Getting to Know Team Red White and Blue
We all know someone who has served. Or is serving this great country! Thank you. THANK YOU. We celebrate veterans for their love of our country and willingness to sacrifice for their fellow Americans. If you want to support your running veterans – consider getting to know Team Red White and Blue! Ultimately, the aim of Team RWB’s community-building program is to bring veterans together with civilian citizens in a way that enables them to establish authentic friendships.
Go! Running loves supporting this amazing group. What a better time to hear from a few of these wonderful runners.
Lisa Palicki Webb, a runner for Team Red White and Blue, shares us her love of camaraderie. “My favorite thing about Team RWB is the unconditional camaraderie and team spirit that the Eagle provokes. We can be anywhere at any time, and when someone sees the Eagle, there are words of encouragement and shout outs to kindred spirits. It’s a warm, proud feeling of belonging to a group with a beneficial purpose.” She also added. “My favorite thing about working with veterans is being close to those who have served and made a difference for our country. It gives me comfort to somehow be a part of their nurturing and growth outside of the service. My husband is retired Air Force. He served 24 years, so I have a special bond with the military community.”
Everyone is welcome to be a part of Team Red White and Blue, from civilians, to active military, to veterans. This is what drew Lisa Gunnoe to Team Red White and Blue. She said, “Team RWB encourages not only inclusive membership, but also inclusive leadership. Anyone can become a leader in Team RWB and Team RWB will help that leader grow in essential leadership qualities which help that leader not only in their volunteer role in Team RWB but also in their home life, church, community, any interaction with another person. All of these relationships can become improved with the leadership qualities available to learn through Team RWB volunteer leadership. Team RWB is a hands-on organization. Awareness is good, but then what? Team RWB answers that question by being where the veterans are and encouraging them to make connections in their communities through physical fitness and social activities. Lets roll our sleeves up and get to work along side our veterans to enrich all lives.”
Since US veterans are some of the most highly trained in the world, they have skills worth emulating. Lisa is honored to be able to work with veterans. She goes on to say, “Our veterans are humble. Most often when you thank a veteran for their service they don’t see themselves as heroes and they are a bit uncomfortable with the attention. Veterans have so much to teach us. In the way Team RWB is structured those veterans are given the opportunity to teach those lessons.”
Thank you to our veterans and Team RWB. Want to join the “eagles?” It’s free to join and there are no fundraising requirements. You just have to show up! www.teamrwb.org
Be Safe, Be Seen, and Brighten up the Night
The weather is getting cooler, which means Fall is upon us and it’s just the best time of year to get out and run. THIS SUNDAY November 5th is the daylight savings time change… – “Fall Back”. That means it will get darker earlier in the evening and will still be dark in the morning, too! As runners, we need to be thinking about Fall Safety. Our motto year ‘round, but especially for fall is ‘Be Safe & Be Seen’. And, there are an array of things you can do. Outside of wearing reflective gear (shoes and apparel), you can find other sources to help you “light up the night”. Headlamps and other lights and true reflective night apparel (vests/shirts) are truly a must. Drivers are more distracted than ever – so protect yourself!
All week long at the store we will have “Light Up” specials – up to 20% off your favorite “be safe/be seen” products.
It’s a Challenge. It’s a family friendly race. The Spa Running Festival – November 18th.
There are many races that we have opportunities to run in our region. But you should really look at the Spa Running Festival. No doubt you’ve heard about it. It’s growing. Did you know that it was recognized by Runner’s World Magazine as one of the ‘top races to run’ in a national park. Ok that’s pretty cool. And it’s right in our back yard. Supporting our neighbors and a few very worthy organizations, too (see below for more on charities).
And it has a special history for Go!’s chief running officer, Gary Taylor. ”The SPA Running Festival is a wonderful event,” he noted, “but for me it holds a special place in my heart because it was the first road race I ran in America, 35 years ago in 1982. I was a redshirt freshman at U of A and John McDonnell thought I needed a good race, so he sent me off to run the Spa 10K. Back then it started near the old Cinema and ended at The Arlington. I have vivid memories of finishing the race along Central Ave looking at the bathhouses. Over the years, it’s been great to watch the race evolve into the amazing festival it is today.”
Run Where Legends have gone before you!
The Spa Running Festival has grown into a key running festival in the South, attracting runners from several states with a 5k, 10k, or half marathon. When you run the 10K or half marathon, you will be running down the same streets where legends such as Babe Ruth, President Roosevelt, and Bugsy Malone. “This will be the 36th year for the Spa 10K and 5K race,” said Cindy Baswell, race director. “When we added the Half Marathon in 2015, we rebranded the race name to Spa Running Festival as it now offered an event for everyone from the kids, to beginners and those that like a challenge running West Mountain with the 10K and half marathon.” Cindy said adding the Summit² Challenge Half Marathon provides additional excitement, “and gives us more exposure, as we are attract runners from all over the United States. It’s wonderful that they get to see what the Spa City has to offer with the National Park, historic bathhouse row and the thermal hot springs water. It’s a great weekend getaway.” The 2017 race is fast approaching. Cindy shared with us some new festival attractions. “We have some new features this year with the addition of the Expo on Friday, a new flat and fast 5k course, 10K finishers medals and 5K finishers commemorative awards – so we keep making enhancements that makes it a great race experience for the race participants. I love that the race is the Saturday before Thanksgiving, so it’s a beautiful time of the year with the fall foliage and running through West Mountain. I invite all runners to ‘Come Run With Us’.”
November 18, 2017 we are back with the flat and fast redesigned 5k, the Southern Region Championship 10k, and the Summit² Challenge Half Marathon. Get in so you don't get left out! Hot Springs, National Park, AR www.sparunningfestival.com Thanks to our great sponsors who make it all possible : Window Mart Murphy USA Adrianne Kahn Fine Jewelry and Design Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield Allen Tillery Chevrolet Buick Pontiac GMC Kurt Hauser Plastics Mountain Valley Spring Water Lauray's The Diamond Center Rev'd Up Ink CHI St. Vincent Tim Poole Dennis Berry
Posted by Spa Running Festival on Tuesday, August 15, 2017
There’s still time to Register (but many races are selling out fast): http://sparunningfestival.com
Benefitting Local Charities
The festival is run 100% by volunteers, which means the race entry fee goes directly back to the community. The festival supports three worthwhile organizations:
- Teen Challenge of Arkansas is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to biblically educate men 18 and older with life-controlling problems. This is accomplished through educational programs that are biblically sound and highly structured. http://www.teenchallengear.org/
- The Friends of the Parks is a non-profit organization dedicated to development and stewardship of Hot Springs area public parks Individual and Corporate partnerships are available for projects identified in the Hot Springs Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan. The master plan is a comprehensive guide for future park, recreation and open space development. http://www.hsfriendsoftheparks.org/
- Proceeds from the Festival also fund numerous Buzz Wilson scholarships awarded to local high school seniors involved in the sport of running and/or fitness and who exemplify the principles identified in the Spa Pacer’s mission statement.
Expo: Friday from 3-5pm.
The Spa Running Festival Race Expo will take place at Hotel Hot Springs & Spa, 305 Malvern Avenue (Malvern Avenue at Convention Blvd). Admission to the Expo is free and it is open to the general public.
Go! Running will be at this year’s expo. Come see us and join in this popular running festival. We are so proud to be a sponsor and love being part of its history. Pack up the family and come see us in Hot Springs!
The “real” Arkansas Traveller – all 100 miles of it.
It’s dark in the Ouachita forest in the middle of the night, but the evening shines pretty brightly for more than 160 ultra runners who came from around the county to navigate their way through one of the oldest 100-mile races, the Traveller. Lou Payton, the first female to ever do the grand slam, founded the race with her husband Charley in 1991. Chrissy Ferguson, who directed the race for the past 15 years – and will be running her 20th Traveller this year – said, “The best thing about the Traveller are the aid stations and volunteers. In Ultra Running Magazine, it was voted to have both the best volunteers and aid stations of any other 100 miler. My favorite part of the race is running over Smith Mountain on the return, about 71/72 miles into the race. I’ve picked up my pacer and it’s so dark on top of the mountain if you turn your flashlight off you can see a billion stars. When you shine your light in the mowed grass, you can see the twinkle of spider eyes as you run.”
Photo Credit: RunArkansas.com
The Traveller is one of the Western State’s qualifiers, the grandfather of 100’s and one of the oldest 100-mile races. If you want to test your ultra running skills, the Travellers is a great race to start with and you are guaranteed to be challenged from beginning to end. Many runners enjoy this race so much, they come back to the AT100 year after year. The scenery of the Ouachita Forest is beautiful and the volunteer support at the aid stations is a lifesaver. They encourage you, give you a shoulder to lean on or to help stretch out tired legs and feed your belly as well as your spirit. When you see an aide station up ahead, seeing the laser lights and the disco balls is almost like seeing a shining beacon of hope. Stacey Shaver, an AURA ultra runner who just this March completed her 100th ultra distance race shared, “The volunteers are what makes the Traveller so unique. Every time I race out of state, I’m quickly reminded of how spoiled we are with AURA. There are aid stations every 4 to 5 miles where you could go 8 to 10 elsewhere. I can’t imagine the effort it takes to gather and coordinate that many volunteers. Not only the abundance of aid stations but it’s also the people who offer up their time are so special. They ALL go out of their way to ensure we are well cared for. Many would literally give you the shirt off their back. I think this alone gives the race a magical feel to it, which is why so many keep going back to it, including myself.”
Photo Credit: Arkansas Outside
The race starts THIS SATURDAY MORNING and continues in to Sunday morning. The Central Arkansas Radio Emergency Network tracks the runners live and the Williams Junction Fire Department is always close by for any runners who are in distress. We also couldn’t do the race without the pacers. Stacey loves sharing miles with her pacers and says it’s uplifting to be able to run beside a friend and talk; it makes the miles go by fast. Join us along with the family and friends of AT100 and AURA runners to celebrate and cheer them on ever step of the way.
The Go! Breakfast Club
The Go! Breakfast Club –
It’s the end of a long run; sweat pouring, feet pounding, and stomach growling. Your body says you’re finished, but your appetite is just revving up.
Since September is Better Breakfast Month, we asked a few of our family of runners to share their favorite post run breakfast or recovery meal – something that gets them through and/or what they treat themselves to.
Here’s what they had to say:
“I like to make a recovery breakfast: omelet with lots of chopped onions, peppers and mushrooms and sometimes feta cheese.” – Lisa Mullis
“After a long run I immediately crave a good Pale Ale or IPA. When we run downtown we all like the Sausage, egg and pepper jack on an everything bagel at Andina’s Coffee Shop on 3rd St. My next go-to is an omelet and pancakes from either IHOP or Cracker Barrel. Then when we run from the heights I like the b-fast pizza at US Pizza brunch with a Bloody Mary.” – Chris Ho
“One of my favorite breakfasts after a good run is a slice of gluten free, Salba Chia sandwich thin (toasted) with avocado smashed on it, and topped with a slice of tomato, a few leaves of spinach, and the tofu breakfast strips from the no meat athlete cookbook. As a vegan, I love that I get a good bit of protein to help rebuild my muscles with no animal byproducts or meat. I like to bake enough tofu strips for a few days to be able to make it a fast breakfast.” – Andi Stracner
“My favorite post-run breakfast is scrambled eggs with avocado and a big cold glass of 2% milk. And when the need strikes, I add wheat toast. Yum.” – Monica Ritchie
“A killer long run for me is a fast, hilly 30 mile run in the National Forest. Because of the distance to get there I have to be creative in finding things I can carry in my cooler that won’t spoil before I get finished. I try to ensure that I have a good source of protein and healthy carbs. Usually that is a wrap with avocado, lettuce, tomato, and a chickpea burger with fruit on the side or a quinoa salad either homemade or purchased from a specialty grocer and a good craft beer. My theory is that I can splurge on a little junk food after a long run but I typically don’t because I honestly enjoy the healthier stuff. Every now and then I do crave a cheeseburger and I almost always indulge when the mood strikes.” – Stacey Shaver-Matson
What is your favorite post-run meal? We know something just popped into your mind. So share it! We’d love to hear from you. Drop a comment below or on Facebook.
‘Walk a Mile in Their Shoes’ – Shoe donation drive the month of September
Give Your Running Shoes New Life
The fall weather is on the way, school has started and with that, we begin to look in our closest to pull the warmer gear forward. And right in front of you are a line of running shoes on the floor. Wondering what to do with your old used running shoes? Donate them. Bag up your running shoes and bring them to us!
Since we opened our doors in 2010, Go! Running has been recycling running shoes to those in need. We collect them every day of the year, but each year, we bring attention to the need to help others with ’A Mile in Their Shoes’,” which is an annual month-long running/walking shoe donation drive, inspired by the understanding that even if you’ve run the last mile in a pair of running shoes, these shoes still have a long life and can go to someone in need to live out the rest of their miles.
Special Thanks to the gals who got it all started: Mary Wells and Sarah Olney –
We have to give special thanks to two amazing Little Rock Road Runners, Mary Wells and Sarah Olney, who started recycling running shoes in their garage to help others. They shared their passion, time and community need, and when we opened our doors, we offered to help. What started out as a drop off location has turned into a daily community-giving program. Today, we give to as many groups in need as possible: Our House, CASA, The Van, Homeless Shelters and other charities contact us when they are in need.
Help a Child – NEED Kid’s shoes.
The shoes we need the most are kids shoes. Over 13 million children are living in poverty in America and don’t have access to new clothes or shoes to go back to school. And there are many kids in our area who need help. So instead of throwing those shoes away or putting them in a yard sale, donate them to a great cause. It could make a child’s day! We believe in helping others, and the shoe drive is one way we can do that. Let’s help others in need in our community. We can’t fill this need without you!
Running Shoe Recycling and Donation Drive
What: “A Mile in Their Shoes”
When: All September
Where: Go! Running, 1819 N Grant St, Little Rock