I’m a soft heart. I really am.
Over the last year, I’ve run for the shooting tragedies in Paris, Orlando and Chattanooga. I’ve run to bring awareness and benefit to the folks suffering through a water crisis in Flint MI. I’ve run to raise money for colon cancer awareness, cures and support. And as always, I’ve run in honor of our military, and in remembrance of 9/11.
And now once again, I’ve run to help aid folks in distress. This time, it’s for the folks in the Smokies, who’ve dealt with the biggest wildfire tragedy in that area in a century.
The images and videos folks have posted, especially of Gatlinburg, have been heart-wrenching. It looks otherworldly. The mountains there are covered in fire, looking like something out of an apocalyptic filmmaker’s story. It just doesn’t seem possible that this is happening in east Tennessee.
When Vacation Races and Virtual Running Club sent out an email blast about this race over the weekend, I knew I had to sign up. I needed to do something to help. And with this race, 100% of the proceeds are going to one of four charities that are active in the area. I chose Dolly Parton’s “My People Fund”.
Saturday, I did my miles for this race, taking things slow, as this was my first time out on trail after my calf blowout in Tulsa. I followed my rule of petting every dog I saw, which kept my pace down. And although I felt a little tightening in my right calf, it wasn’t too bad. I believe I need to get out there more this week, and put a few more miles on my leg to see how I’m recovering.
And in fairness, that’s what east Tennessee is gonna do, too. They’ll assess what’s happened, pick up the pieces, and go right back out there, doing what they do. I know that the any resilience that I have came from being raised in that region. It’s part of the very air there, and I know they’ll recover, and be stronger for it.
This event benefitted Dolly Parton’s “My People Fund.”