23 February 2015

DONNA recap - day 1

I found DONNA HQ
It was some awesome to be an ambassador this year for the race! I had to make sure I made myself available for all the ambassador fun because the Social Media Butterfly had BIG plans for us!

I ended up heading down to Hilton Head/Bluffton on Wednesday to stop in and see my parents. Got in a great little run through the neighborhood Thursday morning before I left for Jacksonville. It was chilly and breezy, but great for a few quick miles. I was keeping an eye on another ambassador's incoming flight so I could pick her up at JAX. Holly had made the trek all the way from Washington state and I wasn't going to let that girl spend too much time at the airport. I scooped her up and we were off.
Hey look what I found at HQ!
 One of the things I love about being an ambassador for this race is getting to know the other ambassadors and their stories of what brought them to DONNA. Holly is a survivor and had the amazing pleasure of going on one of Jeff Galloway's Greece trips, where she met Chris Twiggs, one of the DONNA board members, and the rest, as the say, is history! Holly is so positive and full of light and it was great to spend bits of time with her during the weekend. I agree with Chris Turner that next year we need to all be able to stay in closer proximity so we can hang out more and get to know each other! Holly had a series of flights bringing her cross country, so she was ready for a nap and a shower after I picked her up, so I dropped her off at her hotel and went the DONNA Headquarters to meet up with the Social Media Butterfly herself to see how I could help out.
We headed to an event at a local school before saying goodnight and getting ready for the fun in the morning - what I'm really calling "Day 1" - the Social Shakeout Run!

Must. Have. Coffee!

Marcia scooped me up and we were off early to Lillie's Coffee Bar to get ready for all the runners and CELEBS! Yes, running royalty was on their way to our party. Joan Benoit-Samuelson, Jeff Galloway, Dave McGillivray, Alana Hadley, and of course, Donna herself. It was great to run with Jeff and his wife Barbara for a bit - Barbara even gave me some awesome reading recommendations! It was definitely cool to start the morning, but after a quick 4 miles, it was feeling warmer and we all hesitated to go inside.
I spy Dave McGillivray

But soon enough we were inside the coffee shop enjoying our hot coffee and yummy pastries and some amazing conversation with people. Seriously - this was THE event to be at for the weekend. Little did I know that the DONNA 110 Champion was also in our midst - humble Dave Krupski, who I met briefly since I knew I would be covering that race starting the following day.

We had a great morning to start the festivities, and then Krissy and I were off to the expo to grab our bibs, check out all the fun vendors, and maybe see a glimpse of the Butterfly in action! The expo was full of great vendors, and so well organized. We got in a got our bibs really quick, then had some time to really explore each aisle and see the vendors we wanted to see - did someone say CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN?!?!?! - then we were both SOOOO hungry, that we headed off for some off-site errands and lunch at Pei Wei.

About that time, it was time to start getting ready for our fabulous evening at One Ocean, a sort of cocktail hour affair for the "VIPs" and a chance to really see all the ambassadors (well, most of them anyway... we did have some stragglers. Life gets in the way of fun sometimes on race weekends). This was a super fun evening, and while we had planned to go out for pizza afterwards, most of us were so stuffed from the awesome buffet, and exhausted from the amazingness of the day, we ended up heading home. Needless to say, we had a good time!

I'm still aiming for my total fundraising goal of $1000 - needs to be "in the bank" by March 31. And I've committed to run another 13.1 in honor of DONNA if I meet that goal - you can help me choose! To help us continue to race #CloserToACure, please consider donating.

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