I just want to get something straight right off the hop, I am not in the pictures above. First of all I typically don’t wear shoes, although those really are some nice shoes. Secondly, I definitely don’t look that good in a tutu, I am more of a kilt wearing guy.
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Let me introduce you to Angie and Ashley (Moon Joggers Extraordinaire), they are the collective brains behind The Moon Joggers. It all started as a sisterly challenge to run 1,000 miles in 2013, it then quickly morphed into something a whole lot more. With little to no advertising, just a few posts strategically placed on a social network or two, they have quickly been joined by over 1,400 runners and walkers from all over the world on their journey. The idea was to amass enough miles to physically run or walk to the moon by either completing 1,000 or 2,013 miles either individually or as a team throughout the year. As the moon is approximately 238,857 miles away from the earth, that would mean that the group would need a total of 239 runners and walkers to complete the challenge. Well I can say collectively we should be able to run to the moon, do a few laps on the dark side and run back at least 3 times.
The sisters have been overwhelmed by the response that they have received from all corners of the world. “Our goal was 250, I hoped we’d get 500…suddenly it exploded and runners from all over wanted to get involved and there was no way we were going to turn anyone away!!! Everyone is so excited and we’ve received so much positive feedback!!!” Angie exclaimed. The work involved organizing the runners and to get everything prepared for the upcoming year must have been substantial. Although, I am sure that Angie and Ashley have enjoyed every minute of it, as they have created a community that is going to be fun to watch and be involved with.
Besides the physical benefits of getting people outside and running and walking their personal goals, there has been an unexpected bonus that has developed as well. That is the social aspect of it, there have been countless interactions by the participants through the Facebook page as everybody gets to know each other. New friendships have been started, stories and experiences shared, it has been amazing to be a part of it. There have already been discussions of get togethers and group runs by some of the participants that are demographically close enough to each other but have never previously met. To demonstrate how global this has become, there are runners from such locations as New Zealand, Portugal, India, Nepal, Mexico, Egypt and my favorite Dead Horse, Alaska to name a few. There are runners and walkers of all types and from all walks of life. Trail runners to road racers, experienced runners to novice, individuals to families, the goal to just get out there and participate.
The one thing that has always amazed me about the running community as a whole, is the willingness of everybody to help each other out. The support and encouragement shown by runners to other runners who not only have never met each other but would not typically encounter in their day to day life is incredible. That also applies to this group, since I joined about two weeks ago, I have seen nothing but this in spades from everybody, it makes me proud to call myself a runner and to be part of this wonderful community.
Personally I am slated to run 2,013 miles over the next year with a twist. I have allocated a minimum of 1,000 miles barefoot once again with the majority being run on trails with varying terrain. I am planning to integrate this challenge into my running event schedule as much as possible, so you may see some barefoot guy posing for a picture with a sign “I’m Running To The Moon”, if you do please do not forget to say hello.
Kudos and many thanks go to Angie and Ashley for dreaming this up and having the gumption to put the wheels in motion. I personally cannot wait for 2013 to start so we can commence on this journey and see how far collectively we can go. I am looking forward to all the new friends that I have gained and will meet through this experience. Get ready for the blast off, as it is going to be epic. You can follow the group as we run for the stars at http://moonjoggers.blogspot.ca/.
10….9….8….7….6….5….4….3….2….1….. GO MOON JOGGER’S GO!