Dan Anderson’s Vision Behind the Event
Three and half years ago, I had a vision that was too big for me to even entertain. It rattled around in my head for three months before I told anyone. I wanted to have a race in Bloomington/Normal that would benefit the community, a race that all my runner friends would run in. Not just a race, but a marathon. And not just a marathon, but a prayer marathon, where runners would pray over the community as they ran, but…I am organizationally challenged, I knew I could not do it on my own power!
Though many of my runner friends thought it was a great idea to have a marathon in town, many of those weren’t interested in running in a prayer marathon. I wanted an event that all runners would feel comfortable running. So my vision morphed into a marathon that would benefit the community, with the option of praying as you ran.
The We Care Twin Cities Half Marathon emerged with the help of the Ecology Action Center, Eastview Christian Church, and the Town of Normal. The profits benefitted the Ecology Action Center’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection fund, and after all was said and done, the inaugural We Care Twin Cities Half Marathon raised over $13,000, for the HHWC. Truly God was at work. We had beautiful weather, and all the runners loved the race.
We had optional prayer focus points (i.e. local leaders, children, the homeless) on every mile marker, where runners didn’t stop, but prayed about that focus point as they ran. This covered our community with prayer for an extended period of time.
We also introduced ‘Barnabas’ Runners. These runners are available in later stages of the race to run along with you and provide encouragement for you to finish. Sometimes you just need someone to be there with you and that’s what our Barnabas Runners are for.
This race was also designed to be a vehicle to assist other not-for-profit organizations in raising funds, with a minimal amount of effort on their part. In this way a variety of charitable causes were represented at this event: organizations that may not have been big enough to do a major event such as this on their own, as well as many others.
In addition to the $13,000 for the Household Hazardous Waste Collection, local charities raised over $2000 from the race, monies which were donated directly to them through our registration process and website. We had over 800 runners in the three events, exceeding our expectations.
Our success was not by my efforts. The volunteers from the Ecology Action Center, volunteers on the planning committee, race day volunteers, medical volunteers, and so many others have made this a great event for you. Lastly, my wife, whose patience has been stretched to the limit, has been a huge help in the planning and execution as well as support for me in my part.
The We Care name is not just a catchy name. We Care.
We Care about people. This drives everything.
We Care about our runners and providing a great race for them.
We Care about the local community.
We Care about the environment.
All these things drive us to do what we do:
- Giving you a great race experience
- Going ‘Green’
- Barnabas Runners
- Fundraising for not for profits
- Prayer focus points
- Great food
- Awesome Volunteers to help you out
It’s not just a name….we DO care.
This year, we have set our sights on making the race more ‘green’. There are huge amounts of waste in most events, and ours was no exception. We will work on updating the website with our ‘green’ efforts. Check back to see what we are doing, and join us in the effort. We are looking forward to another great race!!
Dan Anderson, Race Director