Monday, June 3, 2013

Running for Bright Hope School


My company Reed Elsevier created a fitness challenge about 5 years ago, designed to encourage its employees to get active around the first of the year.  In this competition, teams of 5 are formed.  Those teams can choose to log miles running, swimming, biking, or walking.  Around 80 or so teams competed for three months (Feb 1 - April 30).  During this time, each team logged their respective miles, the winning team in each respective category as of April 30 was awarded $1000 donated to their favorite charity.

Kate Townley got me involved in the Ethiopia Bright Hope School initiative about 4 years ago.  I have been passionate about the effort at the school ever since.  I enjoy running so it was a natural fit for me to join this competition and rally our team towards the cause at Bright Hope School.  Over the course of the three months, we set a goal of running 2500 miles, about 39 miles per person each week.  However, we faced some pretty stiff competition and had to reset our goals to stay with the competition.  At the end of April, we ran just shy of 2800 miles, averaging a little more than 42 miles per person each week.  Towards the end of the competition, we were all very tired, many of us hurting and aching in some way.  The vision of sending money to a community that was very much less fortunate than us drove us to push the extra mile to win this thing.  We even had a couple of guys who essentially ran a marathon (26 miles) the last 24 hours to ensure that we would win.

It was an enjoyable and tiring competition, but one that we are glad to have done in an effort to do for one community what we wish we could do for the whole country.
- Brad Dolesh
   Bozeman, Montana

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