To wrap up my Chicago Marathon recap, I have to devote a post to the awesomeness that was running for Team Ronald McDonald House Charities.
1. Training Support Group
One of the reasons I started blogging was because I saw the opportunity to connect with like-minded people, learn from them, get and give encouragement, and share experiences. With Team RMHC we had that on a smaller scale with people who were also raising money to run Chicago. On our Facebook group, we’d post pics of our runs, lament over bad ones, celebrate good ones, seek/offer advice, and most of all, remind each other what our purpose was–raising money while doing what we love.
The charity organizers also included fun contests to keep us motivated–like the Ronald McDonald Boot Run contest I participated (and shoulda won, dammit! LOL!)
In addition to the online forum, we received weekly e-mails from a certified coach (who provided us with a free training plan) with tips for our training–loved him! In addition, Team RMHC provided a motivational coach who would also send us weekly e-mails encouraging us to give our best, smartly. I always looked forward to these e-mails.
2. The Challenge and Appreciation for Fundraising
I was worried I wouldn’t be able to meet the fundraising amount but boy, I was completely overwhelmed by the graciousness of my friends, family, and YOU. Blown. Away.
There are so many people that have a connection to the RMH and when they would tell me their stories, it would just add to the meaning and importance of this race. I’m in a local running group and when I posted a link to my charity site in our group’s Facebook page, a woman who wasn’t active but mostly just lurked commented to say thank you to me and donated. She and her family had stayed in an Ronald McDonald House when her child had an extended hospital stay.
My mom, who is fantastic cook, and my husband helped me with a burrito sale I put on one weekend. It meant waking up at 4 in the morning to make chorizo and roll into tortillas, wrap, load, and deliver. We made over 75 burritos and made over $400 that day!
Fundraising was hard, but it definitely allowed me to get out of my comfort zone–I’m still not all that comfortable asking people for money, lol, but I knew I was asking for a good cause and that everyone’s donation was going to positive place. I wish I cold donate to everyone who asks me, because I know the hard work it takes to raise money and know the passion people have when they’re raising money for a cause they care deeply about.
3. Crowd Support
Wow. So Chicago Marathon is already known for amazing crowd support but it seemed that there were people affiliated with or supporters of RMHC the. entire. way. People would see my shirt and point, “Yeahhhh!!! Go Team RMHC!!” No need for me to write my name on my bib–I had cheerleaders throughout the whole race.
4. Race Day Amenities
I had no idea all the benefits I’d get from running with Team RMHC. I found out that it’s one of the biggest charities involved with the Chicago Marathon and being a part of the team meant I’d get some extra perks.
Before the race, we were provided with a HUGE tent to hang out and keep warm in. There was a DJ; private gear check; a breakfast buffet with coffee, orange juice, gatorade, water; race day miscellaneous like vaseline, tampons, hair ties and bobby pins; and perhaps best of all, private port-a-potties–they seriously thought of everything.
After the race, when you arrived back to the tent, you had to enter walking the red carpet with Ronald McDonald himself congratulating you. Along the velvet ropes were volunteers cheering you as you walked inside
and once you were in, you were immediately given some bubbly.
And then you saw food. Lots and lots of food.
I thought I was too tired (and in pain) to eat, but I ended up scarfing down a bit of everything. A DJ played music and everyone just hung out and celebrated. It was one big post race party.
5. More Than a Medal
Team RMHC Chicago Marathon raised over ONE MILLION DOLLARS. And somehow, knowing the amount of people who will benefit from me deciding to run for this charity means more than the medal I wore for only a few hours.
Thank you guys again for all of your support as I trained for Chicago and thank you to those who donated to The Ronald McDonald House. If you’re even considering running for charity, just do it!!! ❤ , helly