Friday, November 17, 2017

Hot Chocolate Run - Supporting a great cause

You all know how passionate I am about running - it is my freedom, it is my sanity, it is my community.  It may be hard to imagine, but not that long ago I felt lost, lonely, and depressed.  Running, and the community that I found through running, helped turn things around for me - it helped me find an incredibly supportive community of friends, it helped me gain confidence, and has offered opportunities to explore the country (and even a few portions of the world!).  I am so grateful for all that running has given me.

Again this year, I am trying to bring a larger impact with my running - through running the Hot Chocolate Run and fundraising for Safe Passage.  Safe Passage is a local organization that supports victims of domestic violence.  This is not a fundraising race where the funds disappear into some national account; they stay local and provide neighbors with the support and counseling they need in times of crisis.  This is an opportunity for me to use my passion to create positive change in my community. 

This will be my 12th time running the Hot Chocolate Run, and I hope to fundraise $500 for Safe Passage.  I would really love to see my running help support positive change in my community.

So, if you're reading this and are so inspired, I appreciate anything that folks can give ($5, $10, whatever!).  Either way, especially coming into the holidays, I would challenge everyone to try to find a way for your running to support change in your community!

Here is the link to my personal fundraising page:

(If I raise over $500, y'all can get me to run in another awesome outfit like this!)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

A 1-year Friend-aversary - Guiding at Ghost Train

I have met some amazing folks through my years of trail running.  And while no one should stick out more than anyone else in theory, the reality is that Kyle Robidoux is certainly one of the more special trail runners that I have gotten to share miles with.  Our friendship started with a typical 'Amy with her foot in her mouth' comment.  This year at Ghost Train, Kyle and I ran together exactly a year after we first shared miles on that exact trail.  It's amazing to think of the miles we've shared, the conversations we've had, the raw emotional moments that have come, the secrets that we've shared when no one else was listening, how much Kyle has taught me, and the times that he's made me laugh along the way.

I first got to know Kyle when he was emailing me with a question about a qualifier race for Vermont 100 - he wanted to know if running 45 miles at Ghost Train would qualify him.  I get so many of these emails, so my response was fairly standard 'you've gotta at least run 50 miles, especially on a course that easy!'.  His response got my attention 'no problem, I understand.  I've just got to find a guide for those last 15 miles'.  I looked at the signature line and saw that tag 'Blind Beer Runner', and everything clicked.  Congrats Amy, do you want some salt with that foot in your mouth?  Kyle's a runner who is visually impaired, so his ability to participate in races is dependent on his ability to recruit guides to quite literally be his eyes out there.  I immediately felt horrible about this, and offered to guide him myself if he needed.  I told him I had no idea what I was doing, but I was willing to learn.  Ultimately, he took me up on my offer to guide.

(Kyle and I ready to run at the Vermont 100 start line)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Grindstone and Product Testing for Inov8 - Part 2

I'm not going to lie - I've had so many amazing opportunities over the years through running that I am so grateful for.  I've gotten to travel the country, and the world, to run in amazing places.  I've gotten to meet incredible people, athletes who are as passionate about running as I am and who each have their own unique story.  I've gotten to test my limits, break myself down to the core, experienced incredible highs and devastating lows.  I am so humbled and grateful for all the experiences that have come my way, and always hungry for the next one!

One of the coolest opportunities that I've had was being asked to travel to the Lakes District in the UK for a week of photo shoots and product testing.  Chalk that up to another awesome experience that's been afforded me through running!  I didn't know much about the trip or our schedule beforehand - so I went in with enthusiasm and an open mind.  I mean, Inov8 was sending me across the pond to play in one of the most unique places to run!

(The beauty of the Lakes District, UK)