Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Run or Walk Christmas Day 5k and/or New Year's Eve 5k

You’re invited to run, walk and/or volunteer Charities Challenge’s last Holiday Run Events for 2014, both at Como Lake in St Paul, on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Thursday, Dec 25, is the 9th Annual Christmas Day – Joyful 5k experience at Como Lake in St Paul, MN. Start time 10 AM. This continues to be “The Biggest Christmas Day 5k in the USA”.

Wednesday, Dec 31, is the 6th Annual New Year’s Eve – Hopeful 5k experience at Como Lake in St Paul, MN. Start time 3 PM. Learn more about the last Holiday Run of 2014 & post-race party here

Looking for active gifts to give to family/friends that will run throughout 2015? Find at the CC web site the special reduced entry fee offer for the 2015 Holiday Run Series of 12x events and the 2015 Taking on All Challenges 8x Series of events.

Throughout 2014 at CC’s RxExercise Events we celebrated the Power of RxExercise to improve the health and lives, and even the relationships of thousands, especially improving the lives of so many of us who live well beyond our health challenges due to chronic diseases like arthritis, cancer, depression, diabetes, or accidental serious injuries.

Christmas Day is a day to celebrate all those “Miracle Miles” so many of us have walked and run together in 2014, and to encourage our loved ones to join us by coming alongside us on Christmas morning for a fun walk/run.
If you're among those already pre-registered, Thank You! Perhaps you'll want to forward this invitation to more of your family & friends to join you, too.

Christmas Day – Joyful 5k Race Day Check-in for pre-registered, and race day registration, opens at 9 AM at the beautiful lakeside pavilion on Como Lake. Enjoy:
  1. Long-sleeve commemorative shirt
  2. Christmas Day 5k collectible ornament for first 250 registered
  3. Happy holiday motivating music and announcer
  4. Healthful tasty treats and a variety of hot beverages
  5. Unique free fabulous photos and online slideshow + Liveality personalized photos memories online book and optional beautiful glossy printed photos memories book.
  6. Miles of Smiles shared by families & friends Holiday Run
  7. Beautifully "Ugly" Christmas Sweater Photos Contest - More fun!

For more inspiring “Christmas Day – Joyful 5k” registration  information, press release, online photos slideshows of past events, and even a great “History of Christmas”, go to

Any tax-deductible contributions added to your entry fee or sent separately will continue serving others’ RxExercise needs by supporting Charities Challenge year ‘round RxExercise Mission, Programs, Partnerships, Services and Events.

The Christmas Holiday Run Event has become for many of us a particularly meaningful, and memorable Christmas Day’s Families & Friends Tradition of RxExercise, because “Brighter, Lighter Days & Miles of Smiles Come with Sharing Our RxExercise Every Day”.

We CC Race Event Worker (CCREW) volunteers look forward to seeing you at Como Lake on Christmas morning where together we’ll enjoy an active “Miracles Miles” morning.

More CCREW are always welcome to join us in delivering another Holiday Event. RSVP if you want to join our rewarding experience as a CCREW volunteer. What a great active gift of volunteering you’ll be giving to so many others as a CCREW member!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Run or Walk Halloween Fearless 5k – Chase Away Fears on Saturday, Oct 25 @ Como Lake

 invited to run, walk and/or volunteer at Charities Challenge’s 6th Annual Halloween Fearless 5k – Chase Away Fears Event at Como Lake, St Paul, Saturday, October 25, starting at 9 AM.

For more information, online and printable mail-in entry registration form, go to

Pre-register online or by mail for lowest entry fee $29!
Entry fee increases to $34 after Sunday, Oct 19.
Race day registration is $45.

Professionally timed 5k on a lakeside USATF certified course and the simultaneous 1.5 Mile Family & Friends Fun Walk will start at 9 AM. The events will start/finish near the lovely lakeside pavilion.

We'll party lakeside, celebrating the Power of RxExercise to improve lives and even reduce fears and anxiety.

Registration includes:
A) “Halloween Fearless 5k” party atmosphere including lots of participants in costume
B) Classy commemorative Halloween Fearless 5k long sleeve shirt
C) Pro-timed race results according to complete USATF divisions
D) Halloween Motivational Music & Announcer to give you a “Shout Out”
E) Enthusiastic CC Race Event Workers (CCREW) volunteers.
F) Photography and unique post-race online “Miles of Smiles” slideshow
G) Videography & online fun show
H) Free online personal Photos Memory Book by Liveality
I) Healthful hot & cold refreshments & Halloween Treats
J) Convenient, free parking, and indoor heated restrooms

Chase Away Fears! Yes, RxExercise has been shown to even improve the management of fearful depression and anxiety.

Only 4% of Americans ever run & less than 2% ever run/walk a road race! Non-exercisers fear exercise and fear that their efforts to improve their health/fitness will be a waste of time.

Actively demonstrate your friendly fearlessness as an active runner/walker by sharing your run/walk with others who may have been fearful of RxExercise and entering a 5k road race.

RxExercise has been discovered to be the “magic pill” for reducing a variety of fearsome health risks including arthritis, cancer, depression, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and more.

So, come together where we’re all making a difference by helping people to live well today and every day by actively supporting Charities Challenge ongoing RxExercise Programs and CC’s Special Holiday Run Events like Saturday’s Halloween Fearless 5k.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Run, Walk or Volunteer - Challenge Aging 5k @ Como Lake, Sunday, Sept 21

Walk, run or actively volunteer for the 8th Annual Challenge Aging 5k Event, this Sunday, September 21, at Como Lake, St Paul, MN, 9 AM Start.

Fabulous forecast for last full day of summer at Como Lake: Sunny, 57-67 F. and “Miles of Smiles”!

For more information including online registration option go to

For the first time ever, Challenge Aging 5k will serve as the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) MN State 5k Championship! At the event page you will find details about the eight championship medals that will be earned by four different age divisions, other important event news, and articles about successful aging with exercise.

We'll Party in the Park on Sunday morning with amazing athletes of all ages leading the way into advancing ages!

We'll celebrate:
1. A unique “Celebrating Strength & Successful Aging” Theme.
2. The inspiration of running and walking with truly remarkable and inspiring “Well-Aged Athletes” demonstrating The Power of RxExercise to improve lives throughout all our years.
3. Unique Bib Numbers Assignment: Bib #s will be going in inverse order of pre-registered athletes’ ages. (So far, #1 will be worn by a man age 85!)

4. Earning a one-of-a-kind-in-America road racing “Challenge Aging 5k” commemorative t-shirt.
5. Enjoy the cheerful welcome and expert support of CC Race Event Workers (CCREW) volunteers, and healthful tasty treats.
6. Recognition by race announcer & Ageless Motivational Music.
7. Fabulous photographic record and online CC Photos slide show of your racing the event. See last year’s event photos via the CC site.
8. Free personal online photos Memory Book from LIVEALITY to share with family/friends
9.Recognition for many race division winners.
10. More memorable “Miles of Smiles”!

Why “Challenge Aging”?
The BAD NEWS: Because advancing age beyond age 35 is highly related to increasing adverse risks to health and happiness of “Usual Aging”.

“Usual Aging”, according to gerontologists, involves a variety of serious challenges to health and happiness and even good relationships.
“Usual Aging” is how most people age...badly and sadly.

The GOOD NEWS: Alternatively, we each can choose to actively pursue what gerontologists call “Successful Aging”.
There are a variety of personal habits that contribute to successful aging. But, one habit is paramount: Exercise.

Strength through exercise is the major variable in “Successful Aging”.

Note: “Real Aging” for physically fit & athletic individuals after age 40 is slowed to ¼ the rate of “Usual Aging” effects in sedentary individuals.

Active athletes are really younger than their chronological years and tend to be happier-healthier than sedentary individuals.

Exercise is a big part of why, for example, my own “Real Age” is 53, ten years younger than my chronological age of 63.
How would you like to be ten, or twenty, years younger than your advancing chronological age?

You’re welcome to visit CC’s Challenge Aging 5k page to find links to online programs that allow you to estimate your real age, and then come Saturday to celebrate your youthfulness through your RxExercise.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Run or Walk Challenge Arthritis 5k at Como Lake, St Paul, Saturday, August 23

You’re invited to run, walk or volunteer at Charities Challenge’s 10th Annual Challenge Arthritis 5k Event at Como Lake, St Paul, Saturday, August 23, starting at 8 AM.

For more information including online registration option go to Register today!

The professionally timed 5k on a lakeside USATF certified course and the simultaneous 1.5 Mile Family & Friends Fun Walk will start at 8 AM. The Kids Challenge Fun Run will start about 9:15 AM after the 5k event is completed. The events will start/finish near the lovely lakeside pavilion.

Pre-registration is $29 through Sunday, Aug 17, $33 Aug 18-20; race-day registration is $40; reduced rates for the Kids Challenge Fun Run includes commemorative shirt.

We'll party lakeside, celebrating the Power of RxExercise to improve the lives of family & friends living well beyond a variety of arthritis challenges. Registration includes:
A) “Celebrating Strong Steps with Arthritis” party atmosphere
B) Commemorative colorful Challenge Arthritis 5k shirt
C) Race results according to complete USATF divisions
D) Compete for Challenge Arthritis 5k records
E) Motivational Challenge Arthritis theme music
F) Enthusiastic CC Race Event Workers (CCREW) volunteers. NOTE: Please join our Rewarding CCREW volunteers whenever you may not be racing. RSVP by e-mail with or phone 612-245-9160 to join our happy CCREW.
G) Complimentary photography and unique post-race online “Miles of Smiles” slideshow
H) Pro-videography and online show
I) Healthful, tasty refreshments
J) Free and convenient parking & indoor restrooms

Because of their commitment to their own RxExercise regimen many are living well beyond their arthritis challenges. These Arthritis-Challenged Honored Athletes will inspire each of us to maintain our own stronger hearts and minds with our own RxExercise.

Please refer to CC and the Challenge Arthritis Event anyone you know that we may celebrate as they continue their successful, active living beyond their arthritis challenges.

Come meet and cheer each of our Arthritis-Challenged Honored Athletes, and everyone who is racing to fill their exercise prescription. Brilliant!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Run or Walk Challenge Cancer 5k @ Como Lake, St Paul, Saturday, July 26

You're invited to run, walk or volunteer at Charities Challenge’s very special 10th Annual Challenge Cancer 5k event at Como Lake, St Paul, Saturday, July 26, starting at 8 AM. For more information including online registration option go to Register today!

The timed 5k on a lakeside USATF certified course and the simultaneous 1.5 Mile Family & Friends Fun Walk will start at 8 AM. The Kids Challenge 1/2 & 1/4 Mile Fun Run will start about 9:15 AM.

The events will start/finish near the lovely lakeside pavilion. Pre-registration is $29 'til Sunday, July 20; $33 July 21-23; race-day registration is $40. Online pre-registration closes at Midnight, Wednesday, July 23.

We'll party lakeside next Saturday morning, celebrating the Power of RxExercise to improve the lives of family & friends living well beyond a variety of challenging cancers. Registration includes:

A) “Celebrating Active Cancer Survivors” energized atmosphere
B) Commemorative Celebrating Active Cancer Survivors” shirt
C) 5k race results according to complete USATF divisions
D) Motivational Challenge Cancer theme music & announcer
E) Enthusiastic CC Race Event Workers (CCREW) volunteers. NOTE: Whenever you may not be racing, please join our Rewarding CCREW volunteers. RSVP with me by e-mail or phone to join our happy CCREW.
F) Photography and unique post-race online “Miles of Smiles” slideshow + pro-videography
G) Healthful, tasty refreshments
H) Convenient, free parking & indoor restrooms
I) Stay after races at Como Lake to continue your own family/friends lakeside picnic, or dine in at lakeside Black Bear Crossings CafĂ©.

Because of their commitment to their RxExercise, before and after their cancer challenges, many have better survived and are continuing to make happier, stronger comebacks to a better quality of life. These Challenged Honored Athletes will inspire each of us to maintain our own RxExercise. We’ll especially be celebrating, and learning from, the improved quality of life of several “Cancer-Challenged Honored Athletes” who are living well beyond cancer challenges because of their RxExercise.

Please refer to CC and the Challenge Cancer Event anyone you know whom we may celebrate as they continue their comeback from cancer challenges.

Learn more about the Power of RxExercise relative to cancer challenges from the “Cancer News &  RxExercise” article at the CC web site

Only about 20% of cancer patients are enjoying the special benefits of exercise. Most non-exercisers report a lack of exercise leadership programs and opportunities designed for cancer patients/survivors. So, you’re helping cancer patients and survivors today and every day by supporting Charities Challenge ongoing RxExercise Programs and Events like Saturday’s Challenge Cancer 5k where we celebrate active cancer survivors who are “More Than Survivors”.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Kids & Outdoor Play and Exercise

What were your and your childhood friends’ experiences with outdoor exercise and playful exploration?

Would I have had the daily happy, healthful outdoor adventures and exercise if my parents had been arrested for allowing me to play at the local NE Minneapolis Windom Park without adult supervision? Nope.

And, then I would not have enjoyed the lifetime health benefits, benefits physical, psychological, social, that came with being so physically active with all those other kids.

(Here’s a story today about being arrested for allowing one’s age nine child to play in the park without adult supervision )

My memories are filled with walking, hiking and running, both alone and with many other children, far and wide throughout my neighborhood. Even when visiting various rural settings with my folks, I'd find new environs to explore.

I remember sandlot pick-up baseball, hiking through undeveloped urban forests’ trails to collect rocks and insects, running through fields after butterflies with my home-made net, even after sunset flashlight tag games during moonless nights.

From the time I was age five and walking to and from my neighborhood school with or without classmates, I was quite safe.  I recall a general awareness of rarely being altogether unattended either by other kids or adults who were walking, working or even driving nearby. I was quite safe, as were all those hundreds of kids with whom I played through my early years.

Sadly, something has changed in America since the 1950s that has resulted in so many kids not being nearly as naturally, happily and healthfully active out-of-doors as they once were.

What are we to think of the simultaneous message that kids ought to be more physically active, safe as ever in the out-of-doors while playing in their neighborhoods and parks, but they must always be attended by their parents or a guardian?
Wouldn’t it be a grand world where every child has healthy-fit, able-bodied, an always-ready-to-go outside-to-play parents?
 But that world will never be. I didn’t have that ready-to-go-play-outside partner in either of my parents while growing up. Did you?
Today I actively support the YMCA and love seeing all the well-supervised kids.
But, there will never be enough YMCAs and other similarly well placed and organized kids’ play programs with adult supervision.

Meantime…Best wishes, especially to all the kids.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Run, Walk or Volunteer - Free to Run 4 Miles @ Lake Phalen, St Paul, Friday, July 4th

You’re invited to run, walk or volunteer at the Charities ChallengeFree to Run 4 Miles on the 4th of July – Actively Celebrating Liberty” experience around beautiful Lake Phalen in St Paul, MN, next Friday. Race start time is 8 AM.

Go to for more inspiring “Free to Run 4 Miles – Celebrating Liberty” event information, online registration option, and printable promotional fliers with mail-in registration forms.

This CC Holiday Run event is the Runners Club of America (RRCA) MN  State 4 Mile Championship for the 5th year in a row.

Every participant and volunteer will enjoy receiving:
1. A classy, commemorative “Celebrating Liberty” shirt
2. A pocket-size Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution (The only known 4th of July road race in America giving away these USA founding documents.)
3. Refreshments and more
4. 4th of July holiday motivational music and announcer
5. Free photographic record with fabulous post-event online slideshow displaying “Miles of Smiles"

Race results and records by CC’s official timing company Wayzata Results will be presented onsite by about 10 AM. Race results will also be posted online soon after the race.

8 Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) 2014 MN State 4 Miles Championship medals will go to men and women in four divisions:
Open Division winners (under age 40)
Masters winners (ages 40-49)
Grand Masters winners (ages 50-59)
Senior Masters winners (60 and up)

The event theme, “Celebrating Liberty”, emphasizes the freeing values to each of us “Exercising Freedom” as we enjoy the Power of Exercise as a powerful prescription (RxExercise) to improve lives. RxExercise is proven, irreplaceable “medicine” in improving the quality of lives, especially lives challenged by a variety of chronic diseases like arthritis, cancer, depression, diabetes, and heart disease.

Imagine: You can help improve the lives of so many health-challenged people today by inviting them to join you in "Exercising Freedom" and live well beyond life's challenges. Share the RxExercise Challenge!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Run or Walk Challenge Diabetes 5k Event at Como Lake, St Paul, Saturday, June 28

You’re invited to run, walk and/or volunteer at Charities Challenge’s 9th Annual Challenge Diabetes 5k Event at Como Lake, St Paul, next  Saturday, June 28, starting at 8 AM. For more information, online pre-registration go to

The weather forecast is for Miles o’ Smiles.

Pre-registration $29 goes up to $33 after midnight CDT Sunday, June 22, and closes on Wednesday, June 25 at Midnight CDT.

Race day ($40) registration opens from 6:45-7:45 AM near Como Lake’s lakeside historic white pavilion. Directions and map are also available via our CC web site. There's convenient free parking around the lakeside pavilion area.

Challenge Diabetes 5k is a special day to celebrate all of us who are “Taking Strong Steps to Defeat Diabetes”. We'll all party in the Park next Saturday morning!

We'll also enjoy:
1. Pro-timing for complete USATF divisions scoring by on USATF certified 5k course
2. Fabulous free photography, online slideshow
3. Earning a “Challenge Diabetes 5k” classy commemorative t-shirt
4. The cheerful welcome and expert support of CC Race Event Workers (CCREW) volunteers.
5. The inspiration of running and walking with truly remarkable “Challenged Honored Athletes” demonstrating The Power of RxExercise to improve lives of those challenged by diabetes.
6. Summertime motivational music and announcer’s recognition.
7. Healthful, tasty post-race treats.
8. Real-time Running & Walking RxExercise Celebrations by many of us who have used RxExercise to meet well our metabolic health challenges. We’ll be cheering lots of happy racers many of whom are no longer on diabetes meds because of their RxExercise. Brilliant!

RxExercise (Exercise as Medicine) has been determined to be twice as effective in managing Type II diabetes compared to the most powerful diabetes drug!

Yes, 90% of diabetes (NIDDM) is largely preventable and much more manageable with RxExercise!

We’ll especially be celebrating, and learning from, the improved quality of life of those Diabetes-Challenged Honored Athletes who are enjoying happier diabetes management because of their RxExercise.

Please refer to me and this special Challenge Diabetes 5k event anyone you know who is living well beyond diabetes with the help of their own exercise regimen so we may especially learn from and recognize them as Challenged Honored Athletes next Saturday.

Come next Saturday to Como Lake to race, walk, volunteer, and perhaps also offer to “Walk By My Side” with our diabetes-challenged family and friends until they can learn to “run” on their own.

Invite more family and friends to join you, too, by forwarding this e-invitation to them.

Charities Challenge Mission: To Improve Health/Fitness, Reduce Health Risks, and Enhance Disease Management via Goal-oriented RxExercise Training Programs, Engaging Events & Active Community Partnerships...

Because there is NO CURE for all the ills associated with lack of exercise…except RxExercise!

CC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

2014 Mothers Day 5k - Celebration of Active Generations Happy Report

Read and see here some of the marvelously memorable highlights from Charities Challenge 8th Annual Mothers Day 5k at beautiful Como Lake in St Paul, MN, May 11, 2014.

Find at the above linked event web page:
A. Race Results
B. Creative inspiring 2 min 44 sec video
C. Photos (1190!) slideshow with theme music
D. Highlights (85) photos included in "Miles of Smiles" online show

Highlights moments and scenes from 2014 Mothers Day 5k include:

1. 700 participants made it a full house (as CC limits the size of our events to keep them safer, more enjoyable, and allow for more of us to get to know one another and each others' inspiring stories).

2. 70% of the field were moms. Way to go moms!

3. 25% of the field of runners and walkers were doing their first-ever road race. Welcome to the wonderful world of road racing!

We're all so proud of our moms, grand moms, and great grand moms, that we cheerfully support their active pursuit of better and happier heart health.

Given that heart health is the greatest risk for premature death among women, and knowing that the number one prescription for improving heart health is exercise-as-medicine (RxExercise), Charities Challenge is committed to actively supporting exercise in all moms' busy lives.

Because of their loving commitment to their families, most moms are not getting the time and encouragement to stay strong with their own RxExercise - Exercise as powerful medicine.

Join CC in actively encouraging, supporting, joining, moms in their daily exercise routines.

4. Special acknowledgement to Moms on the Run (MOTR) who were represented at this year's Mothers Day 5k by over 200 of their members including dozens of their caring coaches, led by MOTR founder Karissa Johnson.

5. Thanks to MOTR member and FOX9 anchor Kelcey Carlson who came with a news crew as well as to run the Mothers Day 5k.
Moms, and all of us who support moms' healthful regular exercise, were encouraged by the attention Kelcey and her news team brought to this very special Holiday Run event at Como Lake.

6. What a special welcome back to CC's Mothers Day 5k Forever-Honored-Active-Moms of prior years' events, who have a forever complimentary welcome back for Mothers Day 5ks, including CC's Coach Jeanne DeMartino (generously volunteering as usual) and Olympian Carrie Tollefson and her strong family demonstrating how to share the RxExercise challenge.

7. We saw a proposal for marriage at the finish line by a handsome young man, Shane Schlepp (sp?) to Michelle Bruley, who had just finished running her race. She accepted! What a lovely moment captured in many photos including CC's slideshow.

8. We cheered mom Jill and age 14 son Eric Olson, who she accompanied through the 5k as he is blind, blind as a consequence of nearly dying from his first challenge: cystic fibrosis. "The Power of Love" is so evident in moms' active care for their children, especially when their children are especially challenged. Well done to Jill and courageous Eric!

9. Jason and Samantha Denen celebrated their first wedding anniversary by encouraging each others' RxExercise and joining hands as they crossed the finish line.

10. We were greatly impressed to see a family of four generations of ladies who exemplified the Mothers Day 5k theme: "Celebration of Active Generations".

11. And the kids' 1/4 and 1/2 mile fun run was just that: FUN!

12. Let's all remember that it's moms (and dads), by their happy exercise example and leadership, who are the greatest determinant of whether kids grow up to be happy exercisers throughout life, in order for them to better enjoy life with happier-health-fitness. Go Kids!

How very many more special stories I, and you, could tell here about our experiences at this year's Mothers Day 5k at Como Lake!

Please use the comment section below to add your special memories and stories of active-happy moms and their RxExercise successful leadership to their families.

Go Moms and all who actively and cheerfully support their heart-healthy RxExercise!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Easter Sunday - Rise ‘n’ Shine 5k - Run, Walk or Volunteer @ Como Lake, St Paul, MN, Sunday April 20

You’re invited to the 7th Annual “Easter Sunday - Rise ‘n’ Shine 5k” experience at Como Lake, Sunday, April 20, 9 AM start.

For more inspiring “Easter Sunday – Rise ‘n’ Shine 5k” Event information & registration options go to

The Easter Sunday 5k theme is: “Actively Celebrating Life”.

Enjoy all the following added values:
1. Colorful commemorative Easter Sunday - Rise ‘n’ Shine 5k shirt.
2. Happy holiday music & announcer, to give you a motivating shout-out.
3. Professional timing/scoring/record keeping by Wayzata Results.
4. Fabulous online photos slideshow with free digital photos for you & Facebook. (Join Charities Challenge at Facebook, too!)
5. Professional videography and online show.
6. Healthful tasty treats.
7. CC Race Event Workers (CCREW) volunteers serving you at Como Lake on Easter morning where we’ll all be “Actively Celebrating Life”.
8. “Miles o’ Smiles” & Easter-time holiday costumes encouraged!
9. Motivating memories shared with family/friends of how you improved your own and others’ happiness, health & wellness by going the distance together on Easter Sunday morning.

Activity is evidence of life, and more activity is evidence of more life!

Movement, regular vigorous movement, is a sure sign of life. Be More Alive - Be More Active! Rise ‘n’ Shine with families & friends walking ‘n’ running ‘round beautiful Como Lake on Easter morning!

Easter Sunday will be a special CC Holiday Run occasion for hundreds of us sharing in the Power of RxExercise improving the quality of our lives every day, and demonstrating how our relationships with family and friends are happily improved through the irreplaceable happy-health benefits of walking and/or running together with an ever-growing number of healthy-happy active friends.

Participation in the Easter Sunday 5k continues to serve and celebrate the lives of each of us who benefit from sharing with one another our own regular RxExercise, while continuing to serve others’ health and wellness by our active support of Charities Challenge RxExercise Mission, Programs, Events and Active Partnerships.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Valentines - Hearts 'r' Running 5k "Celebrating Active Loving Hearts" Recap in Photos & Stories

The 6th Annual Valentines - Hearts 'r' Running 5k "Celebrating Active Loving Hearts" produced by Charities Challenge at Como Lake, St Paul, MN on Saturday, February 15, 2014, did reveal lots and lots of active loving hearts, "Miles of Smiles", many fast-fun-friends, happy families, and athletes of wide ranging ages and abilities. Love it!

Photos slideshow and video available from event web page here

(NOTE: CC's next Holiday Run is Sunday, March 16, back at Como Lake - St Patrick's Irish Traditions 5k - Celebrating Friendship-Love-Loyalty )

The start line was an occasion to follow the announcer's invitation to "hug somebody you love before by we start".

More hugs were seen after the finish line. Love it!
Running Club MNRED (RED=Running, Eating, Drinking) delivered many of their happy team members to the event.

Coach Ron Byland, founder/leader of MNRED, made a handsome appearance with very encouraging words in the Valentines 5k video produced by CC's pro-videographer, Paul Sanft.

CC's events are always warmer when "frequent flyers" (regular runners and great friends) run our Holiday Run Series. Here's a photo including Ivan and Julie Silverman, and Mike Jamison (in orange "Runners for Recovery" team shirt). Imagine! Mr Jamison is running well beyond his challenges with a heart pace maker. Go MikeMan!

John Wacker, running again the entire CC Holiday Run Series, always has this backward "wacky"  salute when he sees my Canon camera. I learned from John that his unusual salute is his daughter's sorority salute, and he sends all these photos to her as his encouragement to her. Go Mr Wacker!
Sarah Montaigne whose sign reads, "My Heart is Running for my dad, Paul". Well done daughter and dad! Here's another noteworthy example of how kids of all ages can encourage their parents' RxExercise. Brilliant!

Top three men finishers getting Valentines Hershey's Kisses from CCREW volunteer Jackie.

Top three women finishers getting Valentines Hershey's Kisses from CCREW volunteer and coach, Kyle Clark.
CCREW volunteer US Army Colonel Retired, Neil Hetherington congratulating US Army Sergeant Major Retired, Renee Hickerson, on another fast CC 5k

Paul Montaigne, also running again the entire CC Holiday Run Series of 12x running events, celebrating his well-earned heart health beyond bypass surgery and lifetime of improved diabetes management because of his RxExercise. Go Paul! Your daughter, Sarah, is an inspiration to many of us dads who vicariously glow in the active love of a daughter. Go Sarah!
Mike Jamison, co-founder and leader of Runners for Recovery run club is the inspiration for CC's Challenge Addiction 5k that we produce every August. Mike is an inspiration and encouragement to me and Charities Challenge of how we can enjoy long-term recovery from a variety of addictions with the help of our running and walking together. Thanks, Mike!
Thanks, Rachel Pexa, for dancing with this ol' coach, roaming announcer, and finish line photographer! "You make me feel so young"! As I regularly announce to all: "Dance while you have the chance".

And, here is our senior participant of the Valentines - Hearts 'r' Running 5k, Della Soderbeck, F75. (Note: Tomorrow, Feb 24, Della turns age 76. Happy Birthday Della!) In this photo, she's holding a photo of herself when she was more than 100 lbs heavier than now. She wrote these inspiring words to me following the event:
"Thanks Gary! You run a great race program. Walking/running has been my lifesaver, literally! Della Soderbeck"
Well done, Della! Walking and running continues to improve and save so many of our lives. Thanks for your winsome example.