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The Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee 1000K

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What do you do after just completing a marathon? A normal person might put their feet up for a few days, relax and swear off ever running again. If you haven’t yet realized, I’m not normal.

So, in the spirit of doing silly things I decided to sign up for The Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee 1000K. Virtual runs have generally been something I have avoided in the past simply because I have seen far too many virtual runs merely be a money making enterprise for individuals looking to make a quick buck. For-profit virtual runs just seem like a quick, cheap way to take advantage of people looking to get a medal and maybe a tee-shirt all while charging runners way above what a normal, live race might charge.

However, with the COVID-19 world cancelling races all over, I have seen some virtual runs looking to raise money for charities and non-profit organizations due to the inability to host in-person races. Out of darkness comes some hope; out of the negativity of races being cancelled, kudos to those looking to make a difference.

The Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee 1000K is a virtual 1000K trek across the entire state of Tennessee that will take place between now and August 31st. The race is raising funds for Feeding America and will help stock the shelves of food pantries across Tennessee. Runners upload their mileage on the honor system and those who complete the 1000K between now and the end of August will receive a finisher medal. Tee-shirts are also provided as part of the registration.

To join me in running across Tennessee, register for The Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee 1000K  by clicking here.

Categories: Uncategorized

2020 Virtual Providence Marathon Finisher!

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This weekend was supposed to be the Providence Marathon but as we all know the world is turned upside down and the race had to be cancelled. Despite the race trying to reschedule for later in the year, the organizers could not lock in a new weekend in the fall so the Providence Marathon moved to a virtual edition.

This morning it was time to put the training to the test and tackle 26.2 miles. I decided to stay close to home and run the 26.2 miles through Bridgewater, Massachusetts, where I live. The weather was proving to be a great day for running with temperatures in the high 40’s when I started off and ending around 60 degrees and sunny at the time of finish. All things considered, a great day for a run!

Overall, I knew today was going to be a different kind of run and finishing the 26.2 miles was the goal. I felt quite strong the first 18 miles or so but then hit the wall pretty hard. Fortunately, Mrs. Running Griffin met me at mile 22 with some Nuun and I started to bounce back quite a bit. I finished the Virtual 2020 Providence Marathon with a time of 4:51:07, good for 11:07/miles. Not my best marathon, no my worst. I’ll take it!

Running a solo marathon is an interesting journey. All the benefits of a true marathon ranging from fans to aid stations along the way make a huge difference. A motivational “you got this” can go a long way. A random band, a good cheer, a funny sign. All not there today.

But even without those items, I had a couple other things to keep me going today along the 26.2 mile course. First, the amazing Mrs. Running Griffin and our two girls drove and met me at different part of the course and provided an inspirational beep (at times excessive, but appreciated), tossed me water or Nuun and smiled and clapped. They also were a huge support system during training runs and helped continue to keep me motivated.

Next, thanks to people around Bridgewater who recognized me, gave a friendly wave or a beep. It was great to see some friends and family out on the course from time to time and despite there not being throngs of people lining the course like an official marathon, I am grateful to those who helped make today’s run special. A couple water bottles for me out on the course thanks to some friends was awesome and seeing how people would smile and wave brought a smile to my own face.

Lastly, and most importantly, the other thing that kept me moving today was thoughts of my dad and a deep appreciation for all of those who donated to The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition in support of my marathon run and in honor of my dad who is currently battling MSA.

After I finished the run, I called my dad and he thanked me for running to which I noted, “It’s the least I can do; but, just about the most my calves can do.” As I was on my run, I reflected upon how tackling 26.2 miles is no small effort but when compared to battling MSA with the heroic might my father is, running a marathon is nothing. And if putting one foot in front of the other for 26.2 miles can help rally people to awareness of MSA and in so doing can help raise more than $5,700 for The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition then each pang, blister or destroyed sneaker I currently have is all quite worth it.

Thank you to everyone who donated to The MSA Coalition; it means the world to me and my family. If you are interested, in making a post-run donation to cheer on finishing the marathon please click here.

Not how I drew up running the Providence Marathon but when life hands you lemons, don’t suck. I’m a 2020 Virtual Providence Marathon finisher!

Categories: Uncategorized

Athletic Brewing Company

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Last year prior to running the Fargo Half-Marathon I took a month off of any alcohol. I don’t drink a ton, but I am a big fan of good, local craft beer and enjoy having a beer or two a week with dinner or when with friends. As I am training for a 26.2 mile run in May (have been training for the Providence Marathon which has been canceled due to coronavirus) taking another respite from any alcohol for the month of April sounds like a good plan!

Thanks to the good folks at Athletic Brewing Company runners and athletes of all kinds can now enjoy a great non-alcoholic beer that is high on taste and free from any alcohol. I honestly was a bit skeptical going in but I am a true believer after having now had Athletic Brewing’s great offerings!

I have had two of Athletic’s offerings, their Run Wild IPA and the Upside Dawn Golden Ale. The Run Wild IPA has a nice, fresh IPA flavor to it more in line with a traditional IPA than one of the juicier NEIPA style beers you’ll find. The Upside Dawn Golden Ale is crisp and smooth and both beers packed a lot of true flavor into the taste and provided a refreshing and smooth non-alcoholic alternative to regular beer.

Athletic also brews the Free Way Double Hop IPA and the All Out Stout. Look forward to trying these ones soon!

Athletic Brewing is brewed in Connecticut and has a great story about how the brewery came to fruition. Click here to read more about Athletic Brewing Company.

Because Athletic Brewing offers non-alcoholic beer, they can ship their offering fresh to your doorstep. If you are interested in ordering Athletic Brewing, please click here to shop their offerings and have it shipped to you today!

For more information about Athletic Brewing Company, please click here to visit their website. Give them a “Like” on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

Categories: Uncategorized

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!

Categories: Uncategorized

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.

Categories: Uncategorized

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.

Categories: Uncategorized

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.

Categories: Uncategorized