Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Inaugural #Run3rd 5K and Our Schools

Submitted by Sean Astin @SeanAstin

#Run3rd is an idea. It's a very special act of thinking about other people and their loved ones and causes. Over the years since its creation, #Run3rd has inspired people, moved people, helped create lasting friendships and been a source of good feelings and wishes for all who happen upon it. Now, it's becoming something more…

On April 11th, I will be in Mesa, Arizona, running in the Inaugural #Run3rd 5k race. Mindy and Kris Przeor (good luck pronouncing their last name!) came to me with the idea to host an actual #run3rd sanctioned 5k. There had been a successful Virtual #Run3rd 5k, hosted by devoted #Run3rd advocates. This was not the first time and hopefully won't be the last time that the idea of an actual run had been floated. After getting to know Kris and Mindy, running in a few races together and seeing how committed they are do doing something special and doing it well, I decided to let #Run3rd become a Terrestrial event. Once you watch the piece that my friend Bob Hitchcock is producing with @RunDisney you'll see why.

The proceeds from Registration Fees, T-Shirt Sales and other related items will go to support the Mesa Schools After-School Running Program.

#Run3rd has never been about money. If you watch the FoxNews Interview I did in Los Angeles with Steve Edwards, he kept asking me what the "angle" was. I assured him that there was NO angle. Well, Steve, you were right, and now #Run3rd does have an angle.

The primary inspiration behind the #Run3rd concept was that I didn't know how to choose just one Charity, Cause or Issue to support. Instead, I concocted a plan that would emotionally support ALL people and any and all of their wishes, dreams, hopes, struggles, fears, prayers etc...

This will always be the driving force behind the #Run3rd movement. Today, I'm announcing an important new development. I've decided that Schools whose running programs are underfunded or under-supported or who have no afterschool running program yet, but wish to, are conceptually a perfect fit for the #Run3rd message. This Mesa, AZ #Run3rd5k will demonstrate that the great goodwill of such an event, the people who have shared and opened their hearts to include the world with a piece of themselves as they make dedications, can be honored anew.

As members of their community learn of what's happening, they will be invited to support Students in their school system who are interested in being active and exploring the role running can play in their lives. They will be prompted, just as the parents, teachers, administrators and students will be, to make dedications of their own. They will be encouraged to take people's dedications into their hearts.

When we read the #Run3rd Twitter strand, we glimpse into the lives of other people, many of whom have serious struggles and concerns. The simple act of reading other people's words and for a moment taking other people's existence into consideration can be a vital component to personal growth and development.

This is about caring for other people. In an age when social media and technology allow us to bounce in and out of each others awareness, I like the idea that #Run3rd is both a selfish and selfless moment in the day. The feeling of wearing the #run3rd symbol as you run charges you with a sense of pride, giving, compassion and connectedness to people who you may only know from a short tweet. But, those people are real and your gesture of support is fueled with meaning.

As people look to help themselves, their loved ones, or others in untold ways, from simple kindnesses to lifetimes of service, it's never too much to think about, pray for or otherwise consider the plight of our fellow humans. #Run3rd makes that gesture, by degrees, a little bit specific.

When someone's child or parent is suffering, or a loved one's spouse is serving somewhere in the world, and they make a #run3rd dedication, or anyone does for that matter, they give a piece of themselves, of their pain perhaps, to the ether, trusting that people, even for a moment, are listening. They are operating from the position that strangers, at least some people of good will, are taking a moment to think about them.

I always used to wonder, when people would offer to "keep me in their prayers," how long the list must get as they go along in life, as they kneel before their bed and actually says the name of each and every person who has touched their lives. Maybe for me, the list of #Run3rd dedications functions in that way. When I #Run3rd for others, I mean everyone on the list and everyone they've talked about, from its inception and for all time. It's my sense that many others feel this way too. #Run3rd is not about me. Well, it is, but no more than it is about you. I've loved seeing people wear a #run3rd sign and share its meaning with someone else when they don't know I'm watching and when we've never meant. That spirit is embodied with the #Run3rd Team Captains and with everyone who participates.

So, in order to keep the mission of #run3rd global, Kris and Mindy have arranged for #run3rd5k in Mesa to offer a virtual component. They are about to share their medal design. I can't wait to run the race and have one of my very own. Everyone who participates in the Virtual Run3rd5k can expect a package from the Przeors with their own medal. We've set the goal of making sure people from all 50 States are Registered. As of this post, we have 33.

Whether I see you in person on April 11th or virtually, I thank you so much for your support and participation. At the very least, if any of this has meant anything to you, why not make your own #Run3rd Dedication now.

Warmly & Respectfully Yours,
Sean Astin
Founder #Run3rd

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Sean. You had a beautiful idea and I'm proud to be a part of it. And GO MINDY! -Cindy Changyit Levin