It all started with this crazy idea.  We can run a Ragnar as an all-female ultra team!  We were so hyped up after Ragnar Trail RVA (race recap here)this past April, that in our state of Ragnover (Ragnar hangover), we found a reasonably close Ragnar Trail and registered as an ultra team.  Four women conquered the Ragnar Trail Wawayanda (race recap here)in relentless conditions, 32.2 miles each and did so as the only all-female ultra team at the event.

Fast forward a few days afterward, when Emily was dropping off leftover gear while I was at work, she mentions that she has found her ultimate bucket list race.  My ears perk up, ooooh do tell!  The Tahoe 200.  There’s a race, basically in her backyard of northern California where she grew up that spans 205.5 miles around Lake Tahoe.  176.5 miles of single track trails, 8 miles of paved roads and 21 miles of ATV dirt roads… 35,117 feet of elevation gain, and 35,117 feet of elevation loss, with a mandatory finishing time of no more than 100 hours.  Immediately, I’m in.  You don’t tell someone like me about your bucket list race, or about your dreams to complete something as epic as the Tahoe 200 without thinking you’re not actually going to do it.  I’m a doer, not a sayer.  Not only am I in, I went back to my office and text Melissa something along the lines of (or exactly) “BTW.  Emily and I are looking at training for the Tahoe 200.  You totally want in on that, don’t ya!” (She totally did!)

The catch is (or at least was, until registration procedures recently changed), in order to qualify to register for the Tahoe 200, you have to complete a qualifying 100 mile race with a minimum elevation change within that 100 mile race.  And through further research, we found that most 100 mile races require you to complete a 50-miler (or more) in order to qualify to register for the 100 mile race.  Which eventually resulted in spending several lunch breaks in a row googling 100 milers, and 50 milers, and training plans, and Melissa making spreadsheets and the three of us collectively making a date to watch the Barkley Marathons while planning our endeavors.  We settled on our first 50-mile race:  The Dirty German Endurance Fest, in May 2017.

Schedules blocked off, Barkley fresh in our brains, we were going all in.  At one point Melissa goes “I wonder if an only boy leads to lapses in sanity?” referring to the fact that Emily had just pointed out that we are all mothers to little men.  Emily chimed in “Maybe. Or just brilliance.  I think there’s a fine line.  Did you see all those super smart people running the Barkley marathons” and my final hope: “Can I get an honorary doctorate degree if I do this?” to Melissa’s rebuttal: “Pretty sure we’ll earn all kinds of honoraries with this adventure…”

It was shortly after the election last week, and by shortly after I mean Wednesday morning, that Melissa created this enormously insane idea.  What if we took this challenge to ourselves and looked at it as an opportunity to focus on positivity and goodness in the messy world we live in?  What if we found charities that could use some help, and with each step or mile we take, we focus on something positive and good and share that journey.

YES!!!!! Melissa for President!!! (seriously)

We want to – and need to believe that most people are good people with good intentions.  Our focus on positivity and good in the world, and helping other see that positivity and good as well can lead to any positive changes.  And tying our adventure into that seems like not only the right thing to do, but it seems inherently natural as well.

Thus we have birthed our project, and set out to “PHASE 1” of it.  With the free Charity Miles app, we will be using GPS tracking during our training runs and races to donate to a few charities that we each feel connected to and passionate about.  At $0.25 per mile, it may not sound like very much, but with three women training for a 50-mile race in May, that $0.25 adds up quickly!

A few of our friends have asked how they can help or if we mind tagalongs… The answer is short and simple:

  1. download your app, pick a charity, and log your miles.  We hope to eventually expand into a donation site where we will be able to collect funds and distribute “lump sums” to charities after each phase (3 total phases, 50-miler, 100-miler, and the Tahoe 200).
  2. train with us!  We will be logging some serious miles over the next few months (years!) and we hope to share the road and trails with as many people as possible!
  3. donate. Donate money, donate your time… whatever it is, find a cause that means something to you, with a reputable background and get involved.
  4. let us know!  We want to spread the good like a giant ripple effect across the world… so tell us how you’ve been inspired to do something good for your neighbor, your community or the planet in general… Every little bit counts.
  5. follow us.  Instagram is our platform (for now) so give us a “double tap” over at @3WomenRunning4Good and follow our adventure.


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