One of the first group of runners I interacted with were the Digital Champions of the Canada Running Series Toronto Yonge Street 10K and Scotia Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2014. They provided me so much inspiration and information. It became my goal to give back to others the way they did to me. I applied to become a DC, but since I didn't have all of the requirements back then, I wasn't accepted. As I started working at meeting the social media and blog requirements, I started meeting incredible people and getting involved in running events. In 2015 I became an RBC Race for the Kids ambassador. It was an incredible experience and such a well organized event. Suddenly in 2016 I was being asked to represent several races, some informally because they were ones I already loved, and others as an official ambassador, including the spot I'd coveted with STWM. It was a crazy year of races and cheer-leading. A couple of the races were for really important causes, including youth mental health and assisting runners with disabilities. It felt great to be making an impact.
Heading into 2017, I'd agreed to three more ambassadorships for the spring and summer and a couple race directors were asking for shout outs for events on social media. One day recently I found myself creating a graphic for one event, posting about a price change for another and trying to remember a promo code and hashtag for a third. It suddenly hit me that this was too much. Messages were getting diluted and told to the same audience repeatedly. Plus I was losing my own 'voice' as a runner by spending time promoting other people's events.
Those who know me know that when I'm asked to do something, I give it my all. By no means does this mean that I don't treasure the incredible moments and memories I've had as an ambassador. I made friends, I helped inspire runners to try new races. I helped raise funds towards good causes. I had fun! I know that I made an impact, and I am proud.
But, it's time to hang up my ambassador hats. I want to give other people the opportunities I've had and spend more of my time focused on other things like masters track running, trail races, and focusing extra time and effort on helping to build JPsTeam.
It's not to say I won't be on social media or posting on my blog--I will. But instead of posting about promo codes, early bird pricing or thanking sponsors, I'll be posting about photos my training, articles I love and things that inspire. Sure, some of those may be about a great race or event, but not because someone asked.
Thank you to all of the races that have given me the opportunity to 'run with' their event and brand, especially RBC Race for the Kids, Scotia Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Achilles Canada St. Patrick's Day 5K and the Beaches Running Group's Tannenbaum and Jazz Run.