This is the weekend we’ve all been waiting for. TEAM ADPi runners are packing their bags, resting their muscles, hopping on airplanes, and mentally preparing for the 26.2 miles they face on Sunday morning. The forecast is predicted to be a beautiful day, perfect for both runners and spectators alike. Fundraising goals are close to being met, and some even surpassed. TEAM ADPi is just shy of hitting the $50,000 mark, despite having dropped to the third place in total team fundraising. YOU can help us get there. Please consider making your gift today!
A successful team is never complete without a fantastic captain, and TEAM ADPi is no different. Jennifer Brown Arends, Beta Sigma – Mercer University, wears many hats. She’s a mother, a wife, a triathlete, a business owner, and when it comes to service to Alpha Delta Pi, the Vice President of Philanthropy for the Alpha Delta Pi Foundation, a Province Director in District II, and the Captain of TEAM ADPi.
Four years ago, Jennifer ran the Chicago Marathon and had the great fortune of meeting two Zeta Theta Chapter sisters from Illinois State University following the race. The idea of bringing Alpha Delta Pi’s from all over the US and Canada began to form and two years later, TEAM ADPi was created. It was a way for Jennifer to participate in three of her favorite things in life at the same time: running, ADPi, and RMHC. Alpha Delta Pi Foundation Executive Director, Jennifer Polley Webb, Epsilon Nu – Ashland University recalls the excitement she felt about forming the team and being one of the inaugural runners on TEAM ADPi. “Jennifer Arends called me in 2013 with a dream of creating a team. She convinced me to run in 2013, and I will be FOREVER grateful. You can never put into words what it feels like to cross that finish line knowing you ran 26.2 miles & that you did it for families to have a home away from home when they are caring for their sick children.”
When asked what motivates her to be the Captain, she said “The knowledge that as a team we can raise so much more money for RMHC than I can as an individual. In addition, seeing people who never thought they could ever run that far actually do it is simply amazing. You never get tired of seeing people accomplish something they thought they could never do. Completing a marathon changes you. It makes you realize that the impossible is possible. Some of these Sisters would have never dreamed of doing a marathon but with the knowledge they are doing something good for someone else they are willing to try. I always say that we choose to struggle to help those that don’t have a choice. In my opinion, it is the least we can do.”
Ronald McDonald House Charities is extremely special to Jennifer, despite never personally needing their services. “RMHC has given me more than you can imagine. They have taught me compassion for others. They have taught me to count my blessings. They have helped me understand why giving back is one of the best feelings in the world. They have taught me that sometimes all someone needs is a smile, a gentle touch, or just someone to listen. Since my children were old enough to go with me to volunteer, I have taken them with me. So RMHC is now helping me to teach these same things to my children.”
When she crosses the finish line on Sunday, she will be “looking for my biggest supporter, my husband Gregory. Without him none of this would be possible. But in Chicago, RMHC has this red carpet laid out and people are lined up along the red carpet cheering for you as you walk down the red carpet. Ronald is usually there too giving you high fives. A camera man is snapping pictures. It makes you feel like a celebrity, or in my dreams, an elite athlete. So I cannot wait to walk the red carpet. And man…once you get beyond that red carpet, RMHC has anything you could ever want – champagne, chocolate milk, a huge spread of food, beer, massages (my personal favorite). It makes all of the other finish lines I cross very dull.”
She is no stranger to distance running, as she’s been running marathons for 10 years. Her biggest challenge has been staying motivated. “Eventually, you stop questioning your ability to finish them [marathons] because if you do them long enough you know you could go out and do that distance pretty much any day if you had to. It becomes harder to motivate yourself to get runs in when you don’t have that fear of not finishing.” So what does this training look like? “I am a triathlete, so I do not solely run. I usually put in about 12-15 hours a week of some type of exercise. This usually includes swimming, biking, running and strength training. I usually run 3-4 days a week. I am a running and triathlon coach so my workouts are usually very specific. My runs usually consist of an interval day (speed work on a track), tempo day (fast paced run) and a long run that is anywhere from 10-22 miles.” Hard work definitely pays off, as Jennifer has been featured on the cover of a running magazine and has a thriving business, HUB Coaching. TEAM ADPi is very lucky to have Jennifer as their captain.
We need your help getting TEAM ADPi to first place. If you would like to make a donation to Jennifer, TEAM ADPi, or any of the runners, please click here. The final day to support the runners of TEAM ADPi is Saturday! We are truly grateful for the support you have given to TEAM ADPi.