My Next Challenge: Charity and Night Relay

With both the Odyssey Half and the Red Rose Run in the rearview mirror, I’m taking on a few new challenges as a runner. It’s a non-traditional race distance length of 16.4 miles, raising money for said team relay, and possibly running my leg at nighttime in Fairmount Park with all the other midnight runners.

Now what on bloody earth have I gotten myself into?

It’s Strohemann’s 20in24 running challenge (www.20in24.com) which raises money for the nonprofit organization Back on My Feet (BoMF) (http://www.backonmyfeet.org/). A college friend of mine, Lian, had told me of her experience working as a running volunteer with one of the North Philly BoMF running groups. (More recently I met another runner who owns a jewellry shop in South Philly who is involved with a running group in the center city.) She told me what Back on My Feet is all about, an organization that uses running as a vehicle to transition homeless from the shelters to homes and jobs. From their official website:

“Founded by Anne Mahlum in 2007, Back on My Feet (BoMF) is a national nonprofit organization that is dedicated to creating independence and self-sufficiency within the homeless and other underserved populations by first engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem. The organization does not provide food nor shelter, but instead provides a community that embraces equality, respect, discipline, teamwork and leadership. Back on My Feet’s approach focuses on the very profound and innate desire for all of us – regardless of age, race, socio-economic status – to feel recognized, appreciated, valued and important. Through dedication and hard work, Members earn the opportunity to create a new road for themselves by advancing to the “Next Steps” phase of the program where they gain access to educational, job training and employment opportunities, as well as financial aid. In short, BoMF focuses on changing the direction of people’s lives by changing the way they see themselves.

The organization has had incredible results with 75 percent of Members consistently maintaining 90 percent attendance at morning runs. Fifty percent of Members successfully move from dependency to an independent lifestyle.”

Through my friend and neighbour Caroline, I’ve teamed up with 3 of our other friends from TPRT to form the five-person team for our relay challenge.

On 9 June we will have held a fundraiser in the form of a massage and picnic for our efforts although we are also raising our funds concurrently for the challenge through race day 14 July. All of us are training for the race and having a blast doing so!

The race page is here and the charity info is here.

If you would like to contribute to our cause to raise money for Back on My Feet, you can link up here and any amount would be appreciated! Your donations are tax-deductible and online transactions are secure.

I will be blogging on both our fundraising event as well as race day, which will span two days over the weekend in Fairmount Park.

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