Friday, January 22, 2016

Team Drea Challenge 2016

When I started the Team Drea Challenge in January 2015, I wanted to encourage my friends and family to take on a race that represented a challenge to them – to crack open preconceived limitations inflicted on themselves in order to find out what was really possible. The other goal was to raise money for ALS research.

Team Drea started with 30 people and a goal to raise $9,000. We ended 2015 with 100 members and raising $79,750!!!

Along the way, our team members did everything from their first 5k to their first Ironman and every distance in between. One ran 179 race miles across 15 events.  Many ran further than they’d ever imagined they could. Everyone I talked to said the challenge inspired them to work harder and appreciate the race for what it was: a gift to themselves and a gift to those with ALS. The gift of being alive.

For me, the Team Drea Challenge meant that I was making good on the life’s goal I had always set out for myself: to make a positive difference in the world. Not in a way I’d ever anticipated, but one more profound than I’d ever expected.

The Team has inspired me to do more, to try for more, to put myself out there more.  12 marathons on my trike in one year…while writing a book…while battling a terminal illness? Sure, why not try? Because your life is what you DECIDE to make out of it, regardless of what happens TO you.

Now, why wouldn’t you want to join Team Drea? Be inspired, inspire others, inspire yourself.

How It Works
  • Pick a swim/bike/run race that represents a challenge to you (if you want to do another sport, let’s talk).
  • Commit to raising at least $250 for ALS research through or the Blazeman Foundation.
  • Sign up here by January 31st (b/c we all need deadlines). 
In return, you will be invited to join the (closed) Team Drea Challenge Facebook group to bond with teammates and encourage one another. You will also receive a small gift from me before your race. We’re scattered across the country (and in Europe), but we will organize team races, parties, and get togethers as much as possible.

**Important** If you are already on Team Drea, please indulge me and sign up again using the link above so that I’m sure I have accurate information!

What’s New for 2016
Team Drea Kids Virtual Race

Last year, I loved how much everyone’s kids wanted to participate in Team Drea -- fundraising, racing, holding signs for Mom or Dad, and sending drawings in care packages to me, etc.

This year, we’re going to channel that enthusiasm in a way that encourages kids to be active and learn about charity.

We will hold a virtual race for kids in August or September. Kids (& their parents) choose the distance and try to fundraise for ALS through a webpage that will be set up. They will receive a medal and be able to submit photos and stories that will go into a book (e.g. from Shutterfly). Parents can choose to purchase the book as a keepsake.

Please include if you have a child who might be interested on the Team Drea sign up form.

Race MedALS

Last November, I read a Runner’s World article about a marathoner with a terminal disease who started an organization for athletes to donate race medals to patients, veterans, and other people facing difficult challenges. The medal and a handwritten note aimed to let the recipient know that people (even strangers) care about them and to keep fighting.

I would like to adapt this program for Team Drea and people with ALS. Many team members are planning to do multiple race this year – often shorter races leading up to their big “A” race – which presents a great opportunity to dedicate the medal to someone battling ALS. Basically, you'd be matched up someone with ALS who wants to participate and after the race, you will send your medal and a handwritten note of support to the person.

This is an entirely voluntary part of the Team Drea Challenge. Please indicate on your sign up form if you are interested.

Andrea’s 2016 Races

My goal for this year is 12 marathons in 12 months on my trike or (new!) hand cycle. To kick off the Race MedALS program, I am committing to donate all of these medals to someone else with ALS who has been an inspiration to me. I hope to profile the person on my blog.

Here is my race list so far – some of it is up in the air because, oh yeah, we’re selling our house and moving back to Raleigh (!!!). Or they are tentative until I get confirmation to use the trike.

Want to run with me? Many of them have shorter distances if you’re not in the mood for a marathon: