Thursday, September 25, 2014

Road to Kona: Bad to the Bone

When Cole Bryan was selected to represent North Texas and Team In Training nationally at the Kona IRONMAN World Championships, he made a significant commitment.  He pledged to raise $30,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) while training.  Below he talks about a unique and interactive way that he and his wife, Dianna, raised a significant portion of his fundraising goal.

"Dianna Bryan is a fundraising guru!  The Fort Worth Team has benefitted greatly from her ideas.  From setting up the annual Painting With a Twist fundraiser to booking a table at the Rahr Brewery during their weekend tours, she’s come up with some of the best (and most fun) ideas.  But, this past year, she really outdid herself.

Bad To The Bone Virtual Race Series is the umbrella of several virtual races that Dianna sets up throughout the year.  What is a virtual race?  It’s just like a regular race (think marathon, ultra-marathon, triathlon, etc) but done on your own time and at your own pace. 

For example, in May, there was the Bad To The Bone 50k, which is an ultra-marathon.  We had over 100 people sign up from seven states and Guam.  Over the course of May, everyone that entered the “race” logged their running miles (via the Bad To The Bone Facebook group) until they reached a total of 50k (or 31 miles).  It could be done outside, indoors, or even on a treadmill.  At the end of the month, everyone that entered received a finisher’s tech shirt and a medal, just like a real race.  Dianna has had some awesome medal and shirt designs.

One of the perks of a virtual race is that you don’t have to do the entire race at one time or in one day.  You can break the distance up and complete it over several days.  Or, if you are motivated (or crazy), you can cover the entire distance in one day.  Another perk of the virtual race is that many people use it as a way to stay motivated in their training.  It’s easy to train hard for a week, and then totally slack off.  The virtual races really encourages day to day consistency.  Another perk is the Facebook group.  People posts their mileage, and others in the group usually offer plenty of support and encouragement.  There is a great sense of community.  To top it all off, your race “entry fee” is a donation to LLS, which we all know is an amazing organization.

For what it’s worth, the virtual race is a big idea.  The Bad To The Bone Series has already raised over $8,000 for LLS in just five months.  I believe the success of the race is due, in large part, to the awesome people that encourage and support each other through these races and Dianna’s awesome medal and shirt designs."

Thank you Cole for sharing the creative ways you and Dianna are working to raise money for LLS and TNT.  GO TEAM!

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