One thing I love about running (and there are MANY things, but I will stick to just one for now), is getting to run with a team. I’ve run relays where my team is depending on me to complete my leg, sometimes as expediently as possible, and to pass my baton (or bracelet) to the next runner. That is an amazing feeling. I feel a strong sense of responsibility because I am not just running for me, I am running for my team. I love that.
Not all teams, however, are relay teams. Many races are held for causes such as breast cancer or arthritis. For these races one can go to a website, start a team, and recruit runners to join that team. Teams win, not because they have a group of the fastest runners, but because they are the largest team or have raised the most money for the cause. I love these too.
I love organizing a group to support a cause. I love watching my numbers rise as people sign up to join my team. I love promoting health and exercise to the people I love and the people they love. I love the sense of community races offer. I love pulling together all the people I know from all the areas of my life for one main cause.
This Sunday the cause is the Arthritis Foundation. The Jingle Bell 5k is being held Sunday, November 22 at 3:30pm in Research Park, and I have a team called The Red-nosed Runners to join me in running for the cause. I have friends I run with in Madison, friends from Mayfair Church of Christ, friends from work, friends I’ve met through the No Boundaries Program, my dear family, friends I’ve had for so long, I can’t remember where we began (camp, Auburn)… and then I have the friends and family of THESE people.
So far I have a team of 28 members, and together we have raised $775.00 for the Arthritis Foundation. I am so pumped! Every time someone joined my team, I would get an e-mail. “Congratulations! Someone has joined your team!” And even if I knew who it was and knew the number of team mates, I’d still go to my team webpage to see how much farther my little red thermometer had moved toward my goal.
I watched my thermometer reach the top and keep going. My goal was to have 25 people to raise $500.00. I know everyone has busy schedules and are pinching their pennies with Christmas on the horizon, but I was blown away by the generosity and willingness to support the Arthritis Foundation and me and my team.
My team and their families have been invited to my house after the race for hot chocolate, hot cranberry tea, treats and chats. Hopefully the afternoon will be cool and clear, providing a great day for a 5k.
And now for the shameless plug. It is not too late to join my team. It costs $25.00 to enter, and I can’t guarantee they will still have t-shirts available, but it will be a wonderful opportunity to support a cause, get some exercise, and spend time with friends. Not to mention my sister’s AMAZING hot spiced cranberry tea.