Monday, April 3, 2017

IRL #TeamSparkle Virtual 5K Group Run

Ryan and I went up to Orange on Saturday morning to take part in one of the IRL {in real life} #TeamSparkle Virtual 5K Group Runs (which are happening all over the US and Canada throughout the month of April).


I've blog a bit about it, but just in case you are checking in at for the first time (which, if that's the case, WELCOME!), let me give you a very brief history.

Carrie, one of the three owners of Sparkle Athletic, met Allison, the mom of Emma, at a local bootcamp. While planking (or so the story goes), these two struck up a conversation and a friendship blossomed (like I said, I'm keeping it very brief). When Carrie and the other ladies of Sparkle Athletic learned of Emma's battle with Rett Syndrome they wanted to do whatever they could to help. Over the years, Sparkle Athletic created a relationship with Girl Power 2 Cure, a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness and funds for treatments and a cure for Rett Syndrome.


Recently the two companies had the idea to form a #TeamSparkle Ultra Ragnar Team, where each of the six runners would dedicate a mile to a specific girl (or boy) battling Rett. It has been an absolute honor to have been on the 2015 and 2016 teams (and will be on the 2017 team starting our #Ragnar4Rett journey on Friday). Thus far (before any of the 2017 funds have been tallied), Sparkle Athletic has been able to help raise over $120,000 for GP2C.

One way Sparkle Athletic has been able to help raise funds is by putting on a Virtual 5K. This allows the community to get involved (even if you all can't physically join us in the van from Huntington Beach to San Diego). Folks are able to register for the Virtual 5K and run/ walk/ cartwheel/ roll at least 3.1 miles (5 kilometers) by April 8th. Participants are mailed a bib, bling and swag (this year there was also an option to upgrade and add a tee or skirt to the package). Then everyone can share their experience by using the hashtags #UntilSheCan (because although currently we are running FOR those battling Rett Syndrome, the hope is that one day we will be running WITH them) and #Ragnar4Rett on social media. The profits from the Virtual 5K are all donated to GP2C.


So now that you see the meaning behind it, let's get to the event itself.

With the colors of GP2C being pink and purple, you know I needed it all for
my #FlatCarlee. Lavender PROs, pink Handful bra, magenta Sparkle Athletic skirt,
last year's #Ragnar4Rett tank, Sparkle Athletic hat, pink and purple QALO
silicone wedding bands, pink and purple Momentum Jewelry wraps, purple RoadID,
my Garmin Forerunner 735XT, and Skechers Go Run 4 with pink Shwings.

The run was starting at 8am in Orange, so we needed to leave by 7am to get there. Which meant we needed to walk the pup by 6:30am. So the alarms started around 5:30am (although, I was up closer to 5:15am and working a bit).

Once the pup went to the bathroom and the hubby got some coffee in his system (#priorities) it was time to start the day. Thankfully traffic was easy breezy on the way up north (although that is the exact opposite of what the traffic was like on the way home) and we got there with a few minutes to spare.

The group run was starting at Grijalva Park in Orange

If you have extra time to kill, you must selfie, right?!

As the crowd gathered, the ladies from Sparkle Athletic, along with Allison, said a few words about Rett Syndrome, why we do what we do and thanked everyone for being a part of finding a cure!

A quick welcome speech by the ladies!


Then it was time for a quick photo (because obviously if it isn't documented it didn't happen - DUH! AND you want to make sure you snap the picture pre-sweatfest, #AmIRightOrAmIRight?!) before we hit the trail for our 5K.

It was quite the turnout! 

The ladies of Sparkle Athletic had "decorated" the course the previous day and obviously I had to grab a couple shots of their hard work. They also had some great directional signs to make sure no one got lost (okay, so we ran along a bike trail for 1.55 miles and then turned around, so you couldn't really get lost, but the chalk art totally helped with morale).

We all know that wherever this guy goes AWESOMENESS follows ;)

We even had a water stop half way through! #Official

And the views weren't half bad either...

I know I say this all the time, but I love "out and back" courses because you can see everyone going the opposite way - give out high fives, snap pictures and cheer for your friends. This run was no exception!

And if you know anything about the Sparkle Athletic ladies (other than the facts that they are 1. AMAZING, 2. speedy,   3. super generous, 4. AWESOMESAUCE, 5. inclusive), then you know they love their donuts! So of course we ended the race with a donut or three. {FYI I am still holding out on sweets so I abstained, but they looked AMAZEBALLS!}

DK's may be a legit sponsor for our #Ragnar4Rett team... Like I said, these ladies are SERIOUS about their donuts!

Afterwards I had to snap a couple shots with some of the friends that came out to the run (although looking through my pictures it appears as though I missed some of my buddies - bummer!).

Left: Valarie (who ran her fastest mile at the group run) / Middle: 4 of the 6 ladies of this year's #TeamSparkle Ultra Team / Right: Ivie

The bling is great, the people are amazing, the donuts are yummy, but what makes runs like this THE BEST is that we are doing it for something so much bigger than ourselves... We are joining with our community to make a difference, to spread awareness and to FIND A CURE! We are running #UntilSheCan!

Isn't it AWESOME that I can create activities on my Garmin Forerunner 735XT?! You know I had to
add a run called "#teamsparkle 5k" for the special occasion! 

So, just in case any of you would like to register for the Virtual 5K (there are still a few spots left), you can do that HERE. Also, if you would prefer, you can donate straight to the cause HERE. Obviously there is ZERO PRESSURE, but if you feel that Rett Syndrome and these girls have your name on it, then I wanted to make sure you had a way to help.

And with that I will be taking the train up to Orange on Thursday so I can help the ladies paint the van so we can embark on our #Ragnar4Rett journey Friday morning. I will be posting on social media all weekend, as well as doing a recap of the race next week, so be sure to follow along and spread the word! Again, we want to raise money, sure, but we also want to raise awareness. So educate yourself, share the knowledge with others and let's make a difference!

Have you heard of Rett Syndrome before?


Emmas_Gold said...

Thanks for the recap! I had never heard of Rett Syndrome before I read about it on your blog. I registered for the virtual 5k and can't wait to participate! Looking forward to your Ragnar report. Thank you, Carlee!

San said...

Great race.... and I love the medal!