Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Active Recognizes DeMartino & Westlund as Event Directors of the Month

Go to to read Active's recognition of CC's Coaches Jeanne DeMartino & Gary Westlund as "Event Director[s] of the Month" in their monthly e-newsletter, The Edge, which goes to Event Directors around the world.
(Photo: 3 of 6 2009 RRCA MN State 5k Masters & Grand Masters Champions, Roxann Schmitz, Katzuyuki Yamamoto & Raymond Mitchell, between Gary Westlund and Jeanne DeMartino, CC Events Directors at the Easter Sunday 5k, April 12, Como Lake, St Paul, MN.)

Coach Jeanne and Gary Westlund, Event Directors of CC's 23 Annual Events, are very gratified to be recognized by, the leading online activities registration/training service in the world.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Sunday - Rise 'n' Shine 5k Stories & Photos

April 12, 2009 - Como Lake, St Paul, MN

Charities Challenge's 2nd Annual Challenge Easter Sunday – Rise ‘n’ Shine 5k served nearly 200 participants to families’ & friends’ sunny Sunday RxExercise experience of a timed 5k and fun 1.5 mile fitness walk, representing an 80% growth over snowy 2008 Easter Sunday 5k!

The Easter Sunday 5k continues as “The Only Easter Sunday Road Race in Minnesota” and one of very few such “Actively Celebrating Life” racing events in America.
This year’s pleasant conditions allowed us to have Josh Gerber, and his brother Danny, officially time the 2nd ES5k for the first time, so we have ES5k results and records. With Danny's and others' help with timing, Josh even got to run a fast 5k himself in the middle of his morning's busy-business of timing and scoring and always being winsomely pleasant to everyone. Read Josh's story at his blog

The Easter Sunday 5k records will stand as worthy goals for those who will return on April 4, 2010, for the 3rd Annual ES – Rise ‘n’ Shine 5k . Online registration is already open via Active

The ES5k is the 3rd of CC’s 9 Holiday Run Events for 2009, emphasizing the Power of RxExercise to improve lives and even relationships every day, and especially so on sometimes stressful holidays. Yes! Exercise is powerful, happy medicine, as seen in the “Miles of Smiles” online slideshow

The following stories and photos are about some of the noteworthy performances from the 2nd ES5k:
1. Foregoing personally participating in the ES5k, 6 CC Race Event Workers (CCREW) volunteers worked busily throughout the morning in delivering a memorable experience to so many others. Thanks to:
Jeanne DeMartino
Kent Spellman
Rick Recker
Lynn Lyons
Naveed Mohammed
Katie DeMartino Liberko

2. And more “Thanks!” to CCREW who both worked before and/or after their 5k race to help take up the rest of the essential duties of delivering a pleasant experience to others.
Monte Guenzler
Beth Buck & Kids
Mary Ann Gariepy
Danielle Gordanier
Bruce Leasure

3. Overall first place finisher, Brian Davenport, M34, Minneapolis, in an ES5k record time of 17:21. (Photo: Brian a few steps from the finish line.)

4. First women’s division winner and 2nd overall finisher, Amy Lyons, F23, was just 20 seconds trailing Brian to the finish line. (Photo: Amy about to finish.)

5. The youngest finisher and setting an ES5k record was Dallas Buck, age 10. (Photo: Dallas, Beth Buck, Kent Spellman.)

6. The eldest-athlete finisher, and age group winner, was 73 year young Sy Gross. (Photo: David Weissbrodt, Sy Gross, Mary Gariepy, Beth & Emma Buck.)

7. Three RRCA MN 5k 2009 State Masters & Grand Masters Champions whose winners’ plaques had not arrived in time for the April 4th Challenge Obesity 5k happily received their awards at the ES5k:
Raymond Mitchell
, RRCA Mens Masters 5k State Champion
Katzuyuki Yamamoto, Men’s Grand Masters 5k State Champion
Roxann Schmitz, Women’s Grand Masters 5k State Champion
(Photo: Coach Gary Westlund, RRCA MN State 5k Champions Roxann Schmitz, Katzuyuki Yamamoto, Raymond Mitchell, and Coach Jeanne DeMartino.)

8. More than 50% of ES5k racers have raced in other CC Events.
9. Athletes were visiting from 7 other states and Canada.
10. Easter Lilies, a unique ES5k award, were presented to various division winners.

(Photo: Women's winner, Amy Lyons center, Coach Gary Westlund, Dad Curt & Mom Lynn Lyons, Coach Jeanne DeMartino, left to right. See Curt Lyons professional race photos

Next up for CC Holiday Run Events: Mothers Day 5k, Sunday,

May 10, back at Como Lake where we'll together enjoy a "Celebration of Active Generations"

Monday, April 6, 2009

Challenge Obesity 5k (4th Annual) - 2009 RRCA MN State 5k Championship

April 4, 2009 - Como Lake, St Paul, MN
Charities Challenge's 4th Annual Challenge Obesity 5k - 2009 RRCA MN State 5k Championship continued to see growth in the numbers of participants coming to the only road race where weight-challenged athletes of all shapes and sizes will be honored, cheered and celebrated for thePower of [their] RxExercise in meeting overweight and obesity challenges.

Complete race results/records/awards and fabulous online photos slideshow with Challenge Obesity theme song music is available under "Past Events" section on CC's home page

This Challenge Event of all our CC Health-related Challenge Events (Hearts & Minds, Cancer, Diabetes, Arthritis, Aging) throughout the year brings together the happiest crowd of active celebrants of life, including loving family and friends who are so proud of those "Big Losers who are Big Winners" at the CO5k.

The following statistics and stories are about the 113 registered athletes, 82 of whom completed the 5k competing in the RRCA MN State 5k Championship the 4th Annual Challenge Obesity 5k.
1. Nearly 40% were running their first ever road race.
2. About 25% reported losing more than 30lbs; 16 more than 50lbs; 8 more than 100lbs!
3. Bib #s were assigned in reverse order of weight loss, so Roxann Schmitz of St Cloud, MN, having lost 189lbs, wore bib #1 for the first time in her life at a road race.
4. Roxann Schmitz went on to win the 2009 RRCA MN State 5k Women's Grand Masters Division Championship (over age 50)!

(Photo: Last year's Grand Champion, Siglinde Moore, passing the Champ's plaque to Roxann)

5. Winning the 2009 RRCA MN State 5k Men's Grand Masters Division Championship (over age 50), was Katzuyuki Yamamoto, coming all the way from Osaka Japan years ago, now living in St Paul and happily racing CC Events. (Photo: Allen Gibas, M63, who finished seconds behind "Katz", and Coach Jeanne DeMartino who also served as race announcer.)

6. Jeanette Lepore, running in her first-ever road race, running in the Athena Wt Class Division (Women >145 lbs), and celebrating having lost over 50 lbs, won the 2009 RRCA MN State 5k Women's Masters Division Championship (ages 40-49)!

7. 48 Year Young Mike Davis won the 2009 RRCA MN State 5k Open Men's Division Championship with @ 17:05 time. (Photo: Mike Davis with 1 lap to go 'round Como Lake win.)

8. 15 Year Young, Hannah Strom, in her 1st ever road race, won the 2009 RRCA MN State 5k Open Women's Division Championship.

9. Raymond Mitchell, M42, held off very strong Ben Eskin to win 2009 RRCA MN State 5k Men's Masters Division Championship (ages 40-49). (Photo: Ben Eskin, M42, former MN Gophers Linebacker and Raymond Mitchell sharing congratulations right after CO5k)

10. Regular CC Events racer, Don Soule, M59, also a 100+ lb weight loss winner, ran well with his new heart pacemaker.
MarathonMan Don Soule wrote today about his CO5k experiences:
"Top Ten Reasons the Challenge Obesity 5K was a Great Race!
#12. My wife Meredith was there cheering me on!
(Also Coach Gary, Coach Jeanne and all the Charities Challenge
workers and fans)
#11. Any time I can get out and run 3 miles, it's a great day!
#10. I finished before all the walkers !!
# 9. Free snacks!
# 8. I beat my 2009 White Bear Winter Frolic 5K time !!
# 7. New post-PM PR !!!!
# 6. The odds are great for another post-PM PR in my next 5K !!!! (when I get my PM fine tuned correctly)
# 5. I was wearing the number 4 !!!! (This is the only place you can get rewarded for once weighing over 300 lbs. They give the lower numbers to those who lost the most weight number "1" went to someone who lost 189 lbs - # 2 had lost 165 lbs)
# 4. At least I didn't need to lose 189 lbs !!!
# 3. Came in 1st in the Male 55-59 age group !!!!!! (Did I mention there was 1 runner in the male 55-59 age group - I've heard this is one of the perks of getting older and entering small local races).
# 2. I was a "Real Bread Winner" !!! (They give loaves of healthy bread as prizes to:
1) the winners. 2) whoever the race director deems deserving that day.
3) whoever hangs around for the awards ceremony on a beautiful 30 degree Minnesota spring morning.)

(Photo: Don and Coach Jeanne - Celebrate 100+ lb loss plus running with New Pacemaker)
# 1. ANOTHER T-SHIRT !!!! Plus All the Great Pictures !!!"

10. Another regular CC Event walker, Wendy Tolenen, reported having lost 80 lbs since first walking a CC Event a couple years ago. (After the CO5k Wendy wrote: "Just wanted to say thanks for putting together these great walks. I wanted to talk to you afterwards, but you were so busy. I wanted to tell you that since Sharon and I have been doing your walks, I have lost 80 pounds! i've attached a pic from one of the 1st walks and one from the Valentines day walk. I'm so glad I participate in the Charities Challenge walks they've changed my life! : )"
Wendy included one photo (below) from just a couple years ago at another Challenge Event. And next to that photo is Wendy on finishing the CO5k on Saturday, still walking/running with her cheerleading friend, Sharon Rosner.

11. Everyone cheered all the “Big Losers as Big Winners” both before and after the 5k.
12. The most enthusiastic participants at the 4th Annual Challenge Obesity 5k were again those who came to celebrate The Power of (their) RxExercise in improving their lives,or the lives of their loved ones, well beyond their weight management challenges and so were the very models of "Challenge Obesity".
13. 12 went home as "Real Bread Winners" for a variety of racing and volunteering brilliance. (Photo: Real Bread Winners)

14. 10 year young, Anastasia Davis-Dunbar, who won a writing contest about her first running/racing experience, thereby earning a complimentary entry into the CO5k race where she set an age group record, running with her dad, Jeremy, and went home a "Real Bread Winner", too. "Keep creatively writing and imaginatively running, Anastasia"!

(Photo: CC Coach Jeanne DeMartino, Anastasia, dad Jeremy)

We can read Anastasia's winning story at including her report about running the CO5k.

Next up for Charities Challenge and all you happy to "Share the RxExercise Challenge" with family and friends at our Holiday Run Series...

The 2nd Annual Easter Sunday - Rise 'n' Shine 5k at Como Lake this Sunday, April 12

Come "Rise 'n' Shine" with us on Sunday and start your day with RxExercise.