golden runners team  The weather was perfect!  The atmosphere festive!  Everyone having a great time!  We had 70 teams running this year – last year we had 37.  Bimbo Bakeries USA provided great treats for all the runners – a hit for sure!  Wishard Eskenazi Health came with the most company teams – five teams – and plans on having more next year.

Thanks to all the teams that came out to run and support BoMF!  A round of applause  to all our volunteers (many who were our Residential Members) who helped with registration, course set up and take down, and on the course cheering our runners on! Thanks to our Relay Committee and Board Members who helped with promotion and prizes.   Many thanks to the JW Marriott and Starbucks who provided the coffee for a chilly morning!  A big thanks to Rochelle Butler who volunteered her time and talents to take photos of the race! (we will have these up on our website soon) All of you made this race a success!
As always, a HUGE THANKS to our non-residential team members who came out to run with our guys.  You are the best volunteers by far – thanks for all you do to support our Residential Members!

 

 

 

 

603693_10200287337004108_1469953829_nShoe Size? 9

Favorite post run food? Chocolate milk

Why do you run? In addition to keeping me sane most days, it centers me and helps me be a better person.

How many marathons/half marathons/5ks have you done? 4 marathons, around 10 half marathons and no 10k or 5ks.

Favorite race you’ve ever done? The Chicago Marathon, my first one, many years ago.

Bucket list item you plan to cross off soon? Learn to swim

Favorite music? I love all kinds, could never narrow it down to a favorite. Although, Jimmy Buffett is high on my list this time of year.

Favorite vacation spot? “Up North” Michigan

Family? Husband, John, and 2 kids. Vincent is 11 and Sydney is 7.

How did you hear about BoMF? What has BoMF meant to you? Why did you stick with it? I heard about BoMF through a friend at the same time I was looking for some new volunteer opportunities. I have loved every minute I have spent with BoMF. Through all the people I have met, residents and non-residents, they have inspired and encouraged me to learn to love better those around me and to always be grateful. Once you start, it’s easy to stick with because of the people. I continue to be humbled by the amazing people that I am surrounded with each time I show up to run.

What is your favorite memory of a time with BoMF so far?It’s hard to narrow it down. I have many great memories. If I had to narrow it down though, it would be a tie between running the Carmel half marathon with Joe, Barb and Deb and attending the BoMF Birthday Bash. It was especially great seeing all the guys,not only in the daylight, but also, all dressed up and looking sharp!

Advice for people who might want to start running with BoMF? 5:45am is not as early as it seems :). It’s a great way to start the day.

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Thanks for your dedication to the team Lori!  Keep up the great work!

IMG_2754Running Shoe Size: 11
Home Town/Family: Indianapolis, two sons
Fave Athletes/Coaches: Tiger Woods, Magic Johnson
Fave Music: Jazz and R & B
Fave Post Race Beverage: Gatorade
Fave Food: Greens, macaroni and cheese and fried chicken.
In what branch did you serve? I served in the Army as a medic.
Most memorable BoMF event? I’d say it was my first race. It was the 5K at the Monumental.  I was running with another guy that was new to BoMF and we just stayed with each other.  He was a better runner than me at the time and he encouraged me at the beginning of the race. Near the end his knees started to hurt and I was encouraging him. We wouldn’t leave each other behind.
Why did you come out for the BoMF team?  I joined to meet people as soon as I got to HVAF. That was back in October 2012. I also saw that BoMF had a willingness to help those people who wanted help. BoMF’s incentives enabled me to get a laptop for school and paid for my books for school. They also helped me focus on incremental steps to move out by October. For example the Financial Literacy classes helped me re-learn how to budget money.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your life right now and how are you meeting that challenge? I just don’t want to stagnate; I want to aim higher. When I arrived to HVAF my goal was to be out in one year.  I got back in school and BoMF gave me a way to get my mind clear.
What races have you run in with BoMF? The Monumental was the first and then came the Drumstick Dash last November. I’ve also run the Winter Run at Marian University, the Bull Dog Jog, the Fast Flash and Joseph Maley at Eagle Creek Park.
Could you share more about the position you recently accepted? Once I received training and obtained my certification I was offered a position at the Veterans Administration Medical Center as a peer specialist. Many vets are in a critical stage of homelessness (over 2 years homeless) and they need help meeting basic needs such as obtaining food, shelter, transportation to medical appointment, etc. Sometimes I share my story and history with homelessness and addictions.  I do  a lot of transporting and relationship building to help support the case  managers in their work with the veterans.
What do you like to do in your spare time? Just relax! I enjoy listening to music and spending time with family.
We give a runner’s salute to Earl for his commitment to the Warman Warriors Back on My Feet Team and for his ability to set goals and meet them!

Earl and Scott getting it done at the Monumental

Earl and Scott getting it done at the Monumental

Monumental 5K Finisher

Monumental 5K Finisher

Earl and his Warman teammates just before the start of the Winter Run

Earl and his Warman teammates just before the start of the Winter Run

Running Shoe Size: 8

Tony enjoying a little of his fave post face food with Jamie Burns.

Tony enjoying a little of his fave post face food with Jamie Burns.

Home Town:  Shelbyville, IN

Fave Music:  Heavy Metal and Rock N Roll

Fave Post Race Food: Bananas

Fave Food: Pepperoni Pizza

In what branch of the military did you serve?  Marines

Most memorable BoMF memory? “Probably the Joseph Maley Run last July. I set a goal of 35 minutes and I met it.”

Why did you come out for the BoMF team?  “My leg was in bad shape and I thought coming out to run with Back on My Feet  would help.”

What difference has BoMF made in your life? “My leg feel feels better and I’m in much better shape.  The friendships are a positive influence and the volunteers are encouraging. And of course I appreciate the grant money.”

What’s most challenging aspect of your life right now and how are you meeting that challenge? “Getting up in the morning. I am NOT a morning person.”

What races have you run in with BoMF? “A bunch – I’ve been running with the team for about a year. Some of the races are Carmel 5K, Out Run the Sun, Pogue’s Run, Eagle Creek Trail Run, Indy Monumental 5K and the BoMF 42K Relay

What do you like to do in your spare time? “Well I’m a pretty good car mechanic and I like to play chess online.”

BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) “I want to secure a steady income and my my own place.”

We give a runner’s salute to Tony for his commitment to the team and a pat on the back for improving his running times and distance.

Residential Member of the Month: Andrew W.

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SoBo Team Leader Jared points out Andrew W.

Andrew W. joined Team SoBo in February 2013.  He recalls his best moments since joining the team as the first miles he ran with the whole team and his recent relay race at the Nikia Half Marathon and Relay.  He says he is challenged to continue running and would like to run a 10K in the next three months.  When he’s running, Andrew thinks about not stopping and giving his attention to whoever he is running with, which he finds helps him not think about the running.  His next race will be the MCVET 5K in a few weeks.

“Andrew has been excited about Back on My Feet since day one. His enthusiasm is certainly present at 5:30 am circles and there’s no doubt he’s the reason that some non-res members come out and run. You can tell from his competitive spirit that he wants to keep improving and that’s evident in his attitude week in and week out. If that’s not enough, you can always count on him to keep things light-hearted.” – Jared Rigler, Team Leader

Non-Residential Member of the Month: Ryan C.

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Ryan C. with his fiancé Ali

Ryan C. started running with Back on My Feet in August 2010.  Last October, he celebrated running his first full marathon with the team, which he calls his best moment with Back on My Feet.  Ryan says, “Running is therapeutic. I try not to think too hard while running.”  His next race will be the Back on my Feet AT&T Sneaks Come Out at Night Presented by Thomas’ in August followed soon after by the inaugural Charles Street 12 Miler.  After his races, he likes to drink chocolate milk and enjoy the runner’s high from a great workout.

ʺRyan has been a rock in Team SoBo’s transition from two teams to one last July. For example, he circles up several times a week and is always willing to run out of his comfort zone. You can always count on Ryan for the ‘stuff off the pavement’ – donating items for pasta/party pot lucks, bringing goodies to the circle for birthdays, and the numerous core roles he’s held over the last few years and in his new position as Alumni Services Core.ʺ – Jared Rigler, Team Leader

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Shoe Size?  Running shoes – 9; non-running shoes – 7.5

Favorite post run food?  Coffee since it’s usually early in the morning!

Why do you run?  I love the challenge and the “me” time to clear my mind, and I love my friendships that have developed from running.  My closest friends started out as running partners before we really knew one another.

How many marathons/half marathons/5ks have you done?  Zero marathons; 6 half marathons, lots of 5Ks

Favorite race you’ve ever done?  Nashville Half Marathon

Bucket list item you plan to cross off soon?  Completing my first full marathon this year, along with getting married and turning 30!

Favorite music?  Anything with lyrics, I like it all!

Favorite vacation spot?  Anywhere by water- I love the beach, northern Michigan, my parents’ lake house!

Family?  Getting married in April- so that will make a husband, Peter!  I have one sister who is marries with 2 kids.

How did you hear about BoMF? What has BoMF meant to you? Why did you stick with it?  My friend was the sales assistant for the JW Marriott and did the launch event for BoMF Indianapolis.  She emailed our friends trying to raise money for BoMF and as soon as I read about it, I knew I wanted to get involved.

What is your favorite memory of a time with BoMF so far?  I really enjoyed the 42K relay last October, and I have a particularly fond memory of one of the resident members laying out his plan on how he was going to better his situation during one of our Saturday morning training runs.

Advice for people who might want to start running with BoMF?  You don’t have to be a runner to join!  But it’s difficult not to be motivated when you’re surrounded by a group of runners.  It’s a great way to meet all different types of people and help a great cause while you’re doing it.

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Pack the yogurt covered pretzels, sketch out the perfect indie playlist and grab the “run buddies” for a weekend in Austin. The Back on My Feet in24 Austin Race Challenge Presented by Ace Cash Express will have four unique races over the course of 48 hours that you’ll regret you missed. In24 takes place May 11th and 12th in Austin.

Besides racing for an incredible local cause, this weekend has something for everyone!

Five-Person Relay Challenge – Instead of competing against your friends, compete with them! This race offers options ranging from 5 to 30 miles per person. So pick your dose of crazy and loop the Camp with your friends after some classic Austin breakfast tacos (but before your dip in Barton Springs).

Sunset Run – Nothing is more satisfying than racing and beating the crap out of your friends during a legendary Hill Country sunset. This 5-mile race starts at 7:00 p.m. and ends with a pretty cool party. Stop by the beer garden post-race, stay for food from Austin’s legendary food trailers and check out groovy tunes that only the live music capitol of the world can provide…. all at in24!

Pajama Loop Run – Let’s hope you don’t sleep naked! Runners are encouraged to roll out of bed and stay in their pajamas for this 7:00 a.m. race around the 5-mile loop at Camp Mabry. This race for early risers has some serious prize money to be won!

LoneRanger Ultra-Marathon – The Lone Ranger is a true test for any long-distance runner who has tackled a marathon and is looking for something more. Challenge your will by running as many 5-mile loops inside Camp Mabry in the allotted 24-hour time period.

Whether friendly competition or changing perception is your motivation for running, we want you at in24 Austin. And here’s the best part – a hot discount!

We’re proud to be partnering with the Fairfield Inn & Suites Austin North/Parmer Lane. The hotel is just 15 minutes away from Camp Mabry. Runners who reserve their room before April 23, 2013 and use the promotional code bombomb when making their reservation get a discount. Camping at Camp Mabry is also welcome.

April showers haven’t stopped these Members from running and improving their lives one step at a time! Their endurance and perseverance is down right inspiring.

jasonsmith Jason Smith, Non-Residential Members, Dallas LIFE
“I love being a part of Back on my Feet for a lot of reasons. The diverse stories across all members is refreshing. The confidence building, hope and determination is motivating. It’s a truly heart touching organization. I’m so proud and grateful to be a Member.”
BOMF(Dallas_Chapter)green Albert, Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
Albert joined the Dallas LIFE Back on My Feet family about a month ago and has been committed ever since!  He has maintained high attendance while participating in the nine month program at Dallas LIFE.  Albert has brought honesty and positivity to the team!
melissawaters Melissa Waters, Non-Residential Member, Salvation Army
“I started running only about four years ago. Once I developed this running habit and ran a race or two, I realized that there are very few things in life that can make you feel more encouraged, positive, and confident than reaching running goals. I feel that being able to run is a gift from God that I never knew was there. Now that I know, I want to share it! I love Back on My Feet because I get to do that very thing. Everyone needs some encouragement at some point in life. BoMF is a great way to encourage others and help them develop the confidence to get back on their feet. And It’s fun!”
BOMF(Dallas_Chapter)green Katherine, Residential Member, Salvation Army
Katherine is going three months strong as a dedicated member of the Salvation Army team! Since day one, Katherine has never missed a single run! She has challenged herself to start running and is making great strides towards accomplishing that goal!  
ginger Ginger Becker, Non-Residential Member, The Bridge
“Many people falling on hard times in their lives lose confidence in their abilities to succeed. And it’s completely understandable. We help people get through these trying times by giving them tools to succeed and providing important social integration through running. It’s through running that a person can learn a lot about themselves. These lessons in building physical and mental endurance, learning to push yourself beyond what you thought is possible, and even proper breathing technique easily translates to every day survival skills in life.”
claudis Claudis, Residential Member, The Bridge
Claudis has been a part of the Back on My Feet family for about a month and has had a smile on his face the entire time!  He brings such a positive spirit to Team bridge!  Claudis has challenged himself and has gone from not being able to run much at all to almost running 2 miles in the past month!  He has shown his commitment through 100% attendance and is the first to volunteer when given the opportunity.  He is an inspiration to many and on his way to his first 5K in the coming months!
jeffkuhn Jeff Kuhn, Non-Residential Member, Veterans Affairs
I love Back on My Feet because I truly believe that taking those first couple of steps to improve oneself is the hardest part to changing. I have truly enjoyed becoming part of the BoMF Family and enjoy my Wednesday’s Runs.”

barry Barry, Residential Member, Veterans Affairs
While Barry has served our country and survived a difficult past, he is looking towards his future! Barry has maintained 95% attendance with the Veterans team and is looking forward to moving out of the facility. Barry is the first to crack a joke, just ask his teammates!

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Back on My Feet staff wanted to share this inspirational story of Tina (name changed) a Residential Member with Team Bridge in Dallas to show the collaborative effort required to assist individuals to self-sufficiency. While running is a huge piece of what we do, much more goes on behind the scenes…

This is her story as told by Dennis Strickland, The Bridge’s Homeless Recovery Manager -

Tina has experienced much in her 24 years before becoming homeless and showing up at The Bridge. She came to us in August of 2011, did intake and was referred to Austin Street Center for shelter. She enrolled in our care management and we started to learn more about her: With an 11th grade education and limited skills, she had resorted to prostitution on the streets.

There was also a history of hospitalizations at Terrell State Hospital. She had a schizoaffective diagnosis, but at the time of her intake she was not receiving treatment; we linked her to LifeNet Clinic at the Bridge.

Tina has come a long way. Following months of care management, and with her behavioral health care intact, Tina was moved to our Transitional Shelter and encouraged to join Back on My Feet (BoMF) for both physical exercise and peer mentoring. She has done well with that program.

Her BoMF case manager reports,

She has gone from being very timid, shy and closed off to one who has been committed, engaged and the first to give her morning hug to our members! I know Tina has been through a lot, and I am so encouraged by her commitment to our team. Her smile gives me hope and I believe she is making strides towards a bright future.

Tina has most recently become job ready, working with the on-site Texas Workforce team. She has just obtained part-time employment, but has aspiration for more. Tina is not home, yet, but we believe she is very close to finding her way home. Our partnership is making it possible for our Guests like Tina to recover from homelessness.

Back on My Feet is honored to be a part of Tina’s recovery!

Residential Member of the Month: Tim G.

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Tim G. joined Team Helping Up last November and has run over 200 miles.  He says his biggest challenge is, “Forcing myself to take it easy once in a while and give myself a break.  I’m always pushing myself to do more.”  His effort and hard work have paid off too.  He set a personal record of 21:02 at the recent MammoJam Jug Jog.  When asked about his performance, he says, “I never thought I’d be able to run that fast and I think I can do even better.”  His next race is the Nikia Half Marathon this weekend—his first 13.1 race!  In the next 3 months, he hopes to be gainfully employed.

Quote from Helping Up Team Leader Nathan: “Tim’s dedication to BoMF, his teammates and achieving his personal goals is truly admirable.  He’s had nearly perfect attendance since joining last year and he’s always staying connected to his teammates by running with different groups, enjoying our social events and a slight fascination with Facebook.  He’s already achieved great mileage and personal accomplishments with BoMF and we’re thrilled to see his performance at the upcoming Nikia Half Marathon and future races.”

Non-Residential Member of the Month: Jocelyn S.

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From left to right: Hannah (now HUM), Jocelyn, and Christine (now SoBo)

Jocelyn S. joined Back on My Feet in 2010 and started running with Team American Rescue Workers.  While taking some time off to heal an injury, she moved to Patterson Park and started running with Team Helping Up.  Her best BoMF moment to date is from last year’s Philadelphia Marathon.  “There was a Baltimore BoMF cheering section somewhere within the last mile of the race,” she recalls.  “Someone must have recognized me and started cheering… loudly.  As I ran by, I smiled.  It was the first time I had smiled in ten miles!  And it made the finish line so much sweeter to have shared that moment with them.  I have no idea who was in that cheering crowd, but I am so grateful for their support.”  Jocelyn’s next race is the Nikia Relay, which she is running with two of her closest friends who have never run with BoMF.  Jocelyn says, “I am so excited to introduce them to the warmest and most supportive running group out there… and by that I really mean the most awesome!!”