend. It was a 10k, and the course was muddy/swampy from the week's rain. The race proceeds went to a charity (Hands, Hearts and Paws dog rescue) that is near and dear to my wife and I's hearts. We adopted a rescue dog (Henry) last November, and part of the proceeds from the race went to benefit his rescue organization. I had a great time at the race, and an even better time supporting a local organization that we are passionate about. For me, there was no better way to spend an offseason Saturday than running a race I ordinarily would not have run for a great charity.
The complete article from the 2013 Runner's World magazine can be found here.
When in Doubt, Keep it Local!
In my life I have always done my very best to shop local. The benefits to the economy when you shop local are incredible, more often than not you get better service, and in my opinion local products are far superior in most cases.
When it comes to racing keeping it local is also a priority to me. Just yesterday in the news was an article about a race supposedly in Sioux Falls called the Color 5 Mile. The race doesn’t exist; it is a $45 scam preying on a running community that is willing to pay big bucks for the next greatest racing experience. Buyers beware! When you work with local events, the money stays right here in our community.
For several members of the community running a race is a once-a-year commitment that should be celebrated. Committing to running a race means you need to train prior to your race, you have to schedule time each day to work on your personal fitness. This in my opinion is completely awesome! When you combine the personal commitment to training and a local fundraising effort you truly get something special.
In my opinion the culture that demands high dollar racing experiences needs to put things into perspective. My favorite memories of racing are setting PR’s, cheering on other participants, running with my friends, hearing cheers from my family, and meeting fellow members of my community over a post race banana. At no time have those memories ever required a gimmick for me to have a good time.
What are some of your favorite local races?
If you are a race director give us a call at 605 Running Company 271-0480 we’d love to support your event!
P.S. Friends, if you are looking for a great local race to support or have an interest in getting to know some cool people through volunteerism check this out from Tom Norstrom a local race director!
We are looking for volunteers or participants for this year’s Harrisburg Days Walk Run Race for their Lives!!
Race event is about one month away!
When: Event is Saturday June 13, 2015.
Where: Harrisburg South Middle School parking lot
Events: 5k & 10K races, 1 mile fun walk, kids mile fun run
What time: volunteers needed from about 6:30 am to 10:00 am.
Race times: 10K 8:30 am, 5K 8:50 am, 1 mile walk 9:00 am, 1 mile kid’s run 9:15 am
Exciting news! This year we are teaming up with Run for their Lives supporting SIDS awareness and Harrisburg Days Community Park Fund.
More information found here:
Greg "PEPSI" Koch
They say that getting started is the hardest part. That is certainly true for running. Those first few times out the door, your legs and lungs will burn. It will not be fun. You will be tired and sore afterwards and may even taste blood in your throat.
However, I assure you, that it gets better from there. Once you have been running consistently for awhile, you will feel better. Your muscles will get used to the effort and will look and feel better. Your lungs will get more powerful and you won’t even breath hard during most runs. Once you are fit, you will start to experience the fabled Runner’s High. You will be able to go faster and farther.
It takes dedication and determination but once you get in shape, running is a fun and relaxing activity. Running isn’t torture.
Tips for starting to run:
What are some of your thoughts on getting started running? Tell us your tips and tricks in the comments section!