Monday, March 25, 2013

The Grizzly Ultra Barefoot Challenge

It has been a crazy year so far with everything that has been going on in my running life and we are only just finishing March. The rest of the year only looks more intense and I am loving every minute of it.

In case you haven't heard through my Facebook page (and how could you not if you are my Facebook friend), I am currently involved in a little friendly challenge for charity with a event and a local Running Store in Canmore, Alberta. Yes, you heard me right, The Ultimate Fit Centre and Smith Events which puts on the Grizzly Ultra Series has challenged little ol' me to run The Grizzly Ultra 50km barefoot in October. The challenge is called, yes I thought this one up all by myself, the Grizzly Ultra Barefoot Challenge with major kudos to Alain Foidart for the awesome logo.

Here is the course:

As you can see there will be a little bit of trekking involved with this one. I even understand there is some type of coal chute or something, lucky I like to get my feet dirty. I will be joined in my barefootness by another barefoot runner from Calgary named Paul. He has been biting at the bit to get a chance at running this, so what better time then the present, right.

So this is the challenge, I have to tackle and complete this 50km mountain ultra barefoot from start to finish, hmmm think I can do it. I am so sure that I will finish I will even leave my shoes (or Luna's depending on my mood of the day) hanging from the start line under strict supervision of the Master of Promotions for The Ultimate Fit Centre and chief instigator, Cindy Chiperzak. My partner in crime in organizing this awesome event, who by the way if I finish will have to join me in a barefoot run post race, what fun that will be. With a little bit of convincing and audience participation I might just get Tony Smith (Grizzly Race Director) to go a little bit san shoe too, sshhh I haven't told him this yet.

Anyway I digress, as I noted I need to finish the event barefoot and by doing so the following things will happen:
  • Smith Events will reimburse my entry fee which I will turn around and split between the two charities involved.
  • Smith Events will pitch in another donation equal to the entry fee to basically double the donation.
  • The Ultimate Fit Centre will donate the cost of another entry fee to help out the cause.
  • Plus I am throwing in another $140.00 of my own money at a minimum to help out the cause
That is $560.00 towards the cause before we even accept a donation from the public.

Now if I don't finish (which we know will not happen):
  • I have to double my donation to $280.00 and I will have to beg and plead with Tony and Cindy to keep their respective organizations donating to the cause. Did I mention I do not grovel very well, so this will be very hard and probably very entertaining to watch, and I am sure that Cindy will probably video tape it or something for prosparity
The two charities involved are both near and dear to all of us and of course it revolves around kids and physical activity.

My local charity is Ted's Run For Literacy which supports the local Winnipeg chapter of  Start2Finish. Ted's Run For Literacy  is a local memorial run for Ted Swain who was active in Winnipeg’s running community. Those that knew him will remember a gentle and patient man. Ted was also an English teacher at Vincent Massey Collegiate. Ted died from heart failure in May 2009 after completing the Police half-marathon. Ted’s Run is our attempt to honor a most remarkable man and his two passions, running and reading. To ensure that Ted's legacy continued, another very passionate educator, runner and blogger Mike Bennett from See Mike Run puts on this yearly event to help raise funds for Start2Finish. The charity itself helps fund afterschool programs in local Manitoba schools that center around helping under privlaged kids learn to read as well as give them a safe place to run while supplying them with a good pair of running shoes and other necessities. This also gives them a safe place to be after school as well. The entire program is supported by teachers and educators that volunteer their time to this worthy cause. This is Start2Finish's Mission Statement:
Start2Finish’s mission is to break the cycle of child poverty by providing ongoing educational support to Canada’s at risk children throughout their school years, nurturing mind, body and social health so they are empowered to succeed and become role models for change.

The second charity is local to Canmore, where the race is taking place. Kidsport Bow Valley Chapter is a another great charitable organization centred around helping kids participate in organized sports. This is the choosen charity for The Ultimate Fit Centre and also worthy of everybody's support. This is Kidsport's Mission Statement:
We believe that no kid should be left on the sidelines and all should be given the opportunity to experience the positive benefits of organized sports. KidSport provides support to children in order to remove financial barriers that prevent them from playing organized sport.

All funds raised through this event will go to both charities and will only be utilized to fund the programs as this was my mandate going in and will continue to be throughout the months and weeks leading up to the event. With this we have been very lucky to receive some fantastic support from the running community in general, as I have been able to secure some awesome giveaways and prizes for contests that we will be holding in conjuction with The Grizzly Ultra Barefoot Challenge Facebook Page on a weekly basis. A big thankyou to Canadian Running Magazine, Ted's Run For Literacy and a few more surprise benefactors that I am currently in discussions with.

You can also check out my article in Canadian Running Magazine on this intiative as well.

To donate to either one of (or both) of these great charities just follow the directions below. Also don't forget to go to the Facebook Page and 'Like' it and Share it with all your friends.

Thanks again from all of us for all your support.
The Two Charities Involved:

Run For Literacy Donations through Start 2 Finish
Go to the following link and follow these very important instructions.

Scroll down and 'Hit' the 'DONATE' button, this will take... you to this very important
Pick the 'Other' Designation
Fill in the Donation amount (No donation is too small or too large)
Under Specified Gift, enter ' Ted's Run For Literacy - Grizzly Barefoot Challenge'
Fill in the appropriate info for your contact info and payment type.
Under Comments - Note 'Ted's Run For Literacy - Grizzly Barefoot Challenge' and add any well wishes for the charities or for Bob's attempt to conquor the course.

I am going to try to keep track of donations made monthly to the charities, so please give generously.

Kidsport Bow Valley Donations:
Go to the following link and follow these very important instructions

Select the link called 'Online Donation'
Fill in the very important contact info...rmation (that way we know who you are)
Under 'General Donation Information', put your donation amount and select the Kidsport Alberta tab under Province.
Under 'Gift Information - Tribute', select 'In Honour Of'
Under 'Tribute's Name' put Kidsport Bow Valley - Grizzly Barefoot Ultra Challenge'
Under Comments - Please put 'Kidsport Bow Valley - Grizzly Barefoot Ultra Challenge. Ultimate Fit Centre Challenge.
Enter your payment type
Enter the Security Code.
Hit Submitt and you are done.
Congrats you have just supported a great charity.
The Charities and Organizations:

The Sponsors:

So go check it out and join the fun, spread the word and most important of all help two great causesever you can spare. Tax recipts will be provided for donations that are eligable through the websites.

If you happen to be in the Canmore area October 13, please come out and cheer me on. I would definitely appreciate the moral support.

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