THANK YOU! Oh, what a race!

Photo Bomber
Ready to race with a huge MiMS fan + a mysterious photo-bomber.

To you wonderful race donors! Here you are! Find your name! THANK YOU! I loved sharing the story of your generosity.

Left Arm Thanks
Stephanie W, Elijah W, The Mays, Amy W, The Larsons, Reagan & Boston!
Right Arm Thanks
The Binders, The Aderinkomis, Wyatt, Jevan, Ron C!

It was a warm and beautiful night! The two sites gathered and had a fantastic team cheer all together before heading off to do some pre-race volunteering.

Dwight Prerace
Emanuel resident Dwight & I Pre-race
Higher Ground resident John and Higher Ground staff Amanda
Higher Ground resident John and Higher Ground staff Amanda

I was assigned to run in this super team! We ran like queens and kings down the middle of Hennepin Ave, with little kid high-fives as super fuel.

Manny and I on the run...
Manny and I on the run…

Part way through, this guy’s pacer (another wonderful Amanda!) had knee trouble and I got the privilege to run with Manny – one of the original Higher Ground team members – an old friend.

Cheek Thanks
The Prices, The Kotlyars, and The Zenners!

Here is where I get to give some HUGE THANKS to some AMAZING supporters. It was an honor to wear your names! My parents went into super-stellar territory, and I can never say enough thanks. They matched the $500 I set out to raise with $500 of their own. They did it in honor of their grand-kids who tried to out-charm one another in the photo documentation… Wyatt Cheek Thanks Jack Cheek ThanksThe race finished in a flurry of cheers and high-fives – first races and PRs and team love. A wonderful, wonderful night!

This adventure is wrapped up but the invitation to come run with us

(email!) still stands! See you on the trails!


training snaps 2.1

“Going for a run is like a cup of coffee… I’m much nicer after I’ve had one.” Here’s us last Saturday – post-run, pre-coffee!

This is TRUTH. 🙂 You can times it all by a million when the run includes MiMS teammates. You get to run, with someone you probably wouldn’t in your normal day-to-day, and share stories, encourage and be encouraged, smile a lot, and HUG.

Want in? E-mail!

The Torchlight 5k, for which I’m raising money to give a little bit back for the OODLES this team has  given to me is THIS Wednesday! Click the link on the right if running isn’t right for you, but you still want to be a part of the wonderful that is happening in this team.

Either way, stay posted for race pics and celebration!

Two Hundred and Ten. Or, my selfie face.

Friends, YOU did it. We got the $500. Then, we kept going.

THANK YOU! The money raised is currently at 210% of the goal.

To say thank you, I give you this picture of lots of wonderful teammates, plus, my goofy selfie face. You’re welcome.

FullSizeRenderI can never say enough thank yous, but… you knew this was coming, right? 😉

We don’t HAVE to be done! The goal was my hope and dream, but anything else you give to the team – still goes to help the team! To empower those experiencing homelessness! To share the power of better health, goal-setting, community, and more with those who have experienced homelessness or addiction!

There’s still 23 days until the race, and I’m excited to see just what can be done.

$20 to my goal, and then magic. $500 = $1000.

I have something amazing to share! I need to make it to $500 to be able to keep any of what has been given. But now, if I make it? That $500 will be turned into ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. For the team.

MiMS Race team

Yep, that team of awesome.

I have been tearing up at the generosity of friends and family and strangers in the week since I launched this campaign. I am at $480.

We are not far from $500! When we reach it, the super-parent duo of Kim and Dale Rosten have said that they will match it. Jaw-dropping goodness. (How can someone ever say thank you for all the support?!?)

Thank you to ALL who have supported and given and sent words of encouragement and shared the story of Mile in My Shoes.

Be the one to take us to $500?  🙂

training snaps – 2.0

“I’ve learned that finishing a marathon isn’t just an athletic achievement. It’s a state of mind; a state of mind that says anything is possible.” John Hanc, running writer

Last week interested resident members gathered with coaches and teammates to talk about taking on a marathon. They have each come so far and done so much, and it is beyond exciting to watch them set out to reach this goal!

Supermama (wannabe) is back! aka, 42 days – or else!

Last summer my dear friend Claire told me about a running team that was just beginning, where residents of Higher Ground homeless shelter and community volunteers ran together and shared their stories. We went to check it out, and just kept going!

Over the summer, through the fall, and into the dark winter – the team kept running. Miles were accomplished, pounds were lost, hugs were given – COMMUNITY was built.

As a volunteer, I came to give, and always left feeling like I had received. Folks were so generous with their stories. I walked away from each run with a better understanding of the lives of people experiencing homelessness. I got joy from sharing my love of running.

Fortunately, the residents benefited as well. 😉 My teammates completed first 5ks and even one half-marathon(!), cut back on their smoking, set small and big running goals and met them, and some grew into leadership as team captains.

Aside from all of that wonderful, one of my favorite memories was on a cold, still-dark, mid-winter run, when one of the resident members turned to me and said, “You know, Jana? You? The team? You’re my family .” Wow.

Brice and I, after I had the honor of pacing his first race EVER

The team did not slow down – more volunteers, other community groups wanting to help – we needed to get organized. This January, I was fortunate to be part of a team of three helping the group become a non-profit.

This spring, with all those wonderful volunteers, we kicked off a second team at Emanuel Housing.

The story continues – wanna help fight homelessness?

I have the opportunity to race the Torchlight 5k on their behalf!

My goal is to raise $500. Here’s the kicker – if I don’t raise it ALL – the team gets nothing.

I have 42 days until the race.

If this issue means something to you, if running means something to you, if caring for ALL the residents of Minneapolis means something, GIVE!

If you don’t have funds to share, SHARE THE LINK with your social media circles!

If nothing else, come check out the perks for giving, and see just what I’ve gotten myself into…

Even if you don’t give – thank you for reading and learning about something that has come to mean so much to me!


The Race!

Thanks again to everyone for their support of MATTOO, and me!

Here’s a few photos to sum things up:

Getting ready…

Race day…

Fuzzy, but best of me as Womder Woman – superhero-wannabe that I am!

Family @ the finish, minus…
One surly little guy who wants to race too. I promise, little dude, I cannot WAIT to race with you.

The race went well and was a lot of fun. Everything came together so I could get out there and put my training to use, which is all I hoped for! I ran the first 10 miles slow and steady, and then ran the last 3.1 with what I had. If the time would be meaningful to you, and you have an interest, you can see my results here. My timing watch auto-stopped when I did, and so I wasn’t sure where exactly I was time-wise, and was happy to come in just under my goal!

Thank you to my dear friends along the course, and my amazingly supportive family. I have been so blessed in this journey by so many! I am grateful for the ability, opportunity, and desire to run. I am grateful for the opportunity I had to live and love in Morocco, and that I was exposed to an organization like MATTOO. God has been good to me in so many ways! I’m just a rambling ball of thankfulness and joy, becoming incoherent, so I’ll stop, but…

Thanks for reading new and old friends, and being part of this journey!