Race #34 – Global Running Day: Running for “Girl Power”

High-Five for Global Running Day (even in the rain!)

Race #34: “The Big Run” Half Marathon (virtual this year)

The Cause: This nationwide race, organized by Fleet Feet, supported by my local Fleet Feet Mechanicsburg, supports the nonprofit Girls on the Run (GOTR).

Today is Global Running Day. How appropriate… because turning the tide against racism is an endurance sport, a long hard run. Surviving this pandemic is requiring endurance as well. The hits keep coming in 2020… but we gotta keep running.

Two verses I write on every pair of running shoes:

“Those who renew their hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31) And, “Let us run the race marked out for us with perseverance, fixing our eyes on Jesus.” (Hebrews 12:1)

New shoes! From Fleet Feet Mechanicsburg

We are in the midst of crisis upon crisis–a health pandemic compounded by racial tension/police brutality, unrest and protests.

Because of that, Fleet Feet has stepped up to donate additional funds to additional causes for today’s Global Running Day.

First, proceeds from today’s The Big Run have collectively raised more than $40,000 towards Girls on the Run, a nonprofit that teaches girls life skills like self-esteem–and it integrates running.

Reacting to current events, Fleet Feet (LOVE this company!) announced today it will also donate to the organization Black Girls RUN! as well as The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the leading legal organization fighting for racial justice.

BGR!’s mission statement: BGR! wants to encourage African-American women to make fitness and healthy living a priority. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 80% of African-American women are overweight. BGR! wants to create a movement to lower that percentage and subsequently, lower the number of women with chronic diseases associated with an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle.

So far, $18,000 is being donated to these two additional causes.

And so far, on this Global Running Day, nearly 2,500 runners across the country have logged 10,800 miles.

I contributed 13.1 of my own this hot, humid morning. It was sunny to start, but around mile 11 or 12, I started receiving thunderstorm warnings on my phone. The skies turned gray and the raindrops felt great by mile 12.5. As I finished and arrived back at my house, it began thundering and the skies opened up. Perfect timing!

I wasn’t very focused on my time, due to the humidity plus the virtual race format of running alone. So I was about 15-20 minutes off my best time, LOL! However, at this point, nationwide, I’m 10th in my age group.

As I ran, I thought about the young girls who benefit from GOTR. I reflected on what runners of color go through when they lace up for runs. And my heart hurt for everyone who experiences racism. My angst over the current climate started to dissapate, and I began to feel more hopeful and positive.

We will never stop believing in the power of running together to help bring communities together. 

Fleet Feet

Some of my closest run friends, although we are still running separately, compiled a virtual “high 5” photo and posted it to social media, in a shameless attempt to win Fleet Feet’s nationwide photo contest in the “virtual high 5 photo” category. Here’s how it all went down:

A virtual race = a virtual medal

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