How did you bring in the new year?

I brought in the new year by running the Polar Dash 10K!  This event is held annually on January 1st by The Team Ortho Foundation.  As Caleb and I were waiting in the warming tent for the race to begin, it was a bit nippy(temperature was hovering around +1).  But what warmed my heart was the fact that by registering and running this race, I was helping a place that has become near and dear to my heart  – Shriner’s Hospital for Children.  The Team Ortho foundation uses their races (they have 4 each year) to help raise money for orthopedic hospitals like this one as well as research organizations.  Their mission –

“To improve and enhance the lives of orthopedic patients through our commitment to supporting research, education and  advancements in orthopedic technology; and to promote good muscular, skeletal and joint health by encouraging an active lifestyle, including training and participating in amateur athletic events.”

I did my first Team Ortho event in October 2009- the Monster Dash 10 Mile race.  I had heard of this particular race a year earlier when Giovanna had her last Ilizarov procedure at the Shrine Hospital.  They had a team that was running in the event and since I had just run the Chicago marathon, they asked me if I would be interested in running the race.  I toyed with the idea, but Giovanna’s hospital stays are rather exhausting and I didn’t run that one.  But I did compete in 2009, running with several other women from my church and had a blast.

I signed up for the Polar Dash along with Caleb to run the race.  I can’t say we ran together since he runs at least 2 minutes/mile faster than I do – but we both ran and completed the race on New Year’s Day.  There were about 1,000 runners for the races (there was a 5 and 10K race). The really neat thing that happened this time is that there was a special fund-raiser for the Shrine Hospital and they raised $2,300 from a face book fundraiser and $10,000 from the Polar Dash itself.  This is amazing given the state of the economy and since this hospital was almost closed a few years ago.

I really believe that the Shrine Hospital is one of the best kept secrets in the Twin Cities!  The medical care that Giovanna receives is great and we are treated like family there.  Of course it helps that Giovanna knows practically everyone in the hospital and everyone wants to see her when she is there!

Since running the Polar Dash, several of us have decided to do some more of the Team Ortho races.  The next one is the Minneapolis Marathon on 06 June.  Caleb and I are running the marathon; Gary and Geoffrey the 5K and Courtney and Giovanna the 5 K-9.  We are still trying to get Garrett to do something!

There is also a Duathlon in August and the Monster Dash in October.  If interested in participating in their races or knowing more about team ortho, click here. Besides you get some really cook stuff –

Look at this hat that I got from the Monster Dash!

Hope to see some of you at the races – either participating or just cheering us on!