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I’m excited about finishing month #2 of my fundraiser. It’s exciting to get new sponsors and to get Gracehaven‘s name out to people who had previously ever heard of them. Running for Gracehaven is motivating me to race. And racing, in turn, always motivates me to run – as in, to train leading up for a race. I just signed up for the Cap City Half, so this means for the next 5 or so weeks, I’m not going to be able to get away with just sporadically running a couple times a week. I’m going to actually have to relearn consistency and dedication. It’ll be good for me =)

Speaking of motivation… I’ve been thinking about travel recently. Mainly because I’ve been doing a lot of it this past month. On the one hand, I am a little less motivated to run when I’m traveling. Because it means either I’m on vacation, and would be more inclined to be sleeping in or hanging out with whoever I’m visiting/traveling with, or I’m on a work trip, which means I’m really busy. But on the other hand, it’s always fun to run an unfamiliar route and explore a new city. There is something pretty sweet about the fact that I was in 4 states last month and ran in all of them.

The other fun thing about travel is racing in different cities. My last race was in Cedarville, OH. My next race is in Atlanta. The one after that will be in Miami, OH. Sometimes I’ve already planned a trip and decide to find a race while there, but other times I travel specifically for a race. Then the race is no longer just an 30 min or 1hr event. It’s a road trip. It’s a weekend. It’s a story =)

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1 month down… 10 to go!

So here ends my first month of the Running With Grace fundraiser. I greatly appreciate the five sponsorships I received for February. I’m sure the girls you’re helping through Gracehaven appreciate it too! But it was a short month (in that I only got this started half-way through the month) and I only got to do one race. I’ll be more active in March and I hope to get more sponsors again!

As for the race itself, it really wasn’t bad for late February; there was no snow or ice on the ground. Not super-thrilled with my time, but it was just the first race of the season. And for right now it’s the miles that count more =).

Running with Grace

In 2011 I’ll be doing a year-long personal fund-raising effort for Gracehaven, a local non-profit organization fighting human trafficking. The victims of human trafficking often feel like they are trapped; like they have nowhere to run. I want to run for them.

Why I’m running:

Human Trafficking is the illegal trade in human beings for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor. In other words, trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery. The total number of human trafficking victims today is estimated to be 27 million. In the US alone, there are about 325,000 children involved in or are at high risk of being involved in sex trafficking. However, there are only 49 beds available in shelters across the country for rescued victims. Gracehaven provides a safe home, hope and healing for girls who have been forced into commercial sexual exploitation. When their doors open this year, they will add 10 beds. They also work to raise awareness and provide training for health care professionals, children’s services and other social agencies.
(Learn more at Gracehaven’s official site)

How you can help:

Per-mile Sponsorship
Each month this year, you can sponsor me a fixed dollar amount per mile I race. E.g. “I’ll donate $3 for every mile you race in February.” You can do this for 1 month, several months, or all year.

Challenge Money
For any race I run (whether you are sponsoring me per-mile or not) you can issue me a challenge for an additional donation. E.g. “I’ll donate $20 if you place in the top 3 in your age group” or “I’ll donate $10 if you beat your personal best time at that distance.” Or anything else you can think of!

Simple One-time Donations
Maybe you think this running business is all too complex, but you would like to just outright donate to the cause and support my efforts. Those are welcome too!

Go to my Sponsor Me page to support me in one of these ways.

Some Expectation Setting:

Last year I ran 1 race each month. I’m aiming to do at least two a month this year, where possible.

Most of the  races I do are 5K (about 3 miles) with the occasional 10K (about 6 miles). I will let you know ahead of time if/when I plan to do any longer distances like a half marathon (about 13 miles) or a marathon (about 26 miles).

I will publicly post my races as I sign up, and my results when I’m done. At the end of each month I will let my sponsors know what they owe.

Any donation amount is welcome. The ones above are just some examples.