Kick off 2015 on the right foot by doing good

Over the past 5 years you have supported my journey on running around the world and together we have raised over $40,000 for a variety of causes ranging from diabetes to fighting kid’s cancer.

My next adventure, continent #6 of 7, is scheduled to take place Feb 15-20, 2015.  I will be headed to King George Island in Antarctica to run a 50k ultra-marathon, followed by a 1/2 marathon in Punta Arenas (Patagonia) Chile within a 3 day period.

This time, I’m supporting Schoolbox. An incredible local charity here in Ontario that makes education possible in Nicaragua.

nicaragua

Since 2006 through the vision of Schoolbox and selfless volunteers they have built 60 classrooms, 44 washrooms, 5 playing fields and 27 mini libraries.

In addition, they have created the Supplies 4 Success program.  In Nicaragua many children don’t attend school for lack of the most basic of supplies.  As the poorest country in the America’s, many of its citizens are forced to forgo educational expenses in order to simply survive. Only 51% of children are able to reach Grade 5 in Nicaragua. A notebook and a pencil can literally stand in the way of a child receiving or not receiving a basic education.

As I run in Antarctica & South America, I will be running to support the Supplies 4 Success program.

To raise funds I am hosting on January 17 a fun 5k Polar Dash Run and 2.5K walk.

Click Here to Register!

The registration cost of $20 will provide 2 children with educational packages for a year and includes your race fee, goodies and some hot chocolate post run/walk.

Of course, if you can’t join the run/walk in Ottawa, your support would still be greatly appreciated and you can donate using the link.

Lets start 2015 together in a fun healthy way while at the same time making an impact to support children in Nicaragua!

#RUN4AC 2014

The clock tower struck at 9:30 and the bells rang loudly while the crowd cheered RUN 4 A CAUSE, RUN 4 A CAUSE!

2014-09-27 | Run 4 A Cause 2014 Edition

We were blessed by the brilliant summer weather which created a magnificent Run/Walk experience.

THANK YOU for believing in #‎RUN4AC & celebrating the charities you support.

WE made an impact by coming together as a community. A community that demonstrates leadership in supporting causes that affect us all and raises the bar to create awareness & make a difference. I’m blown away with your passion and commitment and your belief in my vision.

The following charities were awarded donations to their causes:

1st Place – Ronald McDonald House ($1000)

2014-09-27 | Run 4 A Cause 2014 Edition

2nd Place – D.I.F.D ($500)

2014-09-27 | Run 4 A Cause 2014 Edition

3rd Place – High Jinx ($250)

2014-09-27 | Run 4 A Cause 2014 Edition

4th Place – GoodGuys Tri ($250)

2014-09-27 | Run 4 A Cause 2014 Edition

Also a big thank you to the other charities that showed up in their colours and created awareness for such important causes:

We are already starting to plan for next year’s edition of RUN 4 a CAUSE.  I encourage you to reach out to me now if you are part of a charity group or know someone that might be interested in leading a team to share in this special event.  Please email me at:  thrivewithjoe@gmail.com

Thank you so much to Zoomphoto.ca for volunteering to capture this special day on film!

The event photos are available for free at the following link:

http://www.zoomphoto.ca/eventgallery/19492/1/

Lastly a big thank you to AXIS RMT for providing some free tune ups. Please make sure to use the flyer/coupon you received and check them out. As a RUN4AC participant, they are offering your first 1hour massage with them at only 40$!

2014-09-27 | Run 4 A Cause 2014 Edition

RUN4AC 2014 – Less than 1 week to go!

With less than one week to go, I am happy to report that registrations are going strong!

I wonder which charity will bring most the participants?  It’s always a tight race & those last few registrations often decide who gets the top spot. Remember, there is no cost to register and the main purpose of the event is to create awareness around the causes you are passionate about. If you are not part of a team, please feel free to join a team on the day of.

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The top four teams who bring the most participants will take home a donation for their charity:

1st place – $1000

2nd place – $500

3rd & 4th place – $250

Here are the maps for the 5k run and 2.5k walk. There will be pacers for the 5k run with the following set finishing times: 25mins, 30mins, 35mins and 35mins +. Feel free to join whatever group you like on the day of.

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 3.43.06 PM

 

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If you haven’t heard yet, I am happy to announce the following new edition to this year’s event.  Team AXIS RMT will be on site providing complimentary massages for our runners and walkers.

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The event will happen RAIN or SHINE, however the long term forecast is looking good  – sunny and 15 degrees.

Looking forward to seeing you all on Parliament Hill on Saturday September 27, 2014 at 9am!

TO REGISTER: http://run4ac2014.eventbrite.ca

 

 

RUN 4 A CAUSE 2014 – Join us!

It’s that time again to join us in the 3rd edition of Run 4 a Cause.  Get a group together and sign up.  We want to see 100’s of people on Parliament Hill cheering, running and walking for their favourite causes. Let’s celebrate and create awareness for the charities in our local community that we support and are passionate about.

Sign up here:  Run4ac2014.eventbrite.ca

INVITE RUN4AC 2014

The Top 4 Teams that bring the most runners/walkers are eligible for cash donations to their charity : 

1st Place:  $1000

2nd Place: $500

3rd and 4th Place : $250

See you there!

 

Group Shot

Feeling Inspired and the “Me too” syndrome

Can you believe the end of 2013 is only around the corner? How would you describe your year?

For me it has been a year of feeling INSPIRED!

If you recall, instead of completing a list of New Year’s resolutions, my friends and I brainstormed a word that we wanted to feel all year long. Without a doubt, for me “INSPIRED” has been abundant and prevalent in 2013. A buffet of warm intentions, karmic energy and contagious enthusiasm was present at the table throughout this year’s races, travel, fitness classes, presentations, conversations and new challenges. The result: feeling driven, motivated, and wanting to do more!

The inspiration was magnified & elevated by those who I decided to surround myself with in these activities. Travelling this week with my family in the Hawaiian islands I learned a powerful word: OHANA, defined by the Hawaiians that we are all part of an extended family. My OHANA are genuine individuals that believe in my passions, push me to step outside my boundaries and champion me to succeed. The more this occurs, the more I am energized to do the same in return and hence creating a magical support system. We all need one and I’m forever GRATEFUL for mine: GGT, Goodlife, Lemons, Team D, family & friends! The phenomenal part of my support system is that it’s growing organically & effortlessly.

Two weeks ago I participated in a peer coaching session that focused on two key themes: effective listening and asking powerful questions. During the session, the facilitator presented examples of what makes a good listener. One of the examples that resonated with me was to resist the “ME TOO” syndrome. Brilliant! How many times have I been in a situation where someone is pouring their heart out to me or sharing a special story and I interrupt with: “I know what you mean, that reminds of a time when I …” or “Me too, so at work today I…” Dismissing the person of holding a unique plan/goal/story, bringing down their emotions to common feelings and turning the attention back to you is something we almost all unconsciously do. Resisting the “ME TOO” syndrome is something that I am constantly trying to apply in my life

Feeling inspired comes not just from accomplishing big goals but also simply listening to that support system that surrounds you. By focusing the discussion around others you can discover many gems that you can take away and feel inspired by.

Ohana

Empathy & bleeding fingers

I spend a good portion of my time at airports travelling for work and my number one objective is always to make it on board the plane as quickly and efficiently as possible. George Clooney’s role in the movie “Up in the Air” is my reality.

90% percent of the time the process goes smoothly. I can arrive at the airport in under an hour of my scheduled departure time, go through all the required steps and be ready to board with just enough time to spare that I don’t feel rushed.

Tonight however, fell into the other 10% when my normal perfected process was disrupted with an unexpected mandatory check in with a live agent to check my travel documents.

As I waited in the priority check in line, I noticed that the usual protocol of frequent flyers was not being followed. After several minutes I got impatient and rushed to the counter and asked the agent “Is this not the priority check in? “. The agent in a frustrated voice replied “Yes sir, but there is nothing I can do right now.” I returned back to the line-up disgruntled that my usual efficient process was being thrown off.

When it was my turn to check in, the agent was apologetic and explained that the previous couple was headed to Australia and had not correctly completed their pre-entry requirements. This was the reason the line-up was so long and that the usual protocol was not being followed.

As he proceeded with the check in, I noticed that he was suffering from what looked like a fairly bad cut on his finger. He was so busy that he hadn’t had the opportunity to take a minute to get a band-aid. When I questioned him about it he told me he would only be able to tend to his bleeding finger once the line-up died down.

This really made me think. Was it really necessary of me to disturb him earlier just because I was waiting a few extra minutes than I usually do? I knew darn well that it was the priority check in line and if things were moving slowly it was most likely because of the passengers and not this agent trying to slow things down on purpose. Why wasn’t I more patient and just accept the fact that there must be a valid reason that things were slower than normal?

I took away a few lessons from this situation.

The first being that I must remember to remain patient and secondly that I have to be empathetic at all times.

There are many reasons out of the agent’s control that will delay the “normal” efficient process. I need to put away my instant gratification card and be conscious that I can make a serious difference in another person’s day by being more flexible and stepping outside my normal routine.

In fact, I took an extra few minutes following the check in to go to the store and buy the agent a package of band-aids. I came back when another impatient traveler was asking a dozen questions to the agent and interjected: “I thought you could use one of these.” He smiled and thanked me.

In the end I didn’t miss my flight and even had time to respond to a few text messages and emails. More importantly, I had time to reflect on this experience and consider how I could approach similar situations in the future.

5 Life Lessons in a 100k

It’s been three weeks since the big race and I am still at a loss for words to accurately express my sentiments on the successful completion of the GGT challenge to run 100K and raise $100,000 for CHEO.

Hundreds of synonyms for the word “amazing” have floated through my head, making it impossible to choose the right one.  Now that emotions have settled and legs are fully recovered, I have attempted to summarize below what I learned from running 100k. A few of my friends helped contribute to this blog post by sharing their perspectives of the day.  

1. Teamwork can conquer anything 

HIGH FIVE
“I am truly grateful that I was able to be part of the GGT support crew. The race was extremely well organized and the day really went off without a hitch. Watching the team of runners make their way through this incredible journey was inspiring to say the least. The camaraderie, support and sheer determination displayed by all the runners really impressed and motivated me”. Phil

2. The importance of humility: A team of superstars that focused less on their independent success but more on the team’s.

Running Pan Shot

“This event can best be described with one word: amazing. I took part in the cheering squads that day and was completely blown away by the phenomenal athletes who ran the entire length of the relay, sacrificing their bodies to raise over $100,000! The GGT runners really worked as a cohesive team, keeping positive and supporting one another at the checkpoints.”  Jasmine

Running perspective in the car

“I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else on this day and I am happy that I could have been a part of it and by your side every step of the way supporting you. It’s people like you and your team that enlighten and create awareness for us with what we don’t know and pave the way for bigger and brighter things to happen.” Faudie

3. Support systems are the key to success: The amount of support from family and friends was touching. The day wouldn’t have been possible without all these amazing people in my life.

Inspiration 2

“I wanted to be on the side of the road to witness where Joe’s motivation would take him and to what extent his body could respond to that incredible challenge. I recall thinking “I will be amazed and so proud if he reaches 60K all together…” More than 80K after and crossing the finish line with an incredible smile was unreal to me.” Claire

Inspiration 1Inspiration 3Inspiration 8Inspiration 5Inspiration 8IMG_2936

Inspiration 6Inspiration 8

4. Crushing an impossible goal is realized with passion: Creative fundraisers, relentless training, pushing comfort zones, constant motivation and creating ultra awareness for an important cause.

Crushing a goal

“Since I was unable to be in Ottawa, I was so grateful to see Joe’s epic 100km journey through my Facebook newsfeed. It gave me and my family an opportunity to watch him and cheer for him every inspirational step of the way. Congratulations Joe and team on an amazing accomplishment, and thanks for sharing this life changing experience with so many of us.” Marnie

5. A hug speaks volumes: All the magic & emotions of the journey captured perfectly in one frame.

Huggin

“When it came to your team – Incredible! I saw you all leave with smiles on your faces that morning, I saw you all at your most exhausted/painful moments of that day and I saw you all stick together as a team carrying each other to the end and I saw all your joyful tears and smiles at the Finish!” Faudie

Happy thanksgiving!

The beginning of the year I asked myself how I wanted to feel in 2013, INSPIRED

On this thanksgiving day, I am sending an abundance of thanks to all the amazing people in my life that have shaped 2013 and made me feel inspired, it’s been a monumental year so far and still going strong!

I count my blessing each and everyday, HAPPY THANKSGIVING !

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Recap 2013 #RUN4AC Success

Words can’t express how incredibly grateful I am that you all came out on September 28, 2013 to celebrate and live the 2013 edition of Run for a Cause.   It takes time to build an idea, and more than tripling the number of participants from the 2012 edition definitely exceeded my expectations.

RUN4AC 2013 GROUP SHOT

We celebrated large, small, and grassroots charities. We interacted, we made new friends, and we got inspired.

1st place donation of $1000 was awarded to Team Ronald McDonald House Ottawa

2nd place donation of $500 to Team GoodGuysTri (GGT)

3rd place, a tie between DIFD and Team Mito (each receiving $250 for their cause)

Team I2P (impossible to Possible)

Team I2P (impossible to Possible)

Team Ronald McDonald Ottawa

Team Ronald McDonald House Ottawa

Team Diabetes group

Team Diabetes

Good Guys Tri

Team GGT

Team Forum For Young Canadians

Team Forum For Young Canadians

Team DIFD

Team DIFD

Amethyst Ottawa

Amethyst Ottawa

Team Mito

Team Mito

Team Andy

Team Andy

Representing Humane Society and Parkinsons

Representing Humane Society and Parkinsons

Team I run for the "health" of it

Team I run for the “health” of it

Team Won with one

Team Won with one

Representing Run for the cure Breast Cancer

Representing Run for the cure Breast Cancer

Post the 5k run and 2.5k walk Reception (Rideau Centre Terrace)

Reception  – Rideau Centre Terrace

Post the 5k run and 2.5k walk Reception (Rideau Centre Terrace)

Reception – Rideau Centre Terrace

Team Vega provided some pretty awesome Gift Baskets, Thanks Susan!

Team Vega provided some pretty awesome Gift Baskets, Thanks Susan!

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Reception – Rideau Centre Terrace
vega team

Team Vega who provided all the great refreshments!

Post Stretching: Yoga with Nigel

Post Stretching: Yoga with Nigel

action reception

Team Vega

Team Vega

Thank you to all the partners: ZoomphotoVegalululemon rideau and Elevate Yoga.

You can download all the pictures from the event courtesy of Zoomphoto!

Elevate Yoga is providing one free yoga class if you attended Run for a Cause. Simply say you did.

Thank you to Mr. Mike Herzog from Good Guys Tri that prepared this amazing 90 second video of the event!

THANK YOU EVERYONE and see you next year at the 2014 edition!

Top 5 Reasons to Register for Run 4 A Cause

5. Running with a group of like-minded individuals is 1000 times more enjoyable than running by yourself – and you never know, you might even meet that special someone!

4. Learn about interesting charities and causes in Ottawa. A wide range of causes that touch all areas of our lives will be present: mental health, kid’s cancer, diabetes, youth education, animal care and the list goes on.

3. Exercise in one of the most beautiful parts of the city. Tourists come from all over the world to visit Ottawa and yet this is our backyard and we don’t always take the time to appreciate it. This event is not about running fast – it’s about enjoying the scenery. The 5K run route will pass the parliament buildings, museums, and cross two bridges. Don’t run? That’s ok, bring your walking shoes and enjoy a beautiful 2.5K route along the canal.

2. Fundraising and creating awareness for your favourite charity is hard work. But RUN4AC is the easiest way to do both. Simply wear your jersey/t-shirt and make signs to represent and show your spirit! And then the top three charities with the most participants will walk away with $500 to $1000…just for showing up. Can’t get much easier than that!

Rumour has it that there are one or two groups assembling an army of 75-100 people! Think you can beat that? Who doesn’t like a little bit of competition? :)

1. It’s a FREE family affair. This is an event for everyone. Bring your kids, pets, family and friends. RUN4AC is a celebration of our communities. After our run/walk we will meet on the Rideau Centre Terrace and enjoy some delicious healthy refreshments from VEGA. Plus a little restorative yoga with Nigel to stretch out the legs and find some Zen along with a chance to win some great prizes!

Register now:

http://run4ac.eventbrite.ca

Share the event and get your teams together!

We are going to make history on September 28, 2013 - Hundreds of runners/walkers coming together and celebrating what’s important to Ottawa.

Running & Walking Maps

Official map of 5K run

Official Map of 2.5K walk