Last weekend, I ran the Stroehmann Back on My Feet 20 in 24 race in Fairmont Park, Philadelphia.
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 (source)
If you have been reading for a bit now, you might know I work for a bread baking company and part of this company, Stroehmann Bakeries, was one of the sponsors for the 20in24 race. I was lucky enough to receive an email from someone in the marketing department of Stroehmann Bakeries, who was looking for another team member to run the 8.4 mile loop and be part of the relay. That person came to the right person – being me – and with hardly any contemplation at all, I said YES! I love to do races and not only that but I enjoy being involved in work related activities outside of work. The reasons why…
Work Sponsored Activities:
- Encourage networking with others in your company you might not see on a daily basis.
- Help you join together with your colleagues on a more personal level.
- Give coworkers an opportunity to share similar interests.
- Allow you to converse with colleagues on other topics besides WORK.
- Create an environment that is less stressful and chaotic than the busy work place.
Do you like doing activities with coworkers or joining in on work sponsored activities?
Well the run itself went great. Timeri, a coworker of mine, and I headed down to Philadelphia around 7:30 AM on Saturday morning. We got to Philadelphia around 9:10 AM, which was plenty of time – the race started at 10:00 AM. I wanted to be there early because I was the first member of the relay to run. The relay itself wasn’t very pressure filled – no baton hand offs or anything, thank goodness. It had been raining on and off all morning and, of course, as the clock struck 10, it came back on. I started running and was alone for about the first mile or so. I ended up almost bumping into a group of men running and just so happened to strike up conversation with one of the runners. Coincidentally enough, the runner was the same age as me and also went to the same college and we know many of the same people! He and I ran for the rest of the miles and it was a total motivator to finish the 8.4 miles strong. I really didn’t “train” for this run because I had no idea I was going to be doing it until last minute but I can say I did a few longer runs within the past few weeks, anywhere between 5 to 6 miles. With that being said, I didn’t feel totally ill prepared to run 8 miles in the rain. I would say it is better to run in the rain than the extreme heat and humidity. What do you think?
Would you rather run in the rain or in the heat/humidity?
All in all, the race went very well. I finished strong, I felt strong and I felt great contributing to a good cause. I completed the 8.4 miles in 1 hour and 13 minutes 20 seconds. Average pace: 8:42.
I think the founder of this foundation is awesome and I hope one day I am able to make a difference like this in the world!