Its been almost 4 weeks since the Shamrocks For Sandy Run. I have delayed a final blog, because I wanted to be able to report all the final numbers AND I needed time to collect my thoughts. I can only compare it to planning a wedding. Months of planning and in a few short hours its all over and your left with an empty ballroom and alot of gifts, or in this case the Elks parking lot and generous donations.
The preparation for this event was more than i imagined, and while i can honestly say it was not totally overwhelming, it could not have possibly been but together without the assistance of the 70+ members of the Southern Ocean Ladies Running Club. You saw these women in full force in their ” I Run With Sol” shirts, working side by side all morning. THEN turned around and ran in the race they built with all their heart. Proud and smiling.
Over the last few months these women have built incredible real friendships. They came together for an amazing cause, gave up hours of their lives, and stepped up for every challenge, request, need no matter how big or small. Whether it was buying 700 bananas and loading them into her truck, (Karin)or hammering signs into the frozen ground trying to avoid traffic, (Tara,we will remember this next year), everyone was willing to do what was needed for the run’s success. I love these women for who they are, for what they helped create, for being in my life, and letting me into theirs. I am truly blessed by this group.
Shamrocks For Sandy was an amazing success.The Leprachaun Chase was by far the largest kids run I have ever seen. Our Leprachaun RAN HIS HEART OUT! (I have to admit, I was a little scared for him. I looked at the kids behind the start and I was thinking…”oh, boy, he better be FAST!” and he was!) As Cole Johansen, sounded off the air-horn to start the chase, it was a sight to see. Moms, dads, kids, strollers, everyone smiling, cheering, helping each other through the crowd, truly a memorable moment.
Those kids did a wonderful thing that day and I hope when you show them their photos 10,15,20 years from now, you take an extra moment to tell them why they ran that day. It wasn’t for the medal, the bib or the donut at the end. They ran that day to help save a child, a class mate, a boy in their own community. He walked the mile along side his mom, and his best friend ran “for” him. (We should all be this lucky in life and friendships.)
We raised $5500.00 for Cole Johansen that day, but more than any monetary amount, we raised his hope, we raised the spirit of our community, we raised awareness that our children are precious and we should embrace all these moments, crossing the finish lines, running their own race.
Our main event exceeded all of our numbers, and i thank all of you that ran without bibs, or chips, and ran because you wanted to be a part despite your own personal success. You ran for a good cause, to raise money, to help ALO help our beaches. It was the most fun, positive, colorful 5k/10k event EVER!
The costumes, the tutus, the wigs, were fabulous! I really wonder what the drivers on Bay Ave. were thinking when they saw what was coming at them! AND i hope they join us next year. ALO was given over $16,000.00 in donations from our run. We were able to help fund the upcoming clean ups and planting projects. Please, take some time and research ALO and the projects they are working on. Join their summer camps, get involved, they have been working on the environmental aspects of our waterways for over 20 years, they are knowledgeable and invested in saving our beaches. They always need volunteers and are eager to share information on how you can help.
Overall, we raised close to $28,000.00, and approximately 820 runners participated. (Not counting the people who chose to run without timing) we approximate there were 1,000 + people at the event overall.
We are happy, pleased, thrilled, ecstatic and excited to announce we will be holding our event again next year. We plan to make it bigger, better, greener! We hope to see you there.
The 2nd Annual Shamrocks For Sandy Run – March 16,2014.
Run Jersey Strong,