REGISTER NOW: Defeat Hunger 5K Obstacle Run

Recently, I emailed all my previous Run for the Call Flying Pig runners and told them of a very exciting opportunity to join in the movement to defeat hunger here in Cincinnati.

From now until September 5, 2015, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is partnering with local food banks and other organizations and taking up a huge task of ending hunger across Cincinnati. They are asking people to donate regularly throughout the next 6 weeks to reach their goal of 1,000,000 donations of food to stock the shelves of all the local food pantries here in the city. As a finale to these efforts, the Archdiocese Catholic Schools Office has developed a family friendly festival of food donations and physically fitness called the Defeat Hunger 5K Obstacle run happening at Summit Park in Blue Ash from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Run for the Call has committed to joining in these efforts as a team and I am setting a couple of goals for our team:

  1. 50 members participating in the race and
  2. 500 donations to the Food for All campaign!

With your help and enthusiasm, we can easily reach both of those goals, but it’s time to step up now!

To sign up for our team, please fill out the form on the Join the Team page, and we will send you the team password to be entered when you register at the Defeat Hunger 5K Obstacle Run site. Then, on race day, come in your race t-shirt and help us to spread the message of vocations while we help to defeat hunger!

NOTE: All obstacles in the obstacle run are for fun only and you are not required to complete any of them in order to finish the race. There is also a shorter run option for children 12 and under.

Deadline to Sign Up: April 18!

DeadlineClockI can’t believe we are already this close, but the deadline to sign up as a Run for the Call team member for the Flying Pig Marathon weekend is this Saturday! April 18th is the last day to register online using the discount code. With that code, however, you get the early bird price that you could only get through the end of October! So, if you have yet to decide which race you will run at the Pig this year or if you have just been procrastinating, save yourself close to 30% off your race registration and support a great cause in the meantime!

The Run-a-Thon is On!

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Jesus Christ is Risen!

No longer are we a people waiting in doubt and darkness, now we are a people of hope and light! What better way to celebrate that wonderful news than to get out on the streets and trails and proclaim the good news with our bodies!

The Run for the Call Run-a-Thon has begun and while we may be off to a slow start, I know our miles will multiply quickly as we get more and more members joining the team and reporting their mileage. That’s all you need to do.

Go to our Join the Team page, fill in the information and sign up for the Run-a-thonScreen Shot 2015-04-07 at 3.16.56 PM. Tell us how many miles you intend to run and hit the road. We’ll send you the name of a seminarian for whom we ask you to pray throughout your runs (you’ll find that running for someone else will help you stay motivated). At the end of each week, tell us how many miles you’ve run that week and we’ll tally it all up! Together we can do great things!

So, are you training for a race? Are you in track and have to run at practice? Are you just trying to stay in shape? Do you already have a running team but your team wants to support a great organization? Have you always wanted to run a particular distance and haven’t found the right motivation? This is a great opportunity to do all those things and spread the message of vocations. Let’s run 5000 miles together and see how many lives we can change in the process!

Run-a-thon Returns for Easter

As the year moves swiftly by, the time for the Flying Pig Marathon quickly approaches and we are now just one month away from the deadline to register online for the Flying Pig and use our discount code. So, don’t delay!

For those of you who will not be able to attend the Flying Pig events, we have a very special Run-a-Thon planned for this year. Instead of simply tabulating the training miles you will be running in the month leading up to the marathon, we are going to incorporate the joy of the Easter season into our running! So, this year’s Run-a-thon will cover the entire 50 days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost during which, with the Church, we will celebrate the new life gained for us by the suffering, dying, and rising of Jesus Christ. We will share that life with those for whom we will run and we will reach for a lofty goal!

In 50 days, it is our goal to run 5000 miles. Of course, if we add this up, that is a mere 100 miles per day for the entire team of runners. That is an achievable goal and one that we hope to find great support for as we have in our previous three years.

So, go to our team page and register for the Run-a-thon and let us know how many miles you intend to run (or walk) in those 50 days. We will collect those names, put them into an online pledge form and send you the link on Easter Day that you can forward to all your friends and family. I look forward to running with you and spreading the good news of Christ’s resurrection!

Two Fundraising Opportunities

Lent has just begun and we here in Cincinnati have suddenly been hit with that “awful” winter that had been so loudly predicted back in November. We made it through December and January and most of February before it hit us here, but it seems it was at the absolute best time. We get to spend time with our families with many opportunities to offer pray together, offer sacrifice together and generally get Lent off on the right foot.

Additionally, it has given us opportunities to look for ways to give alms as a family and Run for the Call is giving your family two great ways to do that with fundraising events coming up in the month of March.

Spaghetti Dinner flyer picOn Saturday, March 21, the Sidney/St. Mary’s Serra Club is hosting a Spaghetti Dinner to support our seminarians through Run for the Call. This dinner will take place from 5-7pm at the Russia Catholic War Veterans Hall (located at 2444 Kelch Rd. Russia, Oh 45363). Donations for the cost of dinner and to support our seminarians will be taken at the door.

For those in Cincinnati, on Saturday, March 28th, the 4th Annual Young Adult Square Dance will be held at St. Maximilian Kolbe parish in Liberty Township. This dance, which runs from 7-11pm, will feature live square dance caller Zeke Regula (a crowd favorite) every hour and DJ filling in the gaps all night long. The cost for this event is $8/person (which covers the cost of food and refreshments) and will also offer other opportunities to support the seminarians throughout the night.

Both of these events are popular events with great opportunities to offer alms to support those who may one day serve our Archdiocese as priests.

A Pack of Running Disciples

after raceOver the past three years, Run for the Call has consistently grown and developed. We humbly began our work thinking almost entirely of the financial benefit we could give our seminarians who need extra assistance in paying for the tuition costs of a seminary education. As more people got on board with the efforts, however, we realized just how shortsighted that focus was and just how great of an opportunity we had unwittingly created.

The truth is running is something that speaks to the core of so many people across all levels of faith and backgrounds.

“-The reason we race isn’t so much to beat each other but to be with each other.
-The Hopis consider running a form of prayer; they offer every step as a sacrifice to a loved one, and in return ask the Great Spirit to match their strength with some of his own.”
― Christopher McDougallBorn to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

ah-ha-momentInterestingly enough, I found the above quote to be more than just true, it was a revelation. In fact, it was a resonation of something we sort of realized early on but didn’t make a central tenant of all that we are doing here. We race to be with each other, whether that is in mind, body or spirit. We run because, in our running, we make a connection with our fellow man in a way not so easily found in our every day lives. Our running becomes a form of prayer and all we want to do is pray more. We want to keep offering that sacrifice on behalf of so many people in our lives and specifically (for our group) our seminarians. We run out of love and in turn we learn to love more! 

That is the challenge our team expects to call all runners to. Like every other part of the world, there are runners all over this Archdiocese. Most of them are out running on their own, on their own schedule, doing what they can, but  what training runwould it look like if those runners started coming together on a regular basis to become a running group? What would it look like if those runners, in those running groups, started challenging each other to become better runners and in so doing, perhaps even to become better people simply by running together?  What would it look like if each group of runners made each other committed to running, to praying for someone in need and then that prayer eventually turned into action to help those in need? What if in the course of becoming better individuals those runners also became better Christians? And what if, in the midst of all that helping and praying, that group suddenly found itself ready for even bigger and better things? Things that would change the way their parishes and communities would look for any foreseeable future?! You know what that would look like? That would look like a pack of running disciples! And that is what Run for the Call is looking to accomplish through you!

Make DisciplesStarting today, we want you to do nothing different than what you were doing, but instead of you running with your headphones on, we want you to be on the look out for fellow runners. Start looking to build your team. As you do, ask God to help you find those team members. Ask him to show you the opportunities to build your team. Then, as your team develops, continue to pray for the grace to lead these fellow runners down the path God is calling your group to go. Then, get ready for the run of your lifetime!

I am Out of Shape

I don’t know about the rest of you, but just last week, I attempted to climb the 16 flights of steps to my office because the elevators were down and, man, I was winded! I knew it had been a while since I last worked out or run any long distance, but just going up to my 8th floor office on the steps took me about 4 minutes to climb and about 10 minutes to recover it seemed!

Of course, that got me thinking about Run for the Call and that we just haven’t been doing much recently. So, I think it’s high time we kick this thing in gear! If you missed the early bird deadline for signing up for the Flying Pig or you just want to take part in your natural desire to run help others, join our team and help us to support our seminarians both financially and spiritually in their journey toward the priesthood.

Sign up today and in the coming weeks, be on the look out for more opportunities to support our seminarians through running, training and chasing after your own vocation!