I am SO excited to introduce you to (and brag on) my brother James and my sister Jessie. This April they are running for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Arizona’s Warrior Dash. Today we’re talking family, race-day training, and fighting for littles who can’t fight for themselves. I’m so glad you could join us.
CHRISTINE: James! Jessie! Welcome to my online space. I’m so excited to introduce you to my readers. I’ms o glad we could take a few minutes together to talk about the Warrior Dash you’re both running in April. Can you explain a little about the race for readers who’ve never heard of it?
JAMES: Hi readers! Let’s see . . . Basically, it’s a 5K obstacle course with pointy things, mud, fire, and other dangerous stuff. It’s easier than an Iron Man triathlon (I have no desire to do one of those), but it’s definitely not to be trifled with.
JESSIE: And as participants, we have the option (and privilege) to fundraise for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Excellent point. So what does that training look like for you guys on a week-to-week basis?
This year most training is focused on Jessie’s endurance so she can finish the race well (next year we’re working on speed, so get excited Mess!). We’re running a 2.7 mile hike at a park near home every other week, but outside of that, I’ve been working solo on planks, lunges, and poor attempts at handstand pushups in my limited free time.
Haha. What about you Jessie?
For me, training looks a lot like James cheering me on as I try to put one foot in front of the other, believing in myself to meet my goals, and not giving up when I have minor pains. On my own, I try to get to the gym and either run on a elliptical machine or a treadmill. I also go walking in the neighborhood with my friend Stephanie at least twice a week.
Yikes, you guys put me to shame.
Eh, I’m sure you get plenty of a workout wrangling three boys.
Alright. Alright. None of us ran when we were growing up. I actually remember welcoming a leg surgery in order to get out of running the mile in high school.
I hear ya. I remember tossing my cookies in the locker room one time after that. The Mile was an unforgiving scourge on High-School-James.
I think I’ve actually offered to swim a mile rather than run it in High school.
How long have you been running “for fun” then?
HA! Yeah, it’s never “fun.” In any case, I think I’ve been punishing myself this way since 2012.
Since January 2016 in preparation for this 5K.
I love that. James, why do you run?
Well, the first time I did this, it was because a bunch of friends were going to participate and I realized that the element of danger was really the only thing that would motivate me to get off my rear and exercise.
I can relate.
However, since becoming a father, I realize how blessed I am to have a happy and healthy child, and I cannot NOT fight for the kids and families who are put through an emotional/medical gauntlet on a daily basis. That’s why I’ve been raising support the last few times.
So Jessie, why do you run?
I definitely don’t like the idea of running or getting started when I do . . .
I know the feeling.
But I like the feeling of accomplishment that it gives me when I’ve reached my goal – whether that be training or for the actual race. And also the sense that I’ve done something to tire my body out physically since most of my work is very tiring in other ways.
So why this organization? Why this race?
James introduced me to the Warrior Dash, and I knew I’d be more likely to run a 5K with the support of him (or others) running with me. As far as this organization? I’ve thought about other themed races, but I think that the Warrior Dash gives me a sense of purpose running to raise funds for St. Jude’s.
Definitely. This is a great and fun way to get out with people, get dirty, and most importantly to make a difference for a good cause. One year I deviated and ran a 10K similar event, which was physically a lot more challenging, but at the end of the day it was just a bunch of crossfit dude-bros running for the benefit of Reebok. Didn’t feel right.
What would you say to someone who’s never participated (either by giving or by running) in the Warrior Dash?
It’s never too late to start training (or giving!). When you feel like you’re at your limit, watch this little dude have a good laugh, and then keep going.
Run with someone more experienced than you to help you out and encourage you – like I have with James. He’s been helpful in both the running and the fundraising aspect of it. For those who haven’t participated in giving – donate, or find something you’re passionate about and donate to that cause.
That’s great Jessie. Anything I haven’t asked that either of you are dying to share?
Uh, I’ve got a protein shake recipe that I force Messy to drink before training? Oh, and beards are a big part of the Warrior Dash culture (I think there’s even a mini-competition for that). I may or may not be growing mine out for this. So far Abby likes it, but we’ll see how that goes.
Hey now, it’s actually a pretty good shake – just got to make sure to use the bathroom before running! Also, having a water pack makes running a lot easier and less weight to carry in your hands. Helped me make my goal last training. 🙂
Fun and practical. Thanks so much for sharing you guys – I’m so proud of you both!
No problem, and thanks! So, when are you going to run with us?!
Um, probably not this year . . . but I did support you guys . . .
Sweet thanks Stiner!
I wouldn’t have it any other way! 🙂 Love you guys.
About St. Jude Children’s Hospital & the Warrior Dash
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is the global leader in treating children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Approximately 75% of the budgeted costs of St. Jude are covered by public contributions. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food, allowing them to focus on helping their child live.
Over two and a half million participants worldwide have run the Warrior Dash since 2009. It’s not only an obstacle course race that anyone can start and everyone can finish, it’s also a figurative battle everyday runners wage for the brave families facing childhood cancers.
Here’s how YOU can get involved
1. Register to run the Warrior Dash in your area.
St. Jude’s sponsors events across the entire United States. Check out THIS link to see if there’s a race happening near you this year.
2. Sponsor a runner.
Both James and Jessie have set a goal to raise $300 each. I know they (and the folks at St. Jude’s) would love your support. Their names each link to their personal fundraising page, or you can take a look at their Team Dragon Mountain page by clicking HERE.
3. Donate directly to St. Jude.
St. Jude Children’s Hospital makes it pretty easy to get involved with the lifesaving efforts of their mission. Not only can you give a one-time gift, you can become a monthly donor, shop their gift shop, or give in memory of a loved one. They have some seriously amazing ideas. You can get more information by clicking HERE.