Trail runner and Back on My Feet supporter Jess shares her reasons for running the 2019 Back on My Feet Bigfoot Trail Race in Austin, TX. In addition, she adds some of her fundraising tips for those interested in going the extra mile by FundRacing!
What about Back on My Feet’s mission resonates with you?
I have experienced so much personal growth, mental (as well as physical) strength, and overall focus in my life since I started running. There are many positive wins in my life that I can credit to becoming a runner.
I fully believe in the power running brings to a person’s self-esteem, especially when you’re joining a community within it. Some of my best friends I’ve made through running!
That accountability and support from people who see you struggle, grow, and accomplish incredible things is unmatched.
Why did you decide to run Bigfoot and fundraise for Back on My Feet?
I’m currently training for my first 50-mile race in December! I wasn’t able to run Bigfoot last year, but it fit perfectly in my training for my goal race of the year. Trail running owns a big part of my heart, so to pair that with a nonprofit organization I also love is a match made for me!
I have a growing presence within the running community as one of the co-leaders of one of the largest social running groups in Austin. I truly believe in utilizing that presence and my platform on social media to spread my story of running and sharing the initiatives that mean most to me.
I’m very lucky to have people who are genuinely interested in my running journey. I can’t think of a better way to call upon the good hearts of those folks than taking my running to another level – one of bringing awareness to causes that some have never heard of but are doing incredible work in our local community.
What race distance did you choose? Are you running with friends?
I chose the 30K distance! As I train for my 50-mile race, the 30K distance fits perfectly into my training. I ran the Rogue Trail Series, three 30K races in the spring and love that distance! I do have two friends from my running group running with me, one of them is running her longest race yet with the 30K distance and she’s going to rock it! Go, Luisa and Zamira!
What’s your secret to fundraising success?
I believe in being very genuine about why this organization means a lot to me. I speak to Back on My Feet’s mission every time I post to remind everyone about the importance of the work. Just because I’m super familiar with Back on My Feet doesn’t mean that everyone will remember it from the last time I posted!
Also, I think it helps to show the what specific donation amounts will provide for Back on My Feet members. It gives monetary support a tangible value.
Lastly, be bold in your call for support. Don’t shy away from asking those you care about to really look into this initiative you believe in. They’ll surprise you every time!
What’s more fun – the trail race itself or awesome post-race party?
This is a hard one for me! I absolutely love the struggle of trail racing. It’s so much more fun to me because you’re regularly having a party ON the course!
Trail racing is a much different experience than road racing. The environment is more relaxed, you’re enjoying incredible nature around you, you’re hanging out with the aid station volunteers, and when you’re in a power hiking/walking break you often end up alongside another runner and have the best run chats.
I love seeing what my body is capable of every single trail race I do, that’s a celebration in itself for me. But, there is nothing quite like earning the finish line and a post-race party with your friends who also ran their hearts out!