Posts Tagged 5K

Terrence on ice

Terrence Robinson has served as the Team Captain of the MCVET team ever since his teammates nominated him last August. Although Terrence’s work and school responsibilities sometimes prevent him from running with the BoMF team in the morning, he usually takes the time to circle up with his teammates for a few minutes before they start running. On these days, he playfully reports his distance as 0.1 miles – the distance from MCVET to the BoMF circle that gathers across the street.

When Terrence is out, he coaxes his fellow runners up hills and distracts them with carefree banter about his adolescent son who runs track. He consistently encourages his teammates, which he appreciated during his first race: the MCVET 5k last May. The former MCVET Team Leader paced Terrence during the race, yet Terrence knew the Team Leader could have easily outrun him. The dedication and camaraderie this action displayed struck Terrence and enabled him to realize that BoMF is about supporting others as they move their lives forward from homelessness to self-sufficiency.

Terrence is pleased with the ways his accomplishments are leading him toward self-sufficiency, especially his recent promotion toSecurity Staff at MCVET. While his new position still requires him to log his activities like a Vet Guard, he will now report to the Chief of Security and be solely responsible for the safety of every person in the building during his shift. This means that Terrence will be responsible for remedying emergency situations and for resolving conflicts that arise between MCVET residents.

Soon, Terrence plans to move into Single Room Occupancy (SRO), the final phase of the recovery program at MCVET. He happily says that this move “will allow me the good fortune of becoming an alumni of BoMF.” He’s also considering running the Nikia Half Marathon or joining a relay team in April. He says it depends on his schedule and ability to fit in training with his responsibilities for his recovery, school, and work. By August, Terrence plans to add 18 months clean and sober to his list of accomplishments and to complete the Commercial Industrial Maintenance Program at North American Trade. Looking more long-term, Terrence hopes to buy a home and send his son to college once he graduates in 2016. He believes that his ultimate goal of reintegrating into his family and community is well within his reach.

As he moves his life forward, Terrence hopes to give back and help others do the same through volunteering or sharing his story from addiction and homelessness to self-sufficiency in order to inspire others. Terrence says BoMF and MCVET have “plac[ed] me in position to take advantage of opportunities that I would have not been able to access otherwise…Skills to Succeed, financial assistance, credit counseling, and the renewing of my mind as well as my body.” The job preparation, job training, and financial literacy skills Terrence has learned, along with the support from his teammates, will help enable Terrence to accomplish his goals.

Written from the perspective of and by Kathryn Fernandez, Non-Residential Member


             Saturday morning at 8:00 am I made the brisk walk to House of Passage, a shelter for single women, just a half mile from my apartment in West Philly.  I was showing up this Saturday morning to ride with the House of Passage Back on My Feet team to the annual Pickle Run, a 5k run known for its hidden pickle prizes. The race is unique because the end goal isn’t to have the fastest time, but instead, to finish as close to your predicted time as possible (nobody is permitted to wear watches).  I had the opportunity to see the House of Passage team launch, and I have done my best to attend the occasional morning run for the last few months but I typically meet new Residential Members every time I attend an event. This morning was the same, I showed up early and sat down at a picnic table next to two women wearing Back on My Feet clothing. I wasn’t sure if they were Residential Members or Non-Residential Members, a perfect example of how everyone appears wonderfully equal when they’re wearing their running sneaks.  I started talking to Melinda, whom I quickly discovered was a Residential Member running her first 5k. She was talking quickly and excitedly and it was obvious she was nervous. She said she hadn’t slept all night, she was worried she wouldn’t finish the race and would disappoint the team, but I think, she was worried about disappointing herself. She kept saying, “I’m just going to do my best.”  She also remarked that she was nervous she would end up running alone or holding other runners back from doing well. How ironic that she was worrying about running alone and my greatest fear was not finding a partner to run with myself. I told her that I would run with her the whole time and that I was relieved to have a partner. We started the race a few hours later, after a twisty half an hour ride in a packed van, and a team leader dressed as a pickle (I’m not fibbing), and an hour long wait in the 36 degree, sunny but freezing cold day.  The beginning of races are always exciting and everyone runs too fast, accelerated by their adrenaline and the spectator’s cheers. Melinda was short of breath at first and idle chitchat was not a priority. Of course, I just chattered away, I was hoping to distract her, but probably I just like to talk too much. Finally, when she settled into a good pace we were able to converse, and I discovered Melinda had never walk/ran more than a mile. Her estimated finish time was 60 minutes. I was pretty surprised considering we were walking and running at a pretty consistent pace, and Melinda seemed to be doing great. We kept our eyes out for hidden pickles along the way, but alas, we never found one. The halfway turnaround seemed to come fairly quickly, and the horrible hill didn’t really seem so horrible. Melinda was slowing down, just a little, and she was concerned she wouldn’t make 60 minutes. I laughed and said, “Melinda I will be surprised if it takes you longer than 45 minutes”. She didn’t believe me. Not long after we saw the Back on My Feet volunteers holding up signs for Melinda and cheering us along. Melinda had even invited her friend to come and cheer, and what a great choice of support because she had an impressive set of pipes. The finish line was in sight! Melinda, amongst cheers from the team, a team leader dressed as a pickle, and with her new friend, crossed the finished line, with tears in her eyes. Her first words, “I did my best” I turned her around and said, “look at the time!” She had finished in 39 minutes! It is amazing how proud of someone you can feel, even after only having known them for a couple of hours. The best part…during the awards ceremony Melinda was the most improved on her predicted time, the prize… a jar of pickles.


Pickle Run

The Prize!

The Prize!


Meet Manchester Residential Member Ishmil:

Ishmil before the Monumental Half Marathon!

Age: 40

Shoe Size: 11

Family: 2 daughters and a son

Hometown: Indianapolis

Branch of Military: Army and Navy – 8 years stationed in San Diego

Favorite place he visited with the Military: Japan

Favorite Color: Green

Favorite Movie: Superman 2

Favorite Music: Gospel

Where Ishmil wants to visit before he dies: Paris France

Longest race with BOMF: Monumental Half Marathon

Favorite BOMF race – Carmel

Why do you like being involved with BOMF? “I like everything about it. I like meeting people and talking to volunteers. It motivates me to improve. I really like the running and social events”

Ishmil has been with Team Manchester since day one. At first he had a hard time getting up early in the morning, but in recent months Ishmil has really stepped up his commitment and involvement. We’re very proud of Ishmil for this.

Meet Manchester Non Residential Members: Michael and Michele Cooley:

Michele and Michael after the Monumental Marathon!

Shoe Size? Michele: 9, Michael: 11.5

Favorite post run food? No question – donuts!

How many marathons/half marathons/5ks have you done? Michele: 1 Marathon, 4 Half Marathons, 1 5K. Michael: 1 Marathon, 1 5K

Favorite race you’ve ever done?  We just finished the Monumental Full Marathon. Michael decided at the last minute to run it with me. We stayed together the entire race and crossed the finish line together.

Favorite music? Michele: Ben Folds is my favorite musician.  For running, anything with a good beat (like 90s rap).  Michael: Alt-Country/Folk

Favorite athlete/team/sport? Michele: While I am an IU grad, I am a huge fan of the Butler Bulldogs.  I’m a sucker for an underdog (and I love Blue).  Michael: Arsenal FC and the Chicago Cubs.

Favorite vacation spot?   San Francisco

Bucket list item you plan to cross off soon? We just ran our first marathon.

Why do you run? Michele: See answer to favorite post run food.  I started running to lose weight, and stuck with it because it helps to relieve stress and refocus.  Michael: It gives me energy and clears my head.

Tell us about your family? Michele: I grew up in Lafayette, and my parents are still there.  I have one younger brother.  He and his wife live in Las Vegas and are expecting twins.  Michael and I have two dogs, Pete and Maggie.  Michael: I am from Rush County, IN, and my parents and extended family are still there.  I have a younger sister who lives outside of Atlanta.

What is your day job?  We are both attorneys.

What is your most memorable BoMF memory?  Our most memorable BoMF moment was watching Ed cross the finish line Saturday at the Monumental Marathon.  We have trained with him since June, and watching him cross with a smile on his face, hand in hand with Melissa and Caitlin after running in sleet and rain meant just as much to us as our own finish.

How did you hear about BoMF? Why did you stick with it? What has BoMF meant to you? Michele: I heard about BoMF shortly after the Indy chapter started.  I can’t remember if I learned about it through Blue Mile or the Indianapolis Downtown newsletter.  I thought it sounded like a great organization to get involved with, but honestly, the 5:45 am run time was intimidating.  I instead showed my support by running the inaugural BoMF 42K relay with a team of complete strangers, and then I was a FundRacer for the 2012 Mini Marathon.  After that, I decided it was time to become a non-res member, and Michael decided to join me.  We stick with it because we have gotten to know our team members, and we enjoy seeing their progress.  It’s easy to get up at 5 knowing that we are going to be greeted with hugs, smiles, and hellos when we get downtown.

How is BoMF helping you with your future career? We have met a lot of people through this organization, and you never know when one of those connections will lead to a new opportunity.

Advise for people who might want to start running with BoMF?  The experience is unforgettable.  Even if you aren’t a runner or a morning person, you will want to keep coming back week after week because of the relationships you will create with the team members.  Everyone is friendly and welcoming.  While team members have different backgrounds and experiences, everyone is instantly connected by the commitment to improve themselves.

Meghan and Progress House teammates before the Carmel Half, all smiles!

Meghan has been an instrumental part of Progress House‘s volunteer base since joining Back on My Feet last summer. Meghan will always offer a listening ear to anyone with an ailment and try to help with a stretch or advise. She is also one of the instructors of Wednesday Night Yoga, which is a fun time if you haven’t tried! Meghan, along with the other instructors always do their very best to stretch the participants! We will miss Meghan when she moves to Michigan to continue her career as a Physical Therapist in July, but we are glad she could spend some time with our team.

Shoe Size? 6 but I normally wear a 7 in running shoes

Favorite post run food? peanut butter on bananas and chocolate milk

How many marathons/half marathons/5ks have you done? I’ve done 3 half marathons and numerous 5ks

Favorite race you’ve ever done? this would be a tie between the Carmel Half Marathon the other week and the Soldier Field 10 Miler last May.

Favorite music? I enjoy all types of music as long as I can sing along!

Favorite athlete/team/sport? I love college football especially Michigan State.  I also love the Chicago White Sox.

Favorite vacation spot?

Sister Lakes, Michigan, we have been renting the same cottage for 26 years and I love spending a week relaxing at the beach.

Bucket list item you plan to cross off soon?

I just crossed off running a Half Marathon in under 2 hours thanks to the wonderful support of BoMF!

Why do you run?

I love that time when I can be alone with my thoughts and not have to answer any emails or phone calls.  When I am running all of my energy and focus is just on myself and whoever I am running with.  It’s such a special time of day for me.

Tell us about your family?

I am the youngest of four and all of my family lives in Chicago.  I have hands down the cutest niece in the world and I love going up north to visit my family as much as possible.

What is your day job?  I am a Physical Therapist at Methodist Hospital.

What is your most memorable BoMF memory?

It’s hard to think of my most memorable memory as every day that I run with BoMF has truly impacted the rest of my day.  I Loved though at the polar bear doubler when Keith showed up dressed as a polar bear I don’t think I’ve laughed like that in a long time.

How did you hear about BoMF? Why did you stick with it? What has BoMF meant to you?

I heard about BoMF through the yoga community and also a friend who runs with the program up in Chicago.  I thought I would start out just running one day a week but as soon as I showed up for my first run I knew it was a perfect fit and that I would be there as much as possible.  BoMF has meant turning a positive spin on running for me.  I used to just run so that I could eat more food ha, but now I love the relationships that I have formed with all the members and look forward to seeing everyone at 5:45 M, W and F.

How is BoMF helping you with your future career? 

The encouragement that I get from the members of BoMF on a daily basis is overwhelming, they have taught me to believe in myself and with hard work anything is possible! I never thought I would have applied for these residency positions and with the support of my running friends I have gained that self-confidence!

Will you recruit morning runners from your job in Michigan this summer to run with you, or how will you keep the motivation of running? 

I love that we get weekly emails with our plan for runs during the week and so I plan to run exactly as Coach Joe advises (even the Fartleks!)  Although I think it will be hard to find friends to run with me at 5:45 MWF, knowing that everyone is running at that time back in Indy will be great motivation.  I am looking forward to running on all the trails and hills in Michigan and then hopefully coming back to run races here!

Advise for people who might want to start running with BoMF? DO IT! It will change your life in ways that you cannot even imagine!

Anything else you want to share with readers? I am so thankful for my time being a part of the BoMF family and I look forward to visiting and running once again with an incredible crew!

Shane and Meghan ready to get after the Polar Bear Doubler!


Carmel Half running mates, Lee and Mark all smiles after a great race!

Mark Tracy came to BoMF Indy from Illinois and will be leaving to go back home and graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation Programming. While Mark has been in Indianapolis he was a great asset to the Indianapolis Chapter. Mark is always willing to jump in and help out where he was needed and if you throw food in the picture he will be the first in line! We are going to miss Mark, but we wish him luck in his bright future!

Thank you Mark for all of your hard work and dedication to the program. All of our Members, both resident and non-resident will miss having you on the team. Your passion to help others shines through in the work that you do.

When you first came to BoMF, what were your expectations and what did you want to get out of the program?

When I was looking at internships last fall at University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, I really wanted to find an internship where I could help change lives through recreation. I heard about Back on My Feet in one of my classes and went online and said to myself “I want that internship.” When I came to Indy I really did not have any expectations except I knew I would have to get back in running shape fast! I was expecting to interact with the residents a lot, but I am been so happy to have gotten to know many non-residents well, too. I did not expect to meet this many good people, residents and non-residents.

Why did you choose BoMF for your internship in Indianapolis when there is a chapter in Chicago?

Well I chose Indianapolis over Chicago because it is a smaller city without a Program Coordinator, so I knew I would get a lot of hands on experience. Also, Indianapolis is actually closer to school than Chicago for me.

Explain your role in the Indy chapter to readers..

Well when Brian says jump, I say how high. I am just kidding sort of. I am technically the Program Intern. I filled the role of Program Coordinator for Brian. I did new resident orientations, helped with resident retention, and a lot of resident relationship building as well as non-resident relationship building. I also assisted in getting the guys signed up for races, transporting them for new shoes, and even counted a bit of inventory. Also, I did a lot of paperwork for Brian.

What races did you compete in while with BoMF?

Legacy Loop 5k, Big Ten Hoops Day 5k, Bulldog Jog, Carmel Half Marathon

What is your favorite BoMF memory?

There have been so many favorite memories from the races to meeting all kinds of great people. I think my favorite memory would be seeing Will hit 500 miles and after the 13 mile run, Tom and Deb treating us to breakfast afterwards. I still remember the pancakes and the biscuits of gravy!

What are your BHAG? (Big Hairy Audacious Goals, things you can’t complete on your own, you need help completing.)

To spread the word and the love of God to every person I meet through my words and most importantly my actions. I want to spread the good news of redemption told through the Gospels to all people I meet through loving my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ as I love myself. I also hope to spread the love and mercy of his only begotten Son Jesus Christ, our Savior who is the way, the light, and the truth to eternal life.

What’s next for Mark?

I am planning on his summer to walk across the country again this summer. Last, summer I walked/ran from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. This summer I am walking/running from San Francisco to Washington D.C.

Manchester Miler member Kevin said, “It is clear Mark has passion and cares about what he does, he would come have lunch with us everyday and ask us how we were doing. He will go far.”

“I get up every morning and look in the mirror and thank God for my great looks,” Mark told Warman Team Leader, Tom while running the Carmel 1/2 Marathon!

Tom hit the nail on the head on how to get Mark to run at Warman, “Tell him we will have food!”

Emilie, JP, and Mark awaiting their volunteer shift at the Polar Bear Doubler. Thanks for volunteering on this cold day!


Mark, Dwayne, Nan, and Andrea at the Bulldog Jog

Finishing the Big Ten Hoops 5k all smiles!

Jeffrey, Mark, Deb, and Andy at the Hearts and Hands Picnic


Tom and Mark chat about the Carmel Half Marathon while Ron listens and thinks I'm sticking to the 8ks!

Mark and a few Manchester Milers awaiting the start of breakfast at the Marriott Downtown.

The end is near for Lee and Mark of the Carmel Half Marathon!

Shane and Laurence getting ready for the Big Ten Hoops 5k!


Laurence started running with Back on My Feet in February 2012 and has completed several races with the team, each with a better time! We are excited Laurence decided to join our Progress House team and believe he has a bright future!

Running Shoe Size: 8.5

Hometown/Family: Carmel, In

Favorite Athlete: Lawrence Taylor

Favorite post run food:  Apples

Favorite Music: Rock and Roll

What brought you into Progress House? What were you overcoming?

I relapsed last May from a heroin addiction and eventually ended up in rehab after an intervention. Upon completion the counselors suggested I stay at a halfway house. They recommended the Progress House.

Why did you join BoMF?

I joined because I like running. I had run a little bit in the previous year but stopped after I relapsed. I picked it up again while I was in rehab. I ran 3 miles every other day.

What races have you completed with BoMF?

I’ve ran the Legacy Loop 5k, Polar Bear Doubler, Ground Hog 7, Big Ten Hoops 5k, and the Bulldog Jog 5k.

In your spare time, what do you like to do?

I enjoy working out, going to NA mtgs, and going out to eat with my friends.

BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals):

I want to run a full marathon and maybe run the Boston marathon one day.

Michelle finishing the Bulldog Jog strong!

Michelle joined team Manchester House after hearing about Back on My Feet at a Lunch & Learn at her place of employment- Covance Central Labs. She signed up for a volunteer orientation that day and showed up for the orientation the following day.

It seemed to be perfect timing, as we were approaching the start of our newest team, she was able to begin her BoMF journey on launch day for team Manchester. We have found that other than running, Michelle is also a brilliant photographer and she has graciously shared some of her photos with Back on My Feet after events our Members participate in. We are excited to have Michelle as a volunteer and grateful  for her involvement with Back on My Feet and Team Manchester!

Shoe Size: 9

Favorite post run food?

Short runs: banana

Long runs: bagel

Marathon: Cheeseburger

How many marathons/half marathons have you done?

2 Marathons

7 Half Marathons

Favorite race you’ve ever done?

Columbus Marathon

What marathons have you done?

Columbus Marathon (Ohio)

Grandma’s Marathon (Duluth, MN)

Favorite music?

Folk Rock, Rock

Favorite athlete?

Team Hoyt  (Dick Hoyt and son Rick Hoyt) If you don’t know their story it is definitely worth a Google. They are such an inspiration.

Favorite vacation spot?

1) Any where warm with sun and water

2) Going home to visit my family in Argentina

Bucket list item you plan to cross off soon?

My bucket list usually consists of travel so I am looking forward to a visit to the Mediterranean in June.

Why do you run?

There is nothing like the sense of accomplishment and mental health you get from running and run/walking (or as someone once called it “Runalking”)


Partner and 1 fur child (a dog named Loca)


I work in Clinical Development for the pharmaceutical industry

Why did you choose Manchester House over the other two teams?

I chose Manchester House/Rest over Progress House and the other HVAF team because it was new and we could all get to know each other and get in shape together.

What has BoMF meant to you?

Inspiration and connection with a wonderful variety of people. Everyone looking for the “next best choice” as one of our Resident Members told me (Thanks for the inspiration Todd).

Advise for people who might want to start running with BoMF?

Do it. You will quickly forget about the early AM starts and find yourself looking forward to starting your day out right with a run and new friends.

Anything else you want to share with readers?

This team is awesome and I can’t imagine starting my Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays without you!

Molly and Ed at the launch of Team Manchester

Molly was first introduced to Back on My Feet when she helped the National staff plan the Luncheon Launch at the JW Marriott before the local staff was in place. Molly joined the team in November as a non-res and has been very supportive and instrumental in helping with anything BoMF needs when asked.We are very appreciative of everything Molly is willing to do for BoMF!

Shoe Size?  8

Favorite post run food? Loved the chocolate covered cherries and hot chocolate at the Santa Hustle 

How many half marathons/5ks have you done? (2) half marathons and countless 5ks

Favorite race you’ve ever done? Santa Hustle and my first half marathon

What half marathons have you done? I did the 500 Festival Mini Marathon twice

Favorite music? Country

Favorite vacation spot? Disney World and Cinque Terre, Italy

Bucket list item you plan to cross off soon?

I did my first sprint triathlon and loved it. My goal is to work up to doing an Olympic triathlon this summer. I’d also love to do the Disney half marathon!

Why do you run?

Some people look at running as something they have to do. I look at it as something I love to do. Whether it’s early in the morning or after a long day, running is my time to escape from the busyness of daily life.


My mom and dad (Tim and Diane Paschal), two sisters (Meagan Cole and Abbe Paschal), brother-in law (Mark Cole), and two nephews (Owen and Drew Cole) are the seven most important people in my life. I am extremely blessed to have such an amazing and supportive family.

How did you hear about BoMF? What has BoMF meant to you?  Why did you stick with it?

I first heard about BoMF when I was working at the JW Marriott as an Event Manager. I was put in charge of organizing the BoMF luncheon at the JW to celebrate their launch in Indianapolis. I was so moved by Anne’s story and her commitment to the cause that I knew I wanted to give back in some way. I began running with them at the end of November and I was immediately hooked!

Over the last few months of running, BoMF has become more than just a volunteer opportunity or a way to give back to my community. I have seen the amazing things that come out of this organization. It has become something that I truly believe in and am passionate about. I have built wonderful relationships with both the res and non-res members and it’s definitely these individuals that motivate and inspire me to wake up at 4:30am and run!

Advice for people who might want to start running with BoMF?

Do it! Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t a marathon runner. While BoMF is a running group, it is made up of people with all different running backgrounds. It is more about building the relationships and working towards a common goal together.

Kelli and Keith, our very own cheerleader awaiting the start of the 5k!

BoMF Indy Members set their sights high on having a good race for the first nice racing day of the year. Many members shot for personal best times for the 5k with many of those members achieving those goals. Shane Stultz started out with an under 20 minute goal, which he missed this goal by 21 seconds. Lee Wilcher also set out to run sub 25 minutes, nearly missing this goal by 14 seconds. Both men broke their previous 5k PRs and have set their goals even higher for the next race.

Shane and Laurence, "the fast guys" of Progress House before the 5k

The beautiful weather and championship atmosphere created a good buzz and excitement for all runners, which made it a little easier to see fast times.

Lee and Lindsey anxiously awaiting the start!

Will, Jamie, and Mike in the starting corrals.

This weekend was a great time to be in Indianapolis for basketball fans and non-fans alike! Following the Big Ten Hoops Day 5k,  Bankers Life Fieldhouse prepared for the championship game between Ohio State and Michigan State, with fans of both teams having a good showing. All B1G Ten schools were represented well, which gave some great exposure for BoMF as well as Indiana Sports Corp and Tuxedo Brothers Race Management.

Group photo after the race, first race for many in shorts this year!

Progress House ready to run!

We are grateful for the partnerships BoMF has been able to maintain with Indiana Sports Corp and Tuxedo Brothers, without these two local organizations, BoMF would not have been able to  participate in such a great event! Thanks again Indiana Sports Corp and Tuxedo Brothers for your continued support of BoMF and we look forward to continuing our partnership!

Thank you Team Manchester for coming out and cheering for everyone at the last 1/4 mile!

March is my all-time favorite month of the year! Why? Because 1) Daylight Savings Time means we ALL get more run time after work, 2) It marks the time of year where we FINALLY get to see and FEEL some of that warm, Spring weather, and 3) St. Patrick’s Day! Need I say more?!?!

In celebration of Spring and St. Paddy’s day, BoMF Atlanta invites you to join us at the Cuties Luckie 5k and Fun Run on March 17th, 2012! It’s fun for the WHOLE family! Bring the strollers, and Kiddos wear your running shoes! The Kids Fun Run has comfortable distances for 4 categories and ALL miniature Cuties fun run participants will earn a t-shirt AND finisher’s medal!

This year’s Cuties Luckie 5k is sure to be blast with an exciting downtown course and start/finish at Centennial Olympic Park! Register now and BoMF family and friends will receive $5 off the 5k by registering HERE  and entering code BOMF5k2012.

For more race information, visit

We can’t wait to see you there @ 8 AM sharp for the 5k and @ 9 AM sharp for the Kids Fun Run!