Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Monument Avenue 10k is a team effort

By David Hylton, Public Relations Specialist

As we’ve mentioned a couple of times on this blog, about 20 percent of Christian Children’s Fund’s Richmond-based staff is participating in the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k on March 28. As the organizer of this team, it has been great to see the enthusiasm around this race. As a runner of many races, I often look at running as an individual thing, but in the past couple of months I have once again been reminded that running and walking in an event such as this is very much a team sport.

That being said, I’d like to share a couple of personal stories from CCF staff who are participating in the 10k.

Michelle Bray, accountant
Though I had heard of and have had co-workers who participated in the 10k in previous years, I was never motivated to participate myself. However, in 2009 I pledged that I would challenge myself to do new and greater things. To try things I’ve never done before and accomplish goals that I had previously thought was unattainable. The 10k is the perfect opportunity for me, as I have never participated in anything in this capacity.

Personally, weight has been a constant struggle in my life, once weighing 252 pounds. I lost more than 100 pounds some years ago, but I must admit it is still hard to maintain; obesity is a disease in its own. So not only do I have weight to contend with, but cancer runs in my family. The training has been keeping me on task and making me feel my best.

Lastly, while making it to the finish line will be a new accomplishment for me, making it to the finish line with my CCF family will be an even greater joy, as we are all aspiring to make a difference, as well as have a healthier future for years to come.

Stephanie Brummell, web content specialist
I wouldn’t call myself a gym rat. I wouldn’t call myself a couch potato. Sure, I enjoy spinning, body pump and yoga. But I also indulge in lazy Sundays, greasy Chinese food and ice cream.

Back in December, I began talking with a co-worker at CCF about how to overcome my frustration with how much time I was putting in at the gym and how I was not seeing a decrease in numbers on the scale.

Perhaps it had something to do with the Chinese food?

That’s when he brought up the Monument Avenue 10k. He talked about the camaraderie; the adrenaline rush of finishing your first race; the pride you feel after running a distance you never thought possible. I decided then and there to hop back on the weight loss saddle, but this time I would make my journey about something other than the scale. On Dec. 26, the first day registration opened, I signed up to run as a novice in the 10k.

I told friends and family about my training. I watched with excitement as others at CCF signed up to run or walk the race. In February, I started taking the stairs up to my cubical on the fifth floor of CCF’s building.

I’ll never forget the first Saturday morning I ran a mile with my Richmond SportsBackers YMCA 10k training team. That one mile was the hardest I’ve ever done in my life. But now, and to my surprise, I’m running 4 miles multiple times a week. I’ve lost 8 pounds in the process and with about a month left to train, I’m feeling confident and motivated; excited, but anxious – especially for this weather to perk up!

Training for the Monument Avenue 10k has changed my life. I make time for workouts no matter what and I’m more focused than ever before. And being part of CCF’s 10k team has helped me get to know my co-workers a little bit better too. And the best part is, thanks to my training schedule, I’ve been able to hold tight to my beloved lazy Sundays.

And lastly, a little about myself and this 10k.

I began running five years ago to lose weight for my wedding. Well, 40 pounds later and several races later, I’m still running and couldn’t be happier. I’ve had some ups and downs with race times, weight and injuries, but I have no plans to stop. Last year in my first Monument Avenue 10k, I raised hundreds of dollars for the VCU Massey Cancer center; this year I’m planning the same.

Helping bring together a CCF team has been rewarding in many ways. From fighting cancer to being a part of the Richmond community to having speed goals, everyone has their reasons for taking part in this event. It’s great to get know my co-workers on another level and I’m looking forward to representing CCF that day. While some people are walking and some are running, be on the lookout for us in our CCF T-shirts that day. When you see one of those T-shirts, don’t think of us as individuals – think of us as a team and what CCF does for the rest of the world, helping more than 15 million children and family members in 31 countries.

For more information on the 10k, visit www.sportsbackers.org; for more information on CCF visit www.christianchildrensfund.org.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

cool beans. team running is always awesome.