Many of you may have read earlier this week Kate Eakman's blog regarding a team of 12 SparkPeople members who have joined together to run the Hood to Coast Relay--a relay beginning at the Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood and finishing 197 miles down the road on the shores in the small community of Seaside, Oregon.
While the team will be running the actual course in Oregon, we have been blessed to have a group of supporters who have been given the title 'ghost' runner. These members will be supporting us from all around the globe.
The question now is, what is a ghost runner for the Hood to Coast relay in 2010?
A ghost runner is all about supporting the 2010 Sparkin' Hood to Coast Team as they run their three legs of the relay. We have runners from all over the United States, Canada, Scotland and England who will be running the same legs as their assigned runner.
Having ghost runners partake in the journey was the brainchild of our Co-captain, Kate Eakman. It is the opportunity for our SparkPeople friends to come and join in the spirit of the event without having to leave the comforts of their own community.
This has really turned into a SparkPeople event! Everybody involved in this race are all SparkPeople members. Twelve runners, three volunteers and the two drivers are all a part of the team. Eighteen SparkPeople runners signed up to run as ghost runners.
I asked the members why they wanted to participate as a ghost runner and below are the responses I was given.
Tammy TAMTAM64 didn’t want to miss out on the first all SparkPeople relay event. She is on board to support her friends who are running in the relay. She is Coach Nancy's ghost runner.
Kirsten AKA Goegirl expressed that running this event is her dream race, as did Dana AKA Zircadia who also looks to running this relay someday.
Ray AKA IPA-RAY is also eager to race this event someday, as well.
Becca AKA Rdarling was disappointed that she could not be an actual alternate runner but will be a ghost runner with many other SparkPeople runners.
Anne AKA MIAMIA7 is ghost running because her husband Bobby AKA BOBBYD31 suffered an injury and couldn’t run all three legs. Bobby wanted to do this because he wants to part of all the craziness. What a trooper Anne is to support her husband.
Anne AKA 11SPROUTS is also teaming up with Anne and Bobby and will be ghost running for one runner. She is the proud Mom to eleven children, just enough to make a relay team of her own when they are all grown.
Most of the ghost runners are so supportive and quite active on SparkPeople. Donna AKA DDHEART became a ghost runner because of her admiration of our team Captain Kate. She wanted to do her fair share to support her.
Captain Kate influenced a couple other ghost runners including Mo AKA Healthy4lyfe and Marie AKA Marie625 who both wanted to be part of this event and share in the ups and downs of the HTC team.
Another ghost runner Mary AKA Hillrunner joined us because she wanted to be Jackie's ghost. I would say that we are inspirations to each other and that has helped the ghost runners find their way to be here with us.
Suezette AKA Suezette-414 and Christy AKA Tobearunner are great friends of mine and they are ghost running because they want to be part of this adventure.
John AKA Jopapgh and Donna AKA deej4fitness are two good friends I met on SparkPeople and will be ghost running on the East Coast as the team runs on the West Coast.
Susan AKA RUNSUSANRUN hails from Scotland and is such an inspiration. She is the member who provided ghosts for all the ghost runners to wear during their runs. I do believe that Susan just may be in Oregon in 2011 to be an actual runner.
As one of the co-captains of the Hood to Coast Relay, I am so appreciative of the ghost runners. This is what SparkPeople is all about. I know whenever I have competed in a race or have accomplished something like losing 90 pounds, there were so many SparkPeople members encouraging me every step of the way.
The strong bond of the running SparkTeams is amazing. We had such a tremendous response to the fantastic shirts Kate's son designed that the majority of the ghost runners purchased the 2010 Sparkin Hood to Coast shirts. After all WE ARE A TEAM!
I know that for most of us our journey on SparkPeople has been a life changing event for us. The comments I got from the ghost runners on why they run was very interesting. Many of their comments are exactly how I feel too-- I love running because of the solitude I receive, the friendships I have established, the way I feel after a run and the best part is it keeps me on track in embracing healthy living habits.
Thanks so much to Chris Downie for SparkPeople and making this wonderful adventure possible. We can't wait to share the adventure with more SparkPeople members down the road.
Feel free to cheer on the team and ghost runners as they tackle a race of a lifetime