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Preview: AFSP Out of the Darkness Walk

On October 7, walkers will take to the streets of Portland for the Out of the Darkness 5K Walk. This walk is a special event of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide.

This is the largest fundraiser for AFSP every year. To quote them because they can explain it better then I ever can.

“The Out of the Darkness Walks are proof that when people work together they can make big changes in the world. They are AFSP’s largest fundraiser – they produce millions for suicide prevention programs, unite those who have been affected by suicide, and create communities that are smart about mental health”

There has been a lot of talk about suicide in the last few months and a lot of mis-conceptions about it. There are many faces, many stories behind suicide.

The walk will start at Veterans Memorial Colosseum and take the waterfront loop from the Eastbank Esplanade, out to the Hawthorne Bridge and then across the river to the west side, through Waterfront Park and back to the Steel Bridge and across.

You can find out here more: AFSP Portland

A little thank you to my favorite “Addiction”

WARNING: This is not a running blog entry. If you are looking for the running blog fun cycle down. (Remember this is my blog and I don’t always do run)

It isnt a secret, the other passion I have outside of running is wrestling.

And two of the biggest reasons for that have been a very certain tag team; The Addiction, Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian.

When I was going through the last few years of finding myself, dealing with the family health issues, and trying to hold it all together. I could watch those two and break out laughing despite myself. There would be some nights I would be laughing so hard that I was crying.

If you watch them you get it. They are just very good at what they do.

But also watching these guys keep going at the level that they do and the fact they keep getting better has inspired me. There are many times that people around me have been pretty clear that I should give up those crazy dreams and goals that I am shooting for. I am too old, I am too washed up, I should be focusing on family, ya know those things you hear.

They defiantly helped to show me that not fitting in the “box” is okay that I can embrace the inner nerd.

I always wanted the chance to meet them to say thank you for inspiring me to continue to push to be better. And I got that chance. (Not without almost tripping over my own two feet. But alas if you know me, if I get nervous I do.)

These two made it a point to make sure this photo happened before I had to bail for my trip back to Portland and could not of been nicer.

I just want to say thank you again to them both for not only inspiring me, just always being awesome towards me, but giving me so many good memories out of my first trip to Vegas.

Why I Run? We Race to Remember

Why do we race?

We Race to Remember.

On November 11, 2017 Race to Remember will be hosting their annual 11K/5K/1K in Vancouver Washington as the kick off the the annual Ft Vancouver Veterans Day Parade. If you are not in Vancouver you can join them honor your veterans virtually. Instead of giving you a traditional preview you can read last years recap Race to Remember: Veterans Day here. The specifics of this years race can be found here: Race to Remember

As I have been more involved in these groups, I have heard more stories then I have space to recount. I have found my why.

I have been lucky.

I have a few close friends that I consider brothers that have served our country. I have seen these brothers share their stories, share the trials and tribulations of being in a war zone, they bring the same strength to their civilian life that they had in the service. They battle demons with a smile and an inspirational outlook. They have also watched helplessly as friends that they served with lose those battles.

I Race to Remember them on this Veterans Day.

Through my work, I have witnessed first hands as service members who have lost limbs in the service found the

The shirt says it all
strength in themselves to be adaptive athletes taking on races some of us only imagine and turn around and serve as an inspiration to other athletes to show what is possible. I also witnessed first hand as that same inspiration helped me face fears I never thought possible to conquer.

I Race to Remember them on this Veterans Day.

I Race to Remember my grandfather who served with the Army in WWII. He never shared many stories of his time, as he helped at interment camps. But he was always fiercely proud of being veteran. My uncle carried on this tradition with his service in the Navy.

I Race to Remember them on this Veterans Day.

Even if you can’t join us, I encourage you to run for the veterans in your life this Veterans Day.

I race to help Race to Remember push their mission forward.

“Race to Remember” is a nonprofit organization “Race to Remember” is the name of our nonprofit, formed in Vancouver Washington 2009 after our founder Claudia Cardenas lost her fiancé Jason Vinyard a 20yr Army Veteran serving at Ft. Vancouver at the time of his passing. “Race to Remember” mission is to support and honor our past and present military heroes. We host several events throughout the year including three races. During every event we host or participate in we remember and honor those who fought for our freedom. Outside of racing we organize military care packages; and engage with the community by coordinating such projects as “Soldier in the Classroom”, “Thank You Cards” and “Books for Soldiers”. Our immediate goal is to form partnerships with local business and other veteran organizations to help us best serve veterans in our communities. Our long term goal is to establish a college scholarship for the Fallen Heroes children and spouses.

Disclaimer: Race to Remember comps my registration in trade for my social media outreach. My opinions are that of my own

Recap: Old Glory Relay

For the second year Oregon has played host to the Old Glory Relay. The short explanation, one single American Flag will travel close to 4,600 miles across the US by veterans, members of Team RWB, family and friends via running, walking and bikes. It is to raise funds and awareness for Team RWB to be able to help veterans find support and strength in their community.

I had the honor of being able to run for the second year. This year I was given the opportunity to take part of my long run training route which had me excited, at the last second I also learned that I would not be tackling the course alone as I had two other lovely ladies who had been around my pace that they needed to bring together.

Our trek started right off of N. Vancouver in Hayden Meadows. Due to the nature of the event, we ended up taking the flag considerably later then originally planned which made for a lot of pent up energy (and a lot of giving our team leader his share of heck).

N. Vancouver can be a bit of a highway for trucks and carrying the flag, plus I had brought my own flag with me (which made it really hard for people to ignore us). It was amazing to hear the honks, cheers and support, You are carrying something that brings people together. Your carrying what represents the best of us. It also had the case of the never ending hills. (Seriously, most of our two miles was UPHILL) Our run was more like a march, but we took the time to cherish every second of it.

It also brings us together. There will be more then 6,000 hands on that flag to get it to its final destination in

New friends after the handoff.
Tampa on Veterans day. You make friends with people you never met who are cheering for you as we are working on the same goal, honoring our veterans and the flag.

If you ever get the opportunity to participate or witness it, this is something that will change your perspective on the world.

You can find out more about Old Glory Relay and get involved remotely: Old Glory Relay.

Race Recap: Dreaming in Rainbow: Why you should do The Color Run every year?

How do you take Portland’s iconic Portland International Raceway and turn it into a dreamland?

Ask the folks behind the scenes at the Color Run. They have that magic. And that magic gets better every year.

Ill say it early this year. This is not the run for you if you want to be fast and serious. But you need to do one once in your life time. You will understand it. This is the time for you to be a kid and just have fun. It is best said on their website.

Less about your 10-minute-mile and more about having the time of your life, The Color Run is a five-kilometer, un-timed event in which thousands of participants, or “Color Runners”, are doused from head to toe in different colors at each kilometer. With only two rules, the idea is easy to follow:

1 Wear white at the starting line!
2 Finish plastered in color!

Before I go any further, I need to give The Color Run a lot of kudos. There have been huge issues with races and communication in the local area and a week before is when the Eagle Creek fire hit the Pacific NW and Portland was a mess of smoke, haze, soot ect. They stayed in constant communication with participants about their plans.

I was a little worried this year as I was not able to do an early packet pick-up. But we got to packet pick up on Saturday morning and it was super easy and manned by some of the happiest volunteers I have seen at races. Our group changed into our white shirts and headed straight for the start line.

I have said this several times before in talking about The Color Run. They have the start line down to a science.

How many times can you be proud of being a unicorn?
They let groups of runners out ever 5 or so mins. You are never feeling crowded, rushed or clogged. The DJ knows how to keep your energy up and entertained. The weather unlike last year was amazing.

This years first color was not a color at all. It was foam! Two blue unicorns greeted you and Foam machines turning the road way into a pile of fun suds. Seriously you felt like you had been walking on clouds, and the foam was everywhere.

I might of been acting like a kid here.

The common theme with the Color Run is they get better EVERY year. This year was the first year they actually had mile markers out on the course. Also music was spaced at random places where you could get your groove on. Also water station was placed right at the half way point. The only issue I had and I think I say this every year.

More porta-johns.

We continued on through the color stations. Every station was a mini party that this year had its fair share of dancing color throwers. This year they introduced a new color, purple. Also they introduced with Cricket a Cricket color zone which would dump green on you from above.

Its a medal… and its a Unicorn WIN WIN!!
The finish line you got your UNICORN MEDAL (you heard me, I said UNICORN) your color packet and post run water. Lays had their new popables for your post race snack.

Then you could enjoy your post race party with limbo lines, dancing and of course the famous color throw.

I will do this EVERY year. It is fun to see families out together enjoying getting active, its fun to go dancing through the color zones. It is seriously the most fun I have being active all year.

You can find out more about The Color Run: It is an affiliate link, be warned