Growing Together Charity 5K
Thank you to Nicole Flaherty, Graphics Supervisor and Guest Blogger. Nicole was the Chair of the Growing Together 5K Fun Run. This event raised funds for the Cancer Caring Center of Pittsburgh and the SOS Villages Organization. This event was organized by the employees of Atrium Pittsburgh, Douglas Laboratories and Alcrea-Health. These Pittsburgh based companies are dedicated to giving back to the community through volunteerism and fundraising.
I started running six years ago and have never looked back. It is a form of freedom, escape and refuge. This year, when the Growing Together Pittsburgh Board needed a larger event to host for fundraising, the first thing that came to mind was a race. How hard could they be? I had participated in so many in the region and they all seemed simple enough. 5K races were always fun and that was about as much initial thought I had put into it. I think back now and laugh a little, as I knew so little about how much actually goes into coordinating a race. The first thing I needed to do was to get everyone else on board. So with some light research and confidence I had approached our first vendor, Klean Athlete, with a minor proposal of a race. I had pitched the idea of Growing Together 5K Fun Run. With great enthusiasm, Timothy Monk of Klean Athlete was on board and extremely supportive. They signed up with an initial amount of sponsorship money for me to go back and to present to the board. As if it was as natural as breathing, everyone was on board for this event and we were off and running, so to speak. First we had to secure a site, enlist other sponsorship money and agree on a date. With many meetings and a huge amount of teamwork, we were able to get the site of the Montour Trail for October 7th, and the rest of the start up funds we needed. The Montour Trail is a beautiful, scenic trail that is over 46 miles long and part of the Rails to Trails projects in Western Pennsylvania. Very rarely does the Trail Council ever allow outside groups to host a race on this very scenic and flat route. So we were thrilled they granted us this route. As the committee, in true teamwork style continued to push forward, we were able to get up a website and flyers. Registration was set up and promotion of the event started to take place. On the back end we met with everyone from police to EMS to make sure we had everything we needed to successfully and safely host this race.
There are many more details I could get into on all that is involved in planning, but the main point I wanted to express was how truly humbled I was to work with such a supportive and creative team of individuals that make up Pittsburgh’s Growing Together Committee. This committee took on a truly challenging task of coordinating a 5k and made it seem so easy and simple. The event was very successful and it is a true testament of the committee members’ dedication to each other and cause of raising awareness and funds for the charities it supports. As the event took place, runners headed down a route vibrantly filled with trees whose leaves are everything from a soft yellow to a vivid red against the gray background of the sky. The morning was cool and crisp and enthusiasm was high. Committee members tirelessly worked to make sure all the runners were well taken care of and having a good time. Klean Athlete, along with many of the vendors who supported this inaugural race, were all present and supportive. The success of the race was a true testament of the Pittsburgh Growing Together Committee as they themselves grow, together.