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Changing the lives of Children with Autism

With the Rotary Club of Sugar House Chili Open Run fast approaching on January 31, we want to bring attention to the charities involved with the event.  The Carmen B. Pingree School for Children with Autism provides a positive atmosphere of learning for those with autism in the community.

The school is driven to help young children with autism by providing “comprehensive treatment, education and related services for children with autism and their families”. Carmen B. Pingree is a woman who has a child with autism.  She had the vision in 1970 of creating a pre-school for children with autism.  This seemed like a daunting task but was one she was willing to work for.  Nearly 30 years later, funding came to expand her idea by creating the elementary school setting that now exists to support nearly 250 students.  The school is located in Salt Lake City in close proximity to the University of Utah.

Apex Behavior Consulting, one of our event sponsors, has a mission of enhancing the quality of life for people of all abilities.  They always seek to teach individuals to perform at their personal highest level by centering their efforts on positive behavior.  Children with autism are a main focus for Apex Behavior Consulting, but are not the only people for whom they provide services.  If you would like to know about who qualifies for behavior therapy, go to: http://www.apexbehavior.com/questions.html

Breanne from Apex Behavior Consulting shared the following inspiring story about AJ and RJ who boaj rjth have Autism.  Their father is an active duty US service member and their mom has significant physical and mental health issues.  When Breanne met the family in 2011, they had just returned from Guam.  The family had received no education or support with how to manage a child with Autism. With no family or friends in Utah they were in a state of crisis.  At home, both boys had regular melt downs, were generally non-compliant, and had no self-esteem.  AJ had said several times that he wanted to die.  The parents tried to manage problem behaviors through yelling, threatening, taking away preferred items, and grounding.

 Their Life Today:  The family receives 6-10 hours of ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) Therapy per week.  AJ, RJ, and their family have become a successful family unit.  AJ and RJ attend Connexus Academy, a virtual school, where they experience academic and social success.  The parents support AJ and RJ by providing direction, consistency, and reinforcement.  Yelling virtually does not exist in their home and they speak to each other with respect.  The boys have more responsibilities such as cleaning their rooms, doing the laundry, cleaning the bathrooms, and doing the dishes!  The boys work to self-monitor their behavior and play an active role in the development of their treatment plans.  Although the family still needs support, AJ and RJ expect to live self-direct lives as contributing members of society.  ABA Therapy can truly make a positive difference in people’s lives!

 At I Run Utah, we love being partnered with such organizations and we are proud to participate in events that make our community a better place for everyone.  We are excited for the Chili Open 5k and 1k races and hope to see you on January 31!  Click here to register for the race http://www.irunutah.com/race/?race=98.

Devin Davis, 801-907-0465, devin@irunutah.com

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Utah Chili Open Charity Partner Holding Out Help

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Imagine if your world go turned upside down, if everything you knew to be normal in your life was suddenly gone.  This is a reality for some families.  In Utah’s polygamist communities there are people who don’t have a clue how to live in the real world yet find themselves suddenly thrust into it.

 But there is hope for theses families! People have come together thru the help of volunteers, church groups, etc.  to form a foundation called Holding out Help that raises money to support and help these families by providing places to live, mentoring, education that they so desperately need to live normal lives and much more.

 There is an opportunity for you to meet some of these families, and support them and other local charities at the Rotary Club of Sugar House Chili Open run!  This event will be held on Jan. 31st 2015, at 11:00 AM, we would love to see you there running to support the Holding out Help charity and many other local charities!

Register here! http://utahchiliopen5k.itsyourrace.com

Carly Ituma
(801) 822-8375
carly@irunutah.com

How did I Run Utah become an Event Management Company?

Once upon a time a not so long time ago an Army Soldier thought about retiring and doing something different. This Soldier just happened to be a logistics officer whose primary function had usually been to sit at a desk hidden behind a computer. Now don’t let this destroy your image of the Army but some people especially in the military get the illustrious task of pushing paper. Well, pushing keyboard buttons, performing the all-important functions of cut, paste, and print all while still sitting behind a desk. Some of you may have experienced the unending and incredible joy of being permanently seated behind a desk, but this one particular Army officer didn’t want to retire just to sit behind another desk in another office.

For more than a few brief moments, this Soldier fantasized about becoming a homeless veteran. No, no, no not the one holding a cardboard sign on a street corner. The one that decides to take a cue from Crocodile Dundee and go on a walkabout. No mortgage, no lawn to mow, no bills to pay, or any of that stress. After years of repeatedly facing the enormous importance and pressure of meeting the next suspense (that means deadline for you civilians) the thought of being carefree on a little walkabout across the entire Appalachian Trail sounded pretty enticing. Then, at some point reality had to set in-oh, I mean children. Sometimes being a Dad means you have to forego crazy ideas like becoming a homeless veteran.

Since the sitting in another office and becoming a homeless veteran ideas didn’t seem to work, I (yes-I’m that Soldier) had to come up with something different. Although I didn’t have any real experience at becoming an entrepreneur, I had always wanted to own my own business. Did I mention that I love running? Don’t forget that I have children. I also enjoy helping make my community a better place. Mesh all those things together and I started to envision what my life would really be like after leaving the Army. I decided to start my own running (Event Management) business, make my children work for me, and provide a valuable service to great organizations in my community.

After brainstorming with my wonderful wife, we settled upon the brilliant name I Run Utah. I spent a year planning, running, sitting behind my Army desk, and trying to figure out how to start a business. I decided to do it the Army way. Jump right in and figure it out while moving forward as fast as humanly possible. Never retreat and never surrender. I started attending conferences with other race timers, volunteering my services for some non-profit charities, and networking until I landed my first major client in Idaho who wanted me to time five of his largest races including three triathlons. With the name I Run Utah, we worked with events in five states our first year. Let me also mention that Personal Best Performance in Idaho Falls, Idaho was my largest client! By our third year we expect to work events in 12-15 states.

So if you have the crazy notion that you want to put on a race, send us an email or give us a call. We will probably tell you that you are crazy and then we will help you figure out how to put on an awesome event that raises boatloads of money for your cause-even if your cause is to make a profit. Cause we’re like that. We think this is America and businesses ought to make money, create jobs, and all that good stuff. If you are more of the non-profit type who wants to change the world, adopt a child, or change the world by adopting a child then we will help you make that happen, too. Just plan to bring lots of friends, stop by an event, say hello, get to know us, and tell my kids to get back to work!

Greg Murphy
(801) 656-5897
greg@irunutah.com

What is Running?

What do you think about when you hear the word running?  Do you think about the feel of the wind in your hair as you rapidly cross over a favorite road or trail?  Do you think of your heart, lungs, and muscles straining under the increased workload running puts on the body?  Do you think that someone would have to be crazy to run anywhere when modern transportation makes it faster and easier to travel other ways?  No matter what thought crosses your mind, most people have strong feelings about running.  You either love it or loathe it.

I, for one, love it.  I love the interactive process that takes place between my body and the earth.  The earth with all its hills, trails, roads, and paths is there just waiting to be explored.  It calls my name and beckons me to come see new and exciting routes in diverse places.  The earth yearns to share with me its secrets and show me places and things that are often overlooked.  My body, on the other hand, doesn’t always want to cooperate.  It’s easier to sleep in than get up early for a run.  Running uphill puts enormous strain on legs and lungs and where I live you cannot run without finding a hill.

I never used to consider myself a runner, let alone someone that wanted to run long distances.  Of course, I was a Soldier and I had to train for my semi-annual physical training test but that only required running two miles twice a year.  And then in early 2001, some coworkers challenged me to run in the Army Ten Miler.  Other than a March of Dimes walk-a-thon, a crazy Volksmarch in Germany, and some forced marches with my military training I had scarcely walked that far let alone ran.  So I started training to run ten miles.

The training wasn’t that hard probably because the Army made sure that I stayed in somewhat decent shape.  I started to increase my mileage, slowly and steadily, so that I would be ready for that race in early October.  As the date for my upcoming race began rapidly approaching, history had its say when 19 men decided to hijack airplanes and attack America.  The organizers canceled my planned race, which was scheduled to start and finish at the Pentagon, shortly after September 11th.  My long-distance running debut became delayed for a year.

Not being a person that wanted to give up on my goals, I signed up for the Army Ten Miler the following year.  When race day finally arrived, I loved the energy emanating from the crowd of over 15,000 runners.  Adrenaline, excitement, and anticipation build up as the crowd gathers and waits for the start to take place.  I struck up a conversation with a fellow runner only to think that he must be psychotic when he told me that he was running the Marine Corps Marathon the following week.  I couldn’t figure out who in their right mind would want to run a marathon.  Little did I know how much running would start to impact me.

Ten miles seemed like forever.  My entire body ached and I felt pain in places that I didn’t know could hurt from just running.  Many times I just wanted to quit.  Eventually, when mile after endless mile has passed by the finish line became closer and I started to realize that I might actually finish without dying.  Somewhere around that finish line, I became hooked.  I started to want to run.  After a couple wartime deployments and military moves slowed the process, I set a goal to run my first marathon.

Running changes lives.  Doing it takes something that we know is healthy and provides us with the opportunity to challenge ourselves.  When you finally realize that with running you don’t have to cross the finish line first to be a winner, it can become your passion.  You make new friends, see new places, support great causes, and have fun.  So what is running?  It’s simply whatever you let it become for yourself.

Greg Murphy
(801) 656-5897
greg@irunutah.com