Fitness

These Veterans are Bringing Charity Races to your Front Door. Here’s How… 5/5 (5)

Marathons. 5k races. Charity runs. There are so many events that can push you toward your goals or let your daily workout contribute to the greater good. But not all of us have the time to drive to all of these events, as much as we’d like to participate. 

What if there was a way to participate in these events on your own time, in your gym or on your normal route around the block?

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That’s exactly why Tiffany Allen-Hampton and June Brown created BFF Run For A Cause – to help more people compete toward a higher goal and donate to a good cause. 

“We love running and of course giving back. We get to wake up each day and do what we love. It’s an Awesome feeling,” Tiffany told us.

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Humble Beginnings

Tiffany and June met while they were both serving in the US Army. They’ve been best friends ever since and bonded through their ability to push each other to new heights. 

“We met during a military training course and on the second day, we had to take a physical fitness test where we had to complete a timed two-mile run,” Tiffany said. “[June] saw me struggling through the run and came back to run with me after she completed her own run. It was very inspiring. Having her there with me allowed me to push through and make it. We have been close ever since. This is where the concept of BFF Run For A Cause comes from, a good friend will ensure that you make it through.”

June and Tiffany both served in combat and saw how it affected some of their friends once they came home. They told us, “…we saw what stress looked like first hand. We’ve dealt with suicidal Soldiers and always took it very personally because we understood the severity of how they felt at that period. We made it our business to ensure that Soldiers made it through the dark times they encountered… We both know of several people with whom we served that have committed suicide. It’s a devastating experience.”

Tiffany also shared one of her experiences with a friend. “I spent the entire day on the phone with him, just listening to him talk. I felt like he just needed to be heard and I was willing to do that if it meant saving his life. Eventually, I was able to convince him to seek help and stayed on the phone with him as he walked himself into the hospital and checked himself in.”

“That experience showed me many things but it was one of the main reasons why we wanted to start off in support of suicide awareness.  The fact that we lose 20 plus Soldiers each day to suicide is unacceptable, especially since it is preventable!” she said. 

Run For a Cause, Your Wayunnamed-3

BFF Run For A Cause provides everything you’d normally get with an organized run; registration, some swag for the race, and a donation to the charity or cause that the race is sponsoring. The big difference is that you can do this at any time. Tiffany and June recommend running with a friend, but you can do it alone; just schedule your run in advance and they’ll send you the gear. You can make it an event, a motivational goal, or you can simply integrate it into your normal routine. If you can put one foot in front of the other, you can participate.

This isn’t just for athletes or professional runners; you can run, walk, bike or do it in the gym. You can even divvy up the distance and run your race in several stages, rather than all at once. It puts the power in your hands to do your run your way!

Walk, Then Run

Starting a business requires endurance, belief in one’s own ability and the capacity to be discouraged without giving up; very much like physical training. 

“The biggest challenge thus far has been getting the word out and letting people know that we exist. Social media has been a great tool but navigating it has been a challenge” Tiffany and June told us. “We wish we would have known more about the ebbs and flows of creating a start-up. We heard a lot about the success or failures of companies but never about the actual day to day operations,” they said. 

Like any race, you keep the finish line in mind. For Tiffany and June, success isn’t dollars, it’s hearts.

“We would love to be able to share some of these [struggles] with a new business owner someday… For us, success is not measured by how successful we are but by how successful those around us are, such as family, friends, and community,” they told us. “Our success is also measured by the number of people we reach through the organizations we assist so they can go out and do their work in the communities and make an impact across the country.”

You can still sign up for BFF Run For a Cause’s latest race, to promote awareness for Veteran suicide. To learn more, visit their website, or check them out on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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Grunt Fit

1 Comment

  1. Tiffany
    November 28, 2016 at 10:15 am — Reply

    This is an awesome article. Thank you for sharing the story.

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Sylvia Gaenzle

Sylvia Gaenzle

Sylvia is the storyteller-in-chief at American Grit, with over 200 articles written and 1,000 edited. A photographer, videographer, and avid reader, she believes that stories are the most powerful way to inspire, educate, and motivate others.