On October 15, 2016, Team #RUNGBMC participated in the Baltimore Running Festival for the first time. What an incredible experience for our whole team! Our 96 runners participated in all of the different races – the 5k, the relay race, the ½ marathon and the full marathon. We also had 20 volunteers who staffed a GBMC/Gilchrist water stop, passing out water and Gatorade to over 20,000 runners.
The best part of the event was our collective effort to raise money for Gilchrist Center Baltimore – Joseph Richey House. Our team raised over $50,000 in critical funding for this residential hospice located in Baltimore City. The patients we serve there are among some of our most vulnerable neighbors in Baltimore – some have experienced homelessness, others have dealt with addiction issues and many of them have been isolated from family and friends. They come to the Joseph Richey House and receive excellent, compassionate care from our dedicated team of nurses, hospice aides, doctors and a social worker, bereavement counselor and chaplain. For many of our patients, the staff becomes their family and they are able to experience peace, safety and comfort during the final days of their lives.
A highlight on race day was running down Eutaw Street, right by the Joseph Richey House, on our way to the finish line. Several staff and patients came outside to cheer for us and to thank us.
Team #RUNGBMC was born out of GBMC’s Comprehensive Obesity Management Program (COMP) and their COMP to 5k program. Participants trained this year to participate in GBMC’s Fathers Day 5k. For many people, it was the first time they accomplished a physical challenge like a 5k. It energized them to continue running and soon after, Team RUN GBMC was formed to participate in the Baltimore Running Festival and to support Joseph Richey House. The COMP to 5k runners were joined by GBMC, Gilchrist and Joseph Richey staff as well as volunteers and community supporters. We shared a lot of laughter, some tears and we all worked towards our personal goals and our collective goal – of raising funds for Joseph Richey and the patients that they serve.
We’re already committed to participating again next year and hope to grow our team and our impact. Please join us – we’re a very mixed group – both fast and slow runners and also walkers. Some have participated in other running events and for many of us, this was the first time. You’ll meet some wonderful new friends and be supporting the community by raising funds for Joseph Richey. Hope to see you there!