Posts Tagged ‘running’

Sun, Rain, 188 Miles and Best Buddies

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

If you happened to be in northern Utah on Saturday, you might have thought you had gotten your locations mixed up. Never have I seen such a deluge of rain in Utah’s high desert country than I did on Saturday during the last half of the Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back. I’m not sure who ordered up the weather, but it only added to the adventure that Ragnar races always promise to be.

The entire Operation Kids team spent the weekend hanging out with the 9,000 or so crazy Ragnar runners at this year’s Wasatch Back, helping runners and teams raise money for Best Buddies Utah. What a weekend! There will be more updates to come, but the most important is the 40+ generous donors who won gifts as a result of the Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back/Operation Kids charity giveaway … our sincere thanks to those generous people who donated to help Best Buddies Utah produce a 5k walk/run for intellectually disabled children.

Prize winners (and prizes won) include:

*Those in orange denoate those names/teams whose donation status achieved Ragnar Raiser status – giving a minimum of $30 an individual or $360 as a team.

Prize First Name Last Name Team Name  
Hires Big H James Sorenson Norwesters Runners Not Winers


Olive Garden Justin Manning Where’s The Finish Line


Tucanos Terry Wright Jacobsen Construction Turtle Crew – The Turbo Tortoises


Merle Norman Shanna Futral Performance Under Pressure


Tucanos Chad Iverson Strong Women, Strong Men meet Gym Class Heroes       


Red Rock Bryan Tagge Bourne to Run


Red Rock Dave Brooks CTR


Wasatch Touring Shawn Christiansen Rose Clydesdales & Athenas


Sun Valley Shanna Futral Performance Under Pressure




Tin Angel Cafe Chad Iverson Strong Women, Strong Men meet Gym Class Heroes       




Best Buy Shane Shupe The Gimps


La Caille Molly Nicholes    
La Caille Josh Winward Second Timers


Salt Lake Running Co. Warren Duff Team Chusqui


Sinclair Trent Wade One Less Appendix


Sinclair Molly Nicholes    
La Caille Missy Collard Collard Chiropractic


Sinclair Denise Rager UTANG MILI-pedes  


Happy Sumo Molly Nicholes    
Happy Sumo Nathan Flaim Whiskey Militia


Utah Museum of Natural History David Dunkley Slowskys


Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company Nick Woodward Mach Trauma


Repertory Dance Theatre Terry Wright Jacobsen Construction Turtle Crew – The Turbo Tortoises


Utah Museum of Fine Art Bill Ricks Rage


Lagoon John Spicer Doggie Paddlin


Odyssey Dance Theatre Shawn Christiansen Rose Clydesdales & Athenas


Utah Symphony/Utah Opera Rich Simmons Honey Buckets


Hogle Zoo Shayna Paul Ultra Team + 6 Guys


Hogle Zoo James Borden Victorious Secret


Evolve Salon & Day Spa Shawn Christiansen Rose Clydesdales & Athenas


Evolve Salon & Day Spa Jan Bernhisel Broadbent Vaguely Related


Evolve Salon & Day Spa Teresa Reed Falcon


Flemings Michelle Green 12 Oxen


Utah Jazz Bryan Tagge Bourne to Run


Utah Jazz Molly Nicholes    
Real Salt Lake Robert Smith Strangers in the Night


Anniversary Inn Jody Worthen Family Friends & Fools


Grand America Joyce Wall Got Pain


Gold’s Gym

Gold’s Gym


Mark & Christy




Road Crew



Ragnar Relay Free Team Denise Rager UTANG MILI-pedes  


Tag Heuer Watch – OC Tanner Chad Iverson Strong Women, Strong Men meet Gym Class Heroes       


Check back tomorrow for more adventure stories, photos and charitable giving updates!


14 Days and Counting … Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back

Friday, June 5th, 2009

This week has been quite the week at Operation Kids, as we prepare for the Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back - which starts in just two weeks.

Four years ago, Operation Kids began working with Ragnar Events in a joint effort to improve children’s health and fitness along the Wasatch Back relay route. When Ragnar launched the Ragnar Relay Series and began to expand nationwide in 2006, they asked us to join them as their national charity partner.

Over the last year we’ve really ramped up our efforts with a goal of raising hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for children’s health and fitness programs in the 11+ metropolitan areas through which a Ragnar Relay runs. This year, we are celebrating our biggest Ragnar fundraising effort yet at the Wasatch Back relay - which runs 188(ish) miles from Logan to Park City, Utah.

It is significant because it’s virtually in our own backyard, but also because the charity to which we’ll distribute funds is one of our long-standing “OK-Approved” charities, Best Buddies, where the funds will go to provide opportunities for kids with intellectual disabilities and their buddies along the Wasatch Front to participate in their own Best Buddies Utah 5k Walk/Run (scheduled for spring 2010), as well as to provide seed money for new chapters along the race route.

It’s easy to take for granted that I (were I in good shape and desired to do so) could enter a race – virtually any race – or lace up my running shoes and run out my door and down the street – but many kids with intellectual disabilities never get those same chances. I am so excited to work to try and make that possible for hopefully thousands of kids next spring.

As we gear up a great fundraising effort, we have generated dozens of spreadsheets, checklists, e-mails, field trips and a lot of formal and informal meetings. Operation Kids is helping Best Buddies put on a spectacular breakfast at Exchange 30 Saturday as one of the fundraising initiatives. I can’t wait until I can share the menu – it’s not your typical fundraising breakfast, for certain!

I love working on projects like this – to see everyone so energized about an event that is going to help raise money for such a great cause. There is a vibe around the office that is almost like what you felt just before Christmas or summer vacation as a kid – a sense of great anticipation and eagerness to see it all come to fruition.

You can keep up on all the crazy progress by following us on Twitter @OperationKids or keep an eye out on the  blog for pictures, updates and a recap of the fundraising success.