When we here at Sea to Summit Productions talked about our plans for 2016, we knew it would involve hiking, the outdoors, really just getting both of our families into the wild of nature and introducing our two daughters to the joys of putting one foot in front of the other. I did not expect this much running.
About 4 years ago, Benny and I took up running as a means to get into shape and keep each other motivated so we could climb higher mountains and hike longer trails. When Blair became pregnant last year, and most of Benny’s time was spent taking care of her, his running fell by the wayside. My passion however, only grew.
The initial thought and actions of running for me are always painful and filled with reluctance. I don’t want to wake up early, I don’t want to put on running shoes, and I have to force myself out the door to begin my run. But once I do, some otherworldly force takes over me and I take off.
I started running more and more miles each month and began to actively enjoy waking up early and having my feet hit the road. I signed up for obstacle races, 5k’s and 10k’s in order to keep some goal in mind, a carrot waving in front of me to motivate each run. I never thought of myself as a runner until Disney announced they were holding the first ever Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland in 2015. I figured if I was going to make the leap to longer distances, why not have it be Star Wars related?
From that race onwards, I was hooked on the longer distances and in 2015 I ran another 2 half marathons, adding to my ever growing medal collection. That’s when I discovered Vacation Races and my plans for 2016 presented themselves.
Vacation Races is a company that holds half marathons outside of national parks all around the country. From Zion to the Great Smokey Mountains, there are 8 half marathons each year, some within a week of each other. And I signed up for all 8.
I saw this as not only a worthwhile goal to work towards, to complete the entire catalog of races that were offered, but as means and motivation to get my family out into the open to explore these national parks, most of which I myself haven’t been to.
3 weeks ago I started this insanity by running my second RunDisney Star Wars Half Marathon. In March, the true challenge begins with our first stop, Zion National Park. This will be the 1st of 8 races around some amazing national parks. I’ll be running, but the whole family will be doing some amazing hikes in each location along the way. Look for more updates on this site, and my Instagram feed (user JonBerry) in the coming months.