Raising Awareness One Step at a Time – 2016 Run for Blood

2016 Run for Blood, Minneapolis, MN. Photo credit: Jonathan Yoon/American Red Cross

Story by Jonathan Yoon

On July 23, 2016, the American Red Cross Minnesota Region, in sponsorship with Smiths Medical, held its 8th annual Run for Blood 5K at Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis.

Considering there was a slight chance of rain throughout the duration of the race, the attendance of nearly 300 people was a great turnout this year. The 2016 Run for Blood proved to be everything but ordinary. Food carts, music, dance groups, and various stands were all a part of the event, but there was something even more important to the race.

Patrick Henry High School Step Team, 2016 Run for Blood, Minneapolis, MN. Photo credit: Jonathan Yoon/American Red Cross
Patrick Henry High School Step Team, 2016 Run for Blood, Minneapolis, MN. Photo credit: Jonathan Yoon/American Red Cross

While the Run for Blood 5K might be about getting to the end of the line with family, friends, or solo, little do people know of the impact this run and walk event has on the surrounding community. Right now, someone in the United States needs blood or platelets every two seconds. With the donation van onsite, many runners were able to give lifesaving blood and race proceeds to over 108 hospitals in the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Iowa. This race was and continues to be a great way for families, friends and coworkers to rally together and raise awareness for the need for blood.

Race and walk start, 2016 Run for Blood, Minneapolis, MN. Photo credit: Jonathan Yoon/American Red Cross
Race and walk start, 2016 Run for Blood, Minneapolis, MN. Photo credit: Jonathan Yoon/American Red Cross

At 8:30 a.m., the runners and walkers began lining up at the start line, getting ready to show their physical stamina, strength, or a mix of both. In addition to the number of solo runners, the race would not have been as exciting without the various teams. Such teams included “Faster than Disaster” to “Walking Disasters.” While some groups may have been an understatement of their actual pace, everyone found one way or another to enjoy the 3.10 miles of the race around Lake Calhoun. It was encouraging to see people of all ages and size willing to come together and strive towards the Run for Blood ultimate mission: raising awareness for the never-ending need of blood.

Walkers, too, during the 2016 Run for Blood, Minneapolis, MN. Photo credit: Jonathan Yoon/American Red Cross
Walkers, too, during the 2016 Run for Blood, Minneapolis, MN. Photo credit: Jonathan Yoon/American Red Cross

A number of thank you letters go out to a number of people. First and foremost, this race would not have been as athletic or competitive without the runners who gave some of their money to donate for a better cause and run or walk the five kilometers. Second, the sponsors, including presenting sponsor Smiths Medical, and hydration station sponsor Culligan, and tech T-shirt sponsor Western National Insurance, that helped fund the raise, continue to make these events happen. And, great thanks to the event volunteers! No matter the level of importance, the American Red Cross 2016 Run for Blood could not have happened without you and we are incredibly grateful for your work.

Volunteers and staff, 2016 Run for Blood, Minneapolis, MN. Photo credit: Carrie Carlson-Guest/American Red Cross
Volunteers and staff, 2016 Run for Blood, Minneapolis, MN. Photo credit: Carrie Carlson-Guest/American Red Cross

While some of you were unable to attend this event, there are always different ways in how you can aid this blood shortage going on. There are four American Red Cross donation centers within the Twin Cities and all you need to do is schedule an appointment. Maybe the next time you hear the phrase, “Ready, Set, Go” you’ll think of a different phrase: Ready, Set, Donate by signing up for the 2017 Run for Blood 5K next summer!

Tech T-shirt, 2016 Run for Blood, Minneapolis, MN. Photo credit: Jonathan Yoon/American Red Cross
Tech T-shirt, 2016 Run for Blood, Minneapolis, MN. Photo credit: Jonathan Yoon/American Red Cross

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s