Thursday, June 7, 2012

And the Race is on!

When we first had the idea to put on a race in Rumiloma back in January, we had literally no idea what we were getting ourselves into. We mentioned the idea at our women’s exercise party and found some definite interest in the community. We set the original date (for March) and then started doing our research and talking to people with more experience in race planning. We quickly realized we were in over our heads, and if we wanted the race to be a success we would need a lot more time. So we moved the date to June to give ourselves some time to plan and organize. Well, now its June and too much time turned into no time at all before we knew it. So the race is on to finish everything we need to do and get ready for the big event on Saturday, June 23rd.

Ecuador seems to be in a race craze right now, and we wanted to join in. Our idea is to bring a race to the people in Rumiloma, promote exercise and a healthy lifestyle, and of course introduce more people to our centro. The majority of us in the Manna house are passionate about running, and we want to be able to share this with our community.

The entire process has been a lot of work, and we hope to see it all pay off with a successful event. We have spent the last few months writing lots of letters, talking to the transit police to close the roads and the Red Cross to ensure the safety of our participants. We have written to various companies all over the valley to try and find sponsors to help out with the race costs. We have been turned down by some and helped out generously by others. We have definitely learned the value of connections during this process. Something that I love about living here in the valley is the power of the word vecino. Our neighbor Caesar has been indispensable in the process of finding sponsors, walking me around Sangolqui and asking businesses to do us a favorcito and help out with the race. We have also been able to reignite our partnership with EPV, the cooperativa next door to the centro (our library vecinos), and they are helping us out a ton with event promotion and inscriptions. A friend of ours, Nolo, hooked us up with a friend of his in Powerade, who much to our surprise agreed to sponsor our race! We were amazed that they were willing to support our small race in a small barrio in the valley, but again, there is the power of connections. We opened inscriptions yesterday with our first runner, one of our other neighbors, the president of our barrio in Sangolqui. We are extremely anxious and excited to see how the race turns out, I will be posting more updates as the date approaches!

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