Providence Marathon: Calling an Audible

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I’ve heard the saying “Control the Controllables” before but when I heard it this week it sunk in even more. With the COVID-19 pandemic tossing the world upside down, there is so much anxiety, confusion, anger and unknown that focusing on “controlling the controllables” seems like really good advice to listen to.

Earlier this week, I received notice that the Providence Marathon is being cancelled. Though it remains unclear at this time if the race is going to be rescheduled, it is clear that toeing the starting line for a marathon in May is not happening.

What made this news even tougher to take was the fact that my brother was going to run the half-marathon that day and I was raising funds for The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition in honor of my dad who is currently battling the disease. I’ve spent several weeks training and have felt strong out on long runs since I kicked off the training. But, given the current health pandemic facing our nation, cancelling the race only makes sense. To be honest, I wouldn’t feel comfortable tackling a marathon with a group of runners by my side in May and the race organizers, like so many who have had to make a tough decision, made the right decision.

Instead of being upset or getting angry about the marathon being cancelled, I’m going to control the controllables. This morning I still made my way out for my 18 mile training run and felt strong out on the roads. Fresh air has an extra special effect these days and pounding the pavement is a great way to put all the worries of COVID-19 behind you.

I’ve made it this far on my training plan and I am not backing down. When the morning that the Providence Marathon was supposed to take place arrives, I am going to still run 26.2 miles that day and tackle a marathon on my own. It won’t be on the course and it won’t be an official marathon, but both in support of the fundraising I have done for The MSA Coalition and as a final nod to my training plan I am running a marathon that day one way or another! And if they do in fact reschedule the marathon for later this year, well, then I am running two marathons this year!

I hope all of my running friends and their families are healthy and well and know that together we will all get through this current craziness. Keep getting out on the roads or trails, take in that fresh air and remember to control the controllables!

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Save Lives by Providing Alzheimer’s Caregivers Virus Protection Kits!

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Caregivers all across the U.S. are in desperate need of protective equipment, such as masks, gloves, and sanitizer to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.

Shortages and price-gouging have meant that many can’t find, access, or can’t afford these protective products.

To meet this need, the InvestAcure Foundation, the non-profit arm of InvestAcure, PBC has launched Operation CareShield. (The InvestAcure Foundation is a 501c3, tax-exempt organization.)

Over 16 million caregivers provide 18.4 billion hours of unpaid care to family members and friends with Alzheimer’s. COVID-19 poses a high mortality risk for both those living with Alzheimer’s and the caregivers they rely on.

Join The Running Griffin in donating $10 today to help provide Care Shields for health care workers taking care of patients with Alzheimer’s.

You can donate online and learn more by clicking here.

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HESSCO Elder Services

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This weekend’s Mick Morgan’s Annual 5k Road Race had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This 5K race kicks off at local Irish pub Mick Morgan’s Sharon and raises funds for HESSCO Elder Services.

Health & Social Services Consortium, Inc. (HESSCO) provides care, support and solutions for adults 60 and older, persons living with a disability and their caregivers to maintain safe, independent living at home in the community.

To learn more about HESSCO and to find out ways to support their efforts, please visit their website by clicking here.

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Runners: Let’s Help Out

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The COVID-19 pandemic is causing our world to be turned upside down. As runners, we have seen races small and large be either postponed or cancelled outright. Tough decisions need to be made by Race Directors and it’s up to us to support those tough decisions and stand with those Race Directors making a decision no one envies having to make.

So many races today are now significant fundraising endeavors for non-profit organizations. For races that are being cancelled, unfortunately non-profit organizations will be losing out on significant funds aimed at supporting their endeavors and noble causes. For some small non-profits, a road race is a great way to infuse a significant amount of funding into an organization and with races being cancelled clearly funding for non-profits is going to suffer.

If you know of a road race that was being held in support of  non-profit organization that has been cancelled, please let me know. I would like to share information about that non-profit to help gain exposure for the work they are doing and potentially have readers donate to an organization they might see they support.

Please email me (therunninggriffin@gmail.com) details and I will post as many organizations and races as possible to help spread awareness.

Hope everyone remains healthy and safe during these crazy times.

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Join me at the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Road Race!

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On March 21st make your way out to Ireland Parish, now known as Holyoke, Massachusetts, and take part in the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Road Race! This iconic 10K race is a bucket-list run for runners and what better time to tackle the race than this year!

This 10K road race takes place on Saturday and is followed by one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country on Sunday. Holyoke’s rich Irish heritage comes out to shine this weekend as the city turns green for both residents and visitors alike.

The 10K course is a good, challenging course with some nice hills mixed in for good measure but the crowd support along the course is reminiscent of larger, iconic marathons or half-marathon races. Bagpipers, people cheering, even a quick beer table to refuel in the final mile all come complete with a really great course and all around fun atmosphere.

The race kicks off and finishes in the heart of downtown Holyoke and post-race merriment is aplenty wherever you look. Live Irish music and a pint have a unique way of making the miles logged all but fade away.

Having grown up in Holyoke, I have a certain affection for this race that I certainly want everyone to share in and am convinced if you sign up you will truly enjoy the run. I’ve run the race more times than I can probably count and this year both Mrs. Running Griffin and our oldest daughter will be tacking the course, too!

To register for the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Road Race, please click here. Look forward to seeing you in the Paper City in a few weeks!

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Discount Code for West Island 5K

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Registration is now open for the West Island 5K run and this is definitely a race to take in this April!

The race takes place in the West Island section of the coastal town of Fairhaven, Massachusetts and the course is USA Track and Field Certified featuring a mostly flat and fast loop throughout scenic West Island. Runners take off on a fast and downhill start and a sharp uphill incline into the finish line adds a really nice challenge into the race.  Each mile will be marked and a water station will be fully stocked at the 1.5-mile point. Throughout the course, local residents line the route particularly at the finish line cheering runners into the finish.

In addition to running a really nice course, runners can feel good about supporting a great cause when registering for the race as all proceeds go to the Fairhaven High School Cross Country program and to the non-profit, Strive and Achieve.

I have run the West Island 5K a couple times and highly recommend the race. For a previous race recap, click here.

Be sure to give a “Like” to the West Island 5K on Facebook by clicking here to keep up to date with race day details and additional information.

To register for the West Island 5K, please click here. Use discount code RUNCLUB5OFF to save $5 off your registration fee!

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2020 Miles for MSA: Providence Marathon

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On Sunday, May 3rd I will be heading to Providence, Rhode Island to run the Providence Marathon. You  might think I am crazy to run another marathon but this year I have a good reason to run 26.2 miles. (Okay, I might be a little bit crazy, too)

My father, Mike, has been diagnosed with MSA, also known as Multiple System Atrophy. If you are like me, prior to my dad’s diagnosis I had never heard of MSA and so as we continue the  journey through the world of MSA I wander through the confusion as to what the disease is and have begun exploring the nuanced facets of a disease so few people know about.

The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition has a primary purpose of assisting researchers to find a cure. In the meantime, The Coalition also provides much needed patient and caregiver support, educational resources, and advocacy to create awareness and to fight for issues important to the MSA community.

My dad has always been there for me and now it’s time to do my part and I ask you to join me in trying to find a cure for MSA. I wish there was a simple answer with this disease; that with “x” treatment or with “y” pill he would be better but I understand it’s just not this simple.

Running 26.2 mile sure isn’t easy but when compared to what my dad and all those battling MSA are up again it pales in comparison. Pounding the pavement to raise awareness and funds for MSA; let’s do this!

So, will you join me in helping work to find a cure for MSA?

Please consider supporting my efforts with a donation today. Click here to donate online!

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