Run your race

Serve Daily - - NEWS - By Megan Wall­gren for Serve Daily

Run Your Race Pac­ers is a Utah based net­work of run­ners that pro­vide pace set­ters for half marathons and full marathons across Utah. Their group of 500 dif­fer­ent run­ners cur­rently pace, free of charge, in 15 dif­fer­ent events. Typ­i­cally about 25 to 40 RYR Pac­ers end up in each event.

Founder Jorge Gar­cia said, "Ini­tially I started run­ning to sup­port my wife. I had no idea that she was deal­ing with Body im­age is­sues and Body Dys­morh­pia ans she was us­ing run­ning to con­trol her weight and thoughts. I joined her sim­ply to sup­port what I thought was just the love for run­ning. We started to pace events with an­other com­pany when we de­cided we could of­fer a bet­ter fam­ily en­vi­ron­ment if we started our own pac­ing group. The name Run Your Race came from a 10 K I was run­ning that I trained very hard for. As peo­ple passed me by my en­ergy dropped, as did my pace and speed. I found my­self re­peat­ing a mantra in my head that helped me fin­ish the race feel­ing great. "Run your Race" From then on we started this pac­ing team and have ded­i­cated our­selves to help oth­ers "Run Their Race"

As RYR Pac­ers have grown, they have come to fo­cus on com­mu­nity and have part­nered with many lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions to use run­ning as a ves­sel for good, healthy liv­ing. Gar­cia said they pro­mote men­tal health aware­ness and deal­ing with de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety and sui­ci­dal thoughts. "There's a lot we can do lo­cally if we fo­cus on men­tal health and re­ally help­ing peo­ple bal­ance their lives," he said.

Gar­cia said, "We are now join­ing forces with mul­ti­ple med­i­cal and ther­apy fa­cil­i­ties in the val­ley to pro­vide ac­cess to men­tal ther­apy for peo­ple in need. We have found that run­ning has been a re­lease for peo­ple deal­ing with anx­i­ety, ad­dicRYR tions and de­pres­sion. We re­al­ize that ac­tiv­ity is just one way to re­lease. In many cases run­ners don't re­al­ize they are re­plac­ing one ad­dic­tion or habit with an­other. Al­though not as de­struc­tive as drugs, al­co­hol or pornog­ra­phy, we are try­ing to help peo­ple find bal­ance. This is why we are work­ing with Moun­tain Peak Re­cov­ery to help bet­ter serve peo­ple of ev­ery walk with move­ment and what may seem per­haps a dif­fer­ent or un­con­ven­tional ap­proach to medicine."

Part­ner­ing with or­ga­nizer Joshua Hansen, RYR will be "adopt­ing" 250 acres of prop­erty around the beau­ti­ful Moun­tain Peak Men­tal Health fa­cil­ity to use for daily use run­ning trails, spe­cial events and whole­some recre­ation. "We want this land to be used for heal­ing, ther­apy and re­cov­ery. As per­haps it was in­tended to be used," Gar­cia said.

RYR Pac­ers have part­nered with Ad­dict II Ath­lete in their mis­sion to "es­tab­lish and main­tain so­bri­ety by pro­mot­ing life­style changes through eras­ing ad­dic­tion and re­plac­ing it with some­thing of greater value."

"We take re­cov­er­ing ad­dicts and bring them onto our pac­ing team and they tell their story while they are run­ning. We put them out to serve in the com­mu­nity," Gar­cia said.

Jorge has ran over 50 half marathons (13.2 mi) , 8 full marathons (26.2 mi.), mul­ti­ple 200 mile re­lays and count­less pairs of sneak­ers. He em­braces en­durance sports as a ve­hi­cle to out­run his own demons and en­deav­ors to help oth­ers to do the same.

RYR also pro­vides per­son­al­ized train­ing plans. Part of a good coach­ing is to be able to com­mu­ni­cate with your coach on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. With RYR, can ask ques­tions, work through chal­lenges, get ad­vice about your run­ning goals, gear, race nutri­tion and strat­egy. We will help you avoid or deal with phys­i­cal or men­tal blocks.

Visit RYRPac­ or on Face­book for more in­for­ma­tion.

Photo: RYR Pac­ers

Pac­ers vol­un­teers ready for a race.

Jorge Gar­cia run­ning.

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