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SFN Goes to Camp!

SPEED FOR NEED made a visit to F3 Dads ⛺️ @ YMCA Camp Thunderbird with our fleet of 4 chairs to share what our charity is about to ~450 Dads and kids, some who drove several hours away from different states for the annual camp.

Here is some 📹video footage of dads & kids getting a chance to see what our charity is all about, learning about including those with disabilities, and experiencing what it would feel like to be a Track Commander (rider-athlete), Driver, or cheering supporter! It was a great time, and looking forward to doing it again this weekend with the F3 Lake Norman crew at their camp Saturday!

Please be sure to check out our race schedule and sign up for one of our races please to support our track commanders, support your region, and grow F3 Nation!

EVENT VIDEO LINK

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And then there were two…

First racing chair #BLACK⚫️ is a 2️⃣ race veteran. On to the scene comes #BLUE🔵 who looks like quite a hot shot! Can't wait for his debut!!!!

#RED🔴 and #GREEN✳️ are in the paint shop and will be here soon!

We definitely need a #PINK💖 and maybe an #ORANGE🍊 in the fleet… will you help us make it happen?

Donate here: www.crowdrise.com/F3SFN

New friends at TRI!Ballantyne Event

The men of F3 Nation had TONS of fun today supporting the triathletes at TRI!Ballantyne, hanging out with the local community, and sharing what F3Nation is and how to get involved with SPEED FOR NEED . Special thanks to the Morrison YMCA and Jessie Lindberg for inviting us to the event!

There were two adaptive-athletes competing in the Triathlon today, and we had the privledge of seeing them both cross the finish line.  One of them, Adam (pictured below) is a regular to the Triathlon circuit and we’re hoping we can get Adam in a SPEED FOR NEED racing chair at a race very soon! Congrats buddy on your accomplishment today!

We enjoyed meeting you all at the event today and men check out a F3 workout near you, and everyone take notice of SPEED FOR NEED as we start hitting the race circuit again in August!

#SFN has business cards!!!

The first part of our mission is to empower children with disabilities through participation in fitness events.

The second part of our mission is to grow F3 Nation in order to develop more High Impact Men (HIM) in our communities. 

Introducing the F3 Nation / SPEEDFORNEED business cards… each side representing one part of our mission. 

SPEEDFORNEED is honored to have been invited to be at the TRI!Ballantyne Triathlon at the Morrison Family YMCA this Saturday from 6am-9am cheering on the athletes, including two brave adaptive athletes, and sharing F3 and our new charity with the 1,000+ people attending. Say hello if you are going to be there!

Chair #2 has Shipped! #BLUE + Video Message from Team Hoyt Running Chairs!

Check out the video message to F3 Nation from the Owner of Team Hoyt Running Chairs ( @HoytRunninChair ) Mike Didonato who is making our fleet of racing chairs! He’s not a member of F3 (YET), but this guy defines High Impact Man, a big guy with a BIGGER heart.  Thanks Mike! Can’t wait to get chair #2 BLUE… #3 RED… and #4 GREEN!!!

 

There are more colors, so hopefully we can raise enough money to add in a Pink? Orange? who knows…

Youtube Link: https://youtu.be/yLbiJu82vnQ

Concord Streetlight 5K: Raising Awareness and Empowering Kids by GOING FAST

Just around two months ago, I came across a pretty popular tweet that was getting promoted by fellow F3ers. A brother from SOB named @JRRTolkien had this idea called SPEEDFORNEED and it involved the men of F3 Nation going to local races and pushing the disabled (primarily children) in specially-made race wheelchairs. As the father of a special needs child, I knew immediately this is something I wanted to be a part of and, in basically no time at all, I’d agreed to spearhead the initiative for all of MECA. This seemed a bit daunting at first but fortunately @Hootie stepped in and offered his assistance.
Fast forward to this past Friday night and I can definitely say the two months of preparations for our inaugural SPEEDFORNEED event were all rewarded and then some – when myself and 40ish other MECA PAX got to bring the race experience to Jayson and Rui-Ray Patterson. Jayson and Rui-Ray (sons of @Dougie and M. Deanna) are 9 and 7-year old boys born with the condition of Arthrogryposis. The first sight we got of them, they were speeding down Means Avenue in their basketball wheelchairs. I knew immediately that these kids were up for whatever challenges riding in the race chariot would present. If anything, @Frodo and I were going to need to ramp up the pace a bit to give them something truly exciting.

So how did we do? Well, I’ll let Deanna answer that:

“When people meet our family, our differences are often what they notice first: different skin tones, different ways we talk, different abilities we have. Sometimes it’s hard for people to look past those differences and other times, those differences don’t matter at all. Last night was one of those occasions where our differences stood out, but not in a bad way. You see, our sons are fiercely athletic. Yes, they each have orthopedic conditions that prevent them from being as agile as the average person, and yes, they work harder than average to do the same things as the average person, but that doesn’t slow them down one bit! They swim, ride bikes, play adaptive basketball, & run. They love & fight the way only brothers can. And yet there are times when their physical differences make everyday life challenging or out of reach. Running a 5k is most certainly one of those life events that felt out of reach. That is, until adaptive athletics came into our lives.

When Hootie asked if our boys wanted to race with F3Nation, we looked at each other with a questioning look. “We have a running wheelchair & we need someone to try it out,” Hootie said. Why not? Our boys are always up for a new adventure so we loaded up their basketball wheelchairs & headed Downtown.

Rui-Ray was up first riding in the chariot pushed by Frodo & joined by Bull, Exit54, & JRRTolkien. When asked, he said his favorite part of the ride was “going really really fast & when he lifted the chair up over the finish line!!” Then F3Nation gathered around Jayson & Frodo as they took off for the race. Being an adaptive athlete means Jayson is used to being the one who pushes his own wheelchair, so it came to us as no surprise that he wanted to push himself! Not this time sweet boy, this is your turn to ride. He tucked his hands behind his head, kicked back, and enjoyed the ride! In fact, Frodo told us Jayson helped himself to a water at the first water station! Jayson said his favorite part was “riding over the bridge & going really fast down hills.”

We are very grateful to the men of the F3Nation for inviting our sons to be part of such a fun night! Going “fast” isn’t something our family gets to do often, so it was a fun treat for them to ride. We are very excited for the SpeedForNeed campaign & look forward to seeing how F3Nation uses their influence to raise awareness and empower children with disabilities through participation in fitness events!”

Thanks for the fantastic summary, Deanna. And now let’s hear from @Frodo:

“It was a blast getting to drive/push the wheelchair for Jayson, for a couple reasons. First, it was fun having a “teammate” for the event. It was great to see his smile, see him waving the American Flag in the last half mile, have him asking for water at each aid station, and his enthusiastic yell of “Faster”….especially on the uphills. It was a great reminder of the impact we can have on others. Second, it allowed me to show my kids a tangible way we can serve others. We all have God-given talents and gifts and we can use those to serve others.

It was great to run with the rest of the PAX. But, the opportunity to help Jayson complete a 5K was by far the highlight of the night.”

Sounds like a success to me. I won’t bore you with my own verbal recount of the event because Tolkien’s video does a far better job. Instead I want to thank a few essential people who made this happen:

  • To @JRRTolkien – this is all happening because of you. Working with you behind the scenes these last two months, all I can say is you’re a machine. You’ve got focus and drive and ingenuity – a true #HIM.
  • To Race Director Sara Rogers and the Concord Parks & Rec – when I came to you with this proposal, you never presented any obstacles, 100% supportive from day 1. Thanks for giving us this stage to showcase SPEEDFORNEED.
  • To @Hootie and M. Emily – I got lots of assistance from lots of PAX over the past two months, but you and Emily were the ones who connected us with the Pattersons. That was the key to everything. Also thanks for speaking from the heart during post-race shieldlock – could not have been said better.
  • Finally, to Jayson, Rui-Ray and the Patterson family – we cannot thank you guys enough for partnering with us on the inaugural event. SPEEDFORNEED is going to continue to grow, and will bring this experience to as many deserving children as possible – in MECA and beyond. But someone had to agree to do it first. Thanks for giving us the gift of your children, we look forward to partnering with you again in the future (Rui-Ray has called the blue chair for next time ;-).

I’ll close with a giant-sized AYE! to the men of F3 MECA who have bought in to this initiative. Without your donations and your presence on Friday night, none of this possible.
Written by F3 – Exit 54 (SFN Q – MECA) & driver for 2.0 Rui-Ray

Video Link: https://youtu.be/NIcckg6y1iI

New Donation Site: https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/team/f3sfnSFN

Website: www.F3SPEEDFORNEED.com

Email: F3SPEEDFORNEED@gmail.com

Twitter: @F3SPEEDFORNEED

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/F3SpeedForNeed

Speed for Need – American 4 Miler: We are what we repeatedly do…

Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
I used to be amazed or surprised by the commitment of F3 Nation to rally and support a cause. I’m no longer surprised (that would suggest I did not expect much from this loosely organized group of men). But each and every time I am impressed and inspired by the force of will that F3 Nation brings to the community.
The Numbers
Over 50 people registered with the F3Nation team ahead of the race.
Another 10+ signed up day of the race. And estimate 10 more running with bibs not linked to the team.
Add in supporters on the sidelines, family members, pets and we likely had over 100 F3 Nation affiliated folks as part of the event.
And we are just getting started.
The Wake Up Call
What kind of 14 year old really wants to get out of bed at 6:30AM on a holiday? While he is truly a one of a kind, Owen Farr resembles your typical teenager when it comes to an early wake up call (not a fan). “Hey dad, I’ve got a great idea. Let’s go to Duck Donuts after the race.” (Another typical teenage boy request)
In the car he is finally awake and starts to ask questions – who is going to be there? How far are we running? Can Harry (the dog) run with us?
The Chariot
Owen checked out a couple of photos but the racing chariot is much more impressive in person. Once seated he realizes that the ride is a huge upgrade over his regular wheelchair. Comfortable seat, securely strapped in, no anxiety that Dad will flip the thing over coming around a corner or down a hill. And the SpeedForNeed decoration looks awesome. This machine ain’t no jogging stroller – it is the wheelchair equivalent of a high tech road bike. Smooth on the road, tracks straight, feels good.
The Low Five
The F3 pax embracing Owen stands out as the best moment of the morning. From men whom I’ve known for years to men that I never met before 7/4/2017 – everyone took time to speak to Owen, introduce themselves and encourage him while we ran together. Guys reaching out to shake his hand, offer a fist bump or a high 5. The kid can barely lift his arms up to reciprocate but he enjoys the attention. We are tremendously blessed to receive support from friends, church, school and family members. These communities embrace Owen for who he is. But it is also true that in some situations Owen feels excluded at times – his physical and social differences stand out, without question. On 7/4/2017 F3Nation lifted Owen up without regard to his ability to run fast, lead a workout, be loud, or funny or or crazy. The pax stepped up and said welcome brother, we are here to celebrate with you. Can’t reach over your head for a high five? Then I’ll come down to meet you.
The Race
I’ve run faster. But never before did I experience the kind of camaraderie that was out on that race course. At the beginning I was mostly nervous that I would trip, or crash into the curb, or possibly take out Material Girl’s achilles tendon with the chariot. Once we got going I mostly felt joy, love and celebration. I had the easy part – just follow Owen and hang on. Guys all around carrying shovel flags, leading the way, cheering Owen along. He had a great time. Loved hearing the support around him, love seeing the crowds (especially if they brought out their dogs). I think String Bean’s photo captured the moment better than anything that I will write here. Check out @nataliesfoy on Twitter.
The Road Ahead
I’ve notably avoided mentioning individuals – mostly because I worry about leaving someone out. But every single F3er there is a part of SpeedForNeed. Our progress in just a few short months is outstanding. The American 4 Miler provided a great opportunity to celebrate accomplishments to date. But as I noted in the BOM, 7/4/2017 was merely the first step. Let’s have everyone who stepped up to support SFN take the next step. Find a race and someone to push. Maybe it is a family member. Maybe it is a neighbor. Perhaps it is someone you have not met yet. The need is there. SFN is harnessing the power of F3Nation to reach across our communities and impact lives. In our prayers we often ask God to help those in need. How does God answer those prayers? By putting each of us in the world to make a difference every day.
The Video
Watch it. Share it.
What’s next? Let’s do it.
F3 – Nash (Pilot & Father for 2.0 Track Commander Owen)

Ready for Takeoff!

After months of planning, praying, fundraising, Tweeting, and hard work by so many people… SPEED FOR NEED is ready for takeoff!!!

Tomorrow, July 4th 2017, Independence Day, SPEED FOR NEED kicks off our inaugural race at The Run For Your Life American 4miler in Dilworth (Charlotte, NC). We have roughly 50 registered runners, who will all be led by out Track Commaner (TC) the athlete-rider Owen, who is 14yr old boy with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).  His father, Will (F3 – Nash), will be the driver. Likely over 100 supporters from F3 Nation (www.F3Nation.com) will be at the event which is sure to be special.

Our SPEED FOR NEED website is in-progress, and you can expect a lot more content, information, and schedule of where we will be racing in the coming weeks and months so stay tuned.

Hope to see you at the starting Line!

SPEED FOR NEED

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