Running For a Cause

Wow can you believe it is almost Thanksgiving? It is almost time to start breaking out the Christmas lights and hot chocolate. But before that happens, I have two more races to run.

I am running the Atlanta Half Marathon next Thursday (Thanksgiving Day). I ran this last year for the first time and although it was a really hilly course, it was so much fun! The race seems really laid back and everyone is cheering each other on and just having fun. I am excited to get to run this one again this year. And what better excuse to stuff yourself full of pumpkin pie than to run 13.1 miles that morning, at least that will be my excuse. Hello recovery meal!

The other race a have on the calendar is the Ripple Effect 5K .

This is a virtual race, you sign up, run a 5k at any time, then get your tshirt in the mail. Too easy! The money also goes to a great organization, Young Life Expeditions . Young Life is a non profit organization funded through the donations of individuals, foundations, and businesses. Young Life is non denominational, Christian ministry dedicated to reaching out to middle school, high school, and college age kids in all 50 states. I work with the YL Capernaum group which focuses on kids with disabilities. The YL Expedition group expands the reach and gives kids all over the world the chance to learn about God and offer them support through ministry.

I had the opportunity to interview one of the regional directors for YLX and he also happens to be the race coordinator. Here is what he has to say about the race and about YLX.

What is Young Life Expeditions?
Young Life Expeditions (YLX) is Young Life’s “in-house” short term mission program. We support local Young Life ministries around the world by connecting individuals and groups who would like to serve in an international, as well as domestic, setting.

What exactly is the Ripple Effect 5K?
The Ripple Effect Virtual 5K is an easy, fun and creative way for people to partner with Young Life Expeditions and their work with teenagers and families around the world.

Why did you decided to do a virtual race instead of a specific race location?
Much of Young Life’s local work within the United States is centered around the local high school and the communities that surround them, Young Life Expeditions is a little different, in that much of our work is in support of direct ministry around the world and with people from all over the United States. As we considered different types of events to help raise operational funds for our program and the fact that most of those that serve within our program aren’t located in any one location, the virtual 5K idea seemed like a perfect fit for YL Expeditions. We believe it is a fun and easy way to connect with something bigger…anywhere…anytime…

Where does the money go that is raised through the race?
The money raised from this event will directly support the operational program costs for YLX. Young Life is a not for profit ministry and depends on the generosity of individuals. A portion of the costs associated with a YLX trip do support the program as a whole but fundraising events such as the virtual 5K allow us to keep administration costs to a minimum.

How can someone get involved with YLX?
We typically work with “groups” of ten or more people that are either involved with Young Life locally or a part of a church group that is familiar with Young Life in their community. That said, we have been doing more work with families, service minded companies and individuals that are interested in serving that might not be connected to a larger group. The staff that host our teams are extremely gifted in working with our teams regardless of their make-up or history with Young Life.

Can you share a YLX story with us?
Young Life at its very core is a relational ministry…centered on the kid and his or her relationship with their leader. A phrase often used to describe the work of the Young Life leader is “earning the right to be heard” with kids. This is what Young Life leaders do…they earn the right to heard with kids in their community. Everything that Young Life does programmatically supports this vision…to set up leaders to “earn the right” with kids…every kid…no matter their circumstance. To that end Young Life has some specialized ministries. Young Lives is one such specialized ministry that was started to support teenaged moms and their children. A few years ago we sent a small team of individuals to work with Young Life in San Jose, Costa Rica and their fairly new Young Lives ministry. Young Lives leaders had been struggling to “earn the right to be heard” with teen moms in this particular neighborhood but did know one young mom that was basically living in a dingy closet in the back of a very crowded house. With the help of this small team, the local Young Lives leaders were able to create a livable space for both mom and baby and more importantly establish some trust and credibility within the community! This is one of the beautiful things about Young Life Expeditions…we leverage the resources these teams naturally bring to the table with the relationships formed with Young Life staff and volunteer leaders to support ministry that will around long after these particular “work team” participants return home from their trip.

With so many races out there where we freely give our money to run, why not donate to run a race where you can actually impact someone’s life! The holidays are upon us, sign up for the race and feel good knowing you are donating to a great organization and feel good knowing that running a 5k means you don’t have to sweat the extra piece of pie during the holidays.

So sign up today! You have between November 23rd and December 7th to get your run on then if you choose, upload your run and time to the site to win some cool prizes. Sign up {HERE}.

I also have a fun little giveaway for those who sign up! If you sign up for the race, leave a comment on this post saying you are running for YLX. Extra entry if you tweet about the giveaway and/or the race just be sure to leave an extra comment saying you did and use the #runlocalthinkglobal.
You could win a cool YL camelback water bottle like this one

A YL travel coffee mug, and I will even throw in a couple of my favorite running treats too!

I will pick a winner on December 6th!


Happy Running Y’all!

About melissa

I am a 31 year old so southern girl living life in Atlanta, in search of good food and the perfect biscuit. I live with my husband (just celebrated our one year anniversary), our crazy Weimaraner, Bailey and our blind cat, Mister Skittles. I enjoy running, eating mostly healthy food, and cooking.
This entry was posted in Atlanta, capernaum, Family, race recap, Running, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Running For a Cause

  1. Jamie Tait says:

    I signed up!

  2. Have fun at the half! I ran it last year too and it’s a lot of fun (even if those hills make you earn your turkey)!

    I’ll check out the race!

  3. Kelsey says:

    Just saw your post on the Elf For Health feed and am happy to see another Georgia girl! I live in Atlanta, as well, sadly am not running the half on Thursday but will the Turkey trotting down in Florida. I have tons of friends involved in Young Life, looks like a great virtual race!

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