Heading into its third year, the race already had a great reputation among the running community. I constantly heard that the race was well organized, had great food, race kits and that proceeds went to a very deserving cause. Upon discovering that the race was looking for ambassadors to raise awareness and support, I eagerly applied. It is easy to support an event that does things well, and right!
I was very pleased to be selected. As a bonus, I knew several of the other ambassadors from the running community. I knew that with this group, the race was going to have an incredible crew of cheerleaders who would jump right in and have fun while doing it!
The ambassadors got to know each other through social media as well as at a special run event sponsored by RBC, Sunnybrook, New Balance and Clif Bar. It was a fun evening running through Sunnybrook Park and the streets around The Shops at Don Mills. The ambassadors were given generous gift cards from New Balance as a part of the program. Many of us became cheerleaders for their products after giving them a try. As a die-hard Saucony girl, it was a very pleasant surprise to put on a pair of the newest Vazee Rush runners!
Along the way I set a donation goal for the race. As donations came in from my friends and family, I kept raising the goal until it was at $500. Two days before the race, the goal was hit! It felt very good to know that these funds were going to such an important cause: the Family Navigation Project. The service supports youth struggling with mental health issues find the assistance that they need.
The ambassadors spent the next few months posting on social media and our blogs about our training, the importance of the cause and encouraging people to sign up and donate. Each of us was also featured on the RBC Run for the Kids website.
After months of tweeting and counting down to the now sold-out event, it was time to see our efforts come to fruition!
The forecast for the day was filled with rain. Thankfully it held off and we all got in a great race! The route of the 15K was a mix of roads and scenic park trail. The final kilometer was right down Yonge Street which was lined with cheering friends and family. The party after was by far the best post-race party I have been to. Amazing food, entertainment and no one was rushing to leave.
Thank you so much to my friends and family who donated so generously. Thank you to New Balance for the sponsorship of the race and the its ambassadors. And a huge special thanks to RBC, Sunnybrook and the coordinating team for organizing such an incredible event and selecting me as an ambassador. It was an amazing experience.