COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – On almost any given weekend this spring, summer or fall in Central Ohio, you will find a 5K, 10K, or half marathon being held. And if you’ve been to one, there’s a good chance you’ve seen Team Heart and Sole involved.
When volunteer Randy Boring heard about Team Heart and Sole, a group bringing inclusion and opportunity to the forefront, it didn’t take long for him to sign up and volunteer.
“The fact that they were doing something that I enjoy, which is running,” said Boring, “So being able to participate and give back to the running community at large in Columbus…it’s just such a great feeling.”
The mission of Team Heart and Sole is simple: provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities, or Champions, to experience what it’s like to compete in an endurance race. For nine years, Kevin Rearick has run with his son, Nathan, who has cerebral palsy.
“We started the point where the 3.1 miles of a 5K, I would run the first 3 miles and get him out at the end and let him finish on his own two feet,” said Rearick. “As I cross that finish line, the sense of accomplishment is fantastic when it’s on your own. It’s 10 times that when you help somebody else accomplish something that they didn’t think was possible.”
If you ever run a race, you already know that feeling when you cross the finish line.
“You know, you have the runner’s high. The endorphin rush. Getting that extra boost is great for us and definitely great for the Champions,” said Boring.
That’s why this organization is close to 100 strong with volunteers and Champions, hitting the streets of central Ohio to prove that all can reach their goals.
“Everybody in a race is going through a struggle. As you cross that starting line, that’s the biggest struggle,’ said Rearick. “A running coach once told me; you know what they call the last person to cross the finish line? A finisher.”
If you want to get involved with Team Heart and Sole, it is holding a summer picnic at Huber Village Park in Westerville from 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. For more information visit www.teamheartsole.org