Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Laguna Hills Half Marathon Race Report

Submitted by Heather Stewart @captainstewie

On Monday May 28th, I had the honor in participating in the City of Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half Marathon. This race honors the United States Marine Corp Dark Horse Battalion. The City of Laguna Hills adopted the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, of the 1st Marine Division. This infantry battalion, nicknamed “DARKHORSE” is based out of Camp Pendleton, and $3 per race fee went to the 3/5 Support Committee.

A little background for this Battalion: The 3/5 were deployed to Helmand Province in the Fall of 2010. They were sent to the most dangerous place in Afghanistan: Sangin. Their task was to regain the Taliban stronghold, a notorious poppy growing region in a mountainous area north of Marja. The DARKHORSE Battalion lost 25 Marines during this deployment.

I’m addicted to running/racing and wanted to run 10 half marathons in 2012. This particular race made me feel like I was a part of something bigger than myself yesterday. (Isn’t that kind of what #Run3rd is all about?) Not only was the race for a great cause but it was so well organized by Renegade Racing!  I couldn’t have imagined a better race experience. The course was great too even though it was a little bit challenging!

My running buddies, Sue and Heather (aka “The Other Heather” aka “Ditto”) and I got to the race nice and early. The weather was beautiful—little overcast but warm enough for tank top running (which is awesome because it got HOT).  Immediately we noticed the Marines doing their warm ups. There were people of all ages wearing “DARKHORSE” shirts with the names of fallen soldiers. People were all decked out in red, white and blue. It was pretty awesome.

Here’s how it went:

Attention new walkers/runners!

Listening to runners talk is inspiring, isn't it? When Sean Astin talks so passionately about his runs, his excitement is contagious! It kinda makes you want to get out there and try running a 5k yourself, doesn't it? Well, what are you waiting for? Now is the time to try! You CAN do it!

A 5K is a race that equals 5 kilometers (or approximately 3.1 miles). In almost every local community, you can usually find a number of 5K races throughout the year. As #run3rd Team Captain, I have decided to run a local race called Ele's Race 5K Run/Walk in Okemos, Michigan. The race raises money for a healing center for grieving children. The race day is Sunday, July 22. I'm encouraging anyone who is interested to join me, no matter where you are in your walking/running experience! Let's #run3rd this!

To "join me", you do NOT have to join the same race in Okemos, Michigan. Just plan on doing a 5K race in your community around the same time! We'll train "together" and collect our #run3rd dedications as we train!

This is a link to a great couch to 5K program. If you start training now, you would have enough time to work your way up to a 5K by race day, even if you're starting from sitting around on the couch!! And this isn't the only couch to 5K program out there - there are many more. Just do a google search and pick your favorite! These programs do a wonderful job of easing you into running, so anyone can do it. If you prefer to plan on walking a 5K, that is great too! Whatever gets you out on that course is perfect!

If you want to follow me on Twitter @Rocksicle_Lover, I'll post updates on my trainings. I'm concurrently training for a half-marathon in September, so don't be surprised if you see me doing more miles than you on any given day. Stick to YOUR training program! I also have a blog where I post my experiences trying to get in shape. Over the next two months, I'm going to be focusing on the #run3rd race, so you can keep up on activites there too!

You can do this! #run3rd for taking a risk! #run3rd for living life to the fullest! #run3rd for your health!

I #run3rd for you!

Heather Slawinski

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Santa Monica Classic race report

Submitted by Leah Gutierrez @Leahmari11 & Sean Astin @SeanAstin

Leah: When I chose the Santa Monica Classic for my first race as a Team #Run3rd captain, there were a few key considerations: (1) my husband had done this race a few years ago when he started running and said the course was a good one, plus it offered the option of doing either a 5K or 10K (great starter race); (2) It is significance for Sean Astin because it was in his birth city, plus the same organizers of this race were the ones who did the LA Marathon; and (3) timeliness—we had a whole month to get the word out about the race, invite racers to participate and get some #Run3rd dedications going.

Heal the Bay is the benefiting organization of this race. Anyone who enjoys going to the beach or uses water in some capacity in Los Angeles County benefits greatly from the work this organization does.

I thought it would be fun to give a dual perspective of how race day went, so below you'll read it from both Sean and Leah's points of view.

Friday, May 11, 2012

New running blog by #Run3rd TEAM Captain

#Run3rd TEAM Captain Heather Stewart has started a new blog "stRUNg out" where she writes about how running has changed her life.
"In March of 2011 I ran my first 5K race, it was my gateway drug. Running has become such a large part of my life and I want to share the joys and challenges that come with being stRUNg out!"
It's great inspirational stuff for runners and non-runners alike, about how you can take charge of your life. Check it out!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sean's report & pics on Miles for Melanoma

Submitted by Sean Astin @SeanAstin

So I read a tweet about a 5k Race to benefit melanoma research at Universal Studios. Awesome, I thought, but I wasn't sure I could make it with work, life and family stuff going on. A few more tweets and I kept checking when the latest time to register was. A terrible habit for a Team #Run3rd Captain to get into, an absolute failure to plan. But hey, #Run3rd peeps are a fun loving spontaneous lot! Sure enough, on Friday (I think) [It was Saturday. Ed.] I headed over to the Hilton at Universal to find a modest little coat closet—ok not quite—but a little room with a bunch of volunteers processing last minute registrations. There were shirts and bibs and information about the Melanoma Research Foundation, and off I went (a few pics, instagrams & tweets later…)

Sunday came and what a great day, er, morning. It was really chilly walking down from the Curious George Parking Structure to the famed massive Green Screen and Water Tank area. Channel 4 News trucks and a host of tents were present. It looked like there were about a thousand people, clearly a great turnout for a 1st event. Next thing you know, bang! We are dropped out of an airplane (steep downhill) and through the legendary back lot of Universal Studios. With a couple of twists and turns you got a glimpse of the families participating together, some walking, all having a blast.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Jason Biggs and Sean Astin
About 3/4 of a mile into the race, I got a pat on the back from Jason Biggs (fellow Teenage Mutant Turtle "Leonardo"). He happens to be 22 years younger than me (7ish) [Slight exaggeration! Ed.] which explains why after a couple of courteous minutes and with my encouragement, he took off never to be seen again (until the finish where he was well rested).

The last 1/2 mile was straight up Kilimanjaro (steep hill). My goal for the race was to beat my Chicago Race to Wrigley 5K time from a few weeks ago (25:11). As I came around the last turn I glanced at my watch and realized I could still do it, but just like at the Los Alamitos Race on the Base 10K on my birthday, my heart gave out for 5 seconds. By the time I "got it back" I ended up with with a 25:02 time. Yay I beat Chicago! Boo I missed breaking into 24 territory by 3 seconds!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Operation School Bell report

Submitted by Heather Stewart @captainstewie

Yesterday I participated in the Assistance League's Operation School Bell 5K in Santa Clarita, CA. It was a beautiful day for a race, but I won't lie, by 8:15 when the race started it was getting H-O-T! This event raises money for local school children to have backpacks, school supplies and other necessities. The coolest part was the group of local high school teachers who raised money for Project Prom. Project Prom helps kids who might not be able to afford this milestone go and enjoy their high school prom. These teachers all had fundraising goals and when they met those goals, they pledged to run in prom dresses. It was really fun to see all these teachers dressed to the nines with their running shoes on cruising down the trail.

The Brenda Mehling Cancer Fund took this opportunity to get the word out about our race on June 2nd, the Fight it! 5K. The Assistance League generously let us set up our booth for free. It was a great day to meet local runners and #run3rd!

Although I really wanted to PR [personal record], I didn't. I ran the first mile at a really fast pace (for me!) and got too tired and hot. BUT I only missed my personal best by 20 seconds soooooo I feel great! Finishing time: 33:19; considering I ran this same race in 39:36 just a year ago it's definitely a win!

#Run3rd for improving at every race!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Two #Run3rd Events on Sunday!

#Run3rd founder Sean Astin will be running in the Miles for Melanoma 5K this Sunday, May 6 at Universal Studios, CA.

Sponsored by the Melanoma Research Foundation and Pale Girl Speaks, this race gives runners and walkers the opportunity to help raise critical funding for new treatments, education and advocacy for melanoma, while experiencing historic sites on Universal Studios' backlot. All Participants will also receive sunscreen samples and educational information about melanoma prevention and treatment.

Also on Sunday, new TEAM Captain Heather Stewart will take part in the Operation School Bell 5K in Newhall CA.

The Assistance League Operation School Bell 5K (formerly called Footsteps 5K) is a family style event starting in Newhall Park and winding its way down the South Fork trail and back. All proceeds from this race go to benefit the Operation School Bell Program which provides clothing and shoes to over 1,800 elementary and junior high age students in the Santa Clarita Valley each year.

Help support these events and causes, follow @SeanAstin and @captainstewie, and tweet your #run3rd dedications to them!