Finally. The post about CJ's Inaugural Resolution Challenge.
For those of you not in the know, this was a fundraising event that was first dreamed up back in September, but didn't take on the form of a race until October. It was a lot of work, but it was well worth all the effort. So, after two and a half months of a lot (a lot, a lot) of planning and organizing, CJ's Inaugural Resolution Challenge was held on Saturday, January 4th, 2014 at R. B. Winter State Park, Mifflinburg, PA. My best friends Crystal and Joe came to stay at our house as well as my Power Strangers teammates Jamie and Mike. I was so glad to have them here, because this group of people have run enough races that I knew their expertise would be priceless to me. We marked the course and hung tarps on the pavilion on Friday. It was bitterly cold and there was some fresh snow on the ground, but the freeze was really beautiful.
We had 66 people pre-registered for the race, and ended up with 77. Some were registered for RC Revolutions, a three hour event in which participants aim to complete as many laps of the 1.6 mile course as possible. Others chose the Last Man Standing. Held on the same course, this three hour event was formatted much differently. Participants ran timed laps that progressively got one minute faster than the one before it. We had prizes for the top three men and women in each event. Those who ran the most laps in RC Revolutions ended up running a little over 22 miles!!! And the top two runners in the Last Man Standing ran a total of 19.2 miles with their last lap being their fastest at a 6:19 pace!!! We got a lot of great feedback afterwards, below are my favorites!
“Awesome race this morning despite the tad bit chilly temperatures! A big thank you to Janell Weaver and all the volunteers that made this happen! I loved the format! Something new that I would have never thought of doing! Great job by everyone involved!” ~Sean MacMillen
“I could not agree more!!! Great job to everyone involved with making this happen. Highly recommend this event for next year. Even though it was a little chilly at 1 degree this morning they had 70+ runners come out and support this race. Race was definitely a unique challenge regardless of what format you ran.” ~John Johnson
“Loved this race! Do it again please!”~Tracy Wright
“Loved the format, perfect for the time of year and the weather. We had a great time, thank you!” ~ Janine Gusztaw
“Very enjoyable day. Congrats to all. Will be looking for this one next year.” ~ Shawn Brown
“It was 1 degree when we arrived at CJs Challenge in Mifflinburg…had a super great time despite the cold!” ~ Leanne Levesque
“Awesome race! I had a great time today, and I’m already looking forward to next year. To all the central PA runners out there – put this race on your calendar next year.” ~ Tom Cali
“Seven words – Do not miss this race next year. It was tough but a blast. The race was well organized, the trail was well marked, and the soup at the end was great. Now if they could only get the temps into the 60s so we could run in shorts and t-shirts, it would be perfect.” from Nittany Valley Running Club
You heard them, they want more! And I intend to give it to them! CJ's Resolution Challenge will become an annual event that I hope will only continue to grow and evolve. Tentatively mark your calendars for the 2nd Annual CJ's Resolution Challenge for January 3, 2015. I'll do it as long as I can and as long as there is interest. But so far I haven't mentioned the outcome of the fundraising side of all this. Was it successful? You bet it was! Through the sale of CJ Elephants, cash donations, basket raffle and race proceeds, we grossed nearly $10,500 for Operation Jack Autism Foundation and Geisinger's Autism & Developmental Medicine Institute. In addition, we also received a $2000 donation for ADMI! A grand total close to $12,500 raised to fight autism. It was more than I could have dared to hope for. When I left the event site the day of the race, when everything was done, I just felt this overwhelming sense of gratitude. It was over. It was successful. I am still so grateful to everyone who helped in anyway, large or small. It all meant something to me. I'm grateful to my cousin Ange for being the first to sign up. I'm grateful to my mom and grandma for sewing over 280 elephants. I'm grateful for Sam from Operation Jack for the amount of time he spent helping me with all sorts of race details and for making the trip to be there on race day. I'm grateful for Megan, the community liaison from ADMI for bringing out information about autism. I'm grateful to the daycare staff from the Milton YMCA who care for my children as they would their own, and cared so much that they formed a team to race. I'm grateful to Ami G., CJ's teacher, whose enthusiasm poured out to other parents. I'm grateful to Kristen B., another autism mom, who shared her story (and a few hugs and tears) with me. I'm grateful to the Mid Penn Trail Blazers, whose support really gave me flight. I'm grateful to my friend Kelli, whose birthday wish was for others to come race with her. I'm grateful to Amey J. for jumping in and helping with registration. I'm grateful for my sister Brandi and her boyfriend Kevin for doing some publicizing and making some awesome signs. I'm grateful to every single runner and walker who braved the arctic temperatures and for their enthusiasm through it all. There are so many people who deserve to be personally named that I know I'm forgetting. Please know how appreciative I am of your contributions. And mostly I'm just so grateful to God. He planted this idea and gave me faith. He inspired a lot of other people, and that gives me hope.