Glory Authority Spotlight: W&OD 10K

Glory Authority Spotlight: W&OD Trail 10K

Glory Authority Spotlight is an ongoing series intended to highlight Glory Authority affiliated events, their causes, and the event organizers/organizations behind them. If you organize a running event (or know someone) that may be interested in partnering with Glory Authority please let us know! You can email frank@gloryauthority.org.

Our latest Glory Authority Spotlight illuminates the W&OD Trail 10K, presented by Friends of the W&OD Trail and the charity partners of Safety and Health Foundation at Centennial Park in Vienna, VA. Runners at this event will make up a field of nearly 200 on Saturday July 27, 2019.

According to their “About FOWOD” section, “the Friends of the Washington and Old Dominion Trail (or Railroad Regional Park) — FoWOD for short — is a citizen-driven organization dedicated to protecting and improving the W&OD Trail.” Respectively, the mission of the Safety And Health Foundation is to “conduct educational events, training programs, and athletic events; to grant certificates of completion and certifications of competencies; to assemble and publish data and educational materials on safety and health practices; and to assist and support worthy charities consistent with SHF’s mission.” Both touting noble and worthy missions, these organizations combine for a strong partnership at a running event honoring the memory of the late Sally Hamilton, a former director of the Friends of the W&OD Trail.

To learn more about this event I spent some time with Jay Jacob Wind, Director of Safety and Health Foundation and race director for the W&OD 10K. Recently, Jay also represented Potomac Valley Track Club, competing in the USATF National Masters Track & Field Championship in Ames, Iowa. At the meet, he raced multiple events including the 5000 meter run, 2000 meter Steeplechase, 800 meter run, 10,000 meter run, 4×800 meter relay, 1500 meter run, 4×100 meter relay, and 4×400 meter relay.

Supporting a Cause

Together, ACE Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Institute, Safety And Health Foundation, and Friends of the W&OD Trail highlight their commitment to conservation by making this event the Washington area’s “green” race. As such, they have taken efforts to highlight their stewardship of the environment. These methods include offering paperless entry, accepting lightly used running shoes by More Foundation Group, printing race shirts though Sport Science > ™ , a local company that uses a more sustainable method to print on clothing than traditional screen printing. Because Glory Authority’s digital trophies are awarded electronically and live on your phone awards given to all finishers at this race will also follow the model of committing to conservation.

Partnering with Glory Authority

The Safety and Health Foundation is a marquee organization teaming up with Glory Authority. Race director Jay Jacob Wind has agreed to combine efforts with Glory Authority for a three-race arc over the coming months. At the upcoming W&OD 10K, and two fall races (see below in “Shout Outs”), the Safety and Health Foundation will be awarding a unique digital trophy emblematic of the W&OD trail to all participants. In addition to the standard working relationship we expected from a race director, Jay has gone above and beyond in our journey to create more inclusive events. He has offered his years of experience, novel ideas, and salient recommendations to best make a positive impact at his races, to our programming, and benefit all involved.

Shout Outs

The W&OD 10K is one of three Glory Authority affiliated races put on by the Safety and Health Foundation. The other two are the Abebe Bikila Day International Peace Marathon & Half on September 7, 2019 and the Potomac River Run Marathon & Half, set to take place on October 5, 2019. Follow the links to learn more!

Call to Action

All participation is valued and encouraged! If you haven’t signed up for the W&OD 10K yet, you can follow this link to register or volunteer.

Glory Authority is a nonprofit charity that stands for expanding diversity and strives to inspire and recognize courage and excellence in amateur athletics, education, and the arts. We work to make events available to everyone; and help under-resourced individuals in our neighborhoods thrive and succeed by encouraging and celebrating meaningful community participation.

Glory Authority Spotlight: Bluemont 5K

This is the first installation of Glory Authority Spotlight, an ongoing series intended to highlight Glory Authority affiliated events, their causes, and the event organizers/organizations behind them. If you organize a running event (or know someone) that may be interested in partnering with Glory Authority please let us know!

Our very first Glory Authority Spotlight illuminates the Bluemont 5K, hosted by DC Road Runners (DCRR) at Bluemont Park in Arlington, Virginia. DCRR is “non-profit regional group to promote running in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.” The race is set to take place on July 17, 2019 at 7PM; athletes can expect a field of around 200 participants.

Race director and first place women’s finisher from last year’s contest, Anna Suhring, is combining efforts with Miguel Cuya in organizing 2019’s Bluemont 5K. Miguel has been a DCRR member since 2009, directs races for DCRR, and competes in a bevy of interesting and challenging competitions throughout the year. To learn more about this race and explore its relationship with Glory Authority and our mission, I spoke with Miguel and Anna.

Supporting a Cause

DCRR acts as a supporter or collaborator with other local organizations to benefit the greater community or a specific cause. A perfect example of this is DCRR teaming up with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) at the Bluemont 5K. The AFSP focuses on creating smart culture about mental health, funding research, educating the public, advocating policies, and supporting survivors and those affected by suicide. Their website, found in the link above, highlights the many ways you can get involved in taking action, ranging from volunteering to applying for research grants to creating a quilt to honor someone’s memory.

In shining our spotlight on the Bluemont 5K, Glory Authority also supports the cause behind the race. Our inclusive framework not only allows more to participate at the Bluemont 5K, it expands awareness for causes like suicide prevention and the importance of mental health across more communities.

Partnering with Glory Authority

As the first Glory Authority event partner, the Bluemont 5K (hosted by DCRR) dives headfirst into a world unexplored by other running events. Open to new and exciting ideas, Miguel eagerly awaits the chance to award participants with digital trophies saying, “there is always room for improvement.” While there are prizes awarded to the top finishers, the Bluemont 5K does not typically award all participants… until this year! He feels that a digital trophy is an award that “you’ll always have with you and always be able to find and show others,” since more and more people are eager to catalogue their accomplishments and experiences through digital self-expression. Miguel added, “[a digital trophy] is forever. More than wanting a medal, people want to be recognized for their achievement.”

What does our partnership look like?

  1. Glory Authority stands for increasing diversity and inclusion of under-resourced community members at local events.
  2. We partner with event organizers to provide social and financial support to create initial access.
  3. We fortify and encourage continued participation by all by providing fun customized digital trophies to event organizers, who then recognize and celebrate participants’ achievements and experiences by awarding them. Participants then share their digital trophies to various communities through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Miguel finds that Glory Authority’s goal of inclusion falls in line with making races like the Bluemont 5K more welcoming. “Whether you’re running the race or coming out to volunteer you are building the running community through participation, celebration, and socializing.” Anna shares this welcoming sentiment adding, “One of the things I appreciate most about the running world is the opportunity to meet and form connections with all different types of people, and I think for many people, small races are a great first introduction to that community-building aspect of running.” 

Shout Outs

The Bluemont 5K is part of the 2019 Bunion Derby Series and sister race to the National Capital 20 Miler, which takes place on September 29, 2019. Follow the links to learn more!

Call to Action

All participation is valued and encouraged! If you haven’t signed up for the Bluemont 5K yet, you can follow this link to register or volunteer: https://www.dcroadrunners.org/sign-up/bluemont

Glory Authority is a nonprofit charity that stands for expanding diversity and strives to inspire and recognize courage and excellence in amateur athletics, education, and the arts. We work to make events available to everyone; and help under-resourced individuals in our neighborhoods thrive and succeed by encouraging and celebrating meaningful community participation.

Introduction to Glory Authority

Hi! I’m Frank, and I’m the Director of Operations at Glory Authority. We’re a startup nonprofit in the DC metro area with the mission of expanding diversity and inclusiveness at amateur athletic, educational, and artistic events.

How do we achieve this?

Glory Authority partners with event organizers to provide social and financial support to members of under-resourced communities and neighborhoods. People from under-resourced communities can apply to participate in any Glory Authority affiliated event through our grant program, which provides an initial pathway to participate and allows ease of access where it was once difficult, or perhaps unattainable.

What value do we bring to the events and communities we work with?

Glory Authority makes it possible for event organizers to award and celebrate their participants with digital trophies. We found that acknowledging, recognizing, and awarding achievement is the best way to build esteem and empower participants to continue accomplishing more. In this way, the combination of initial access, participation and accomplishment, and recognition and celebration create a sustainable, recurring cycle.

Our digital trophies are custom made for each event we work with, include event logo and brand visibility that will build recognition for the event, and can be awarded instantly! Participants claim their digital trophies through the Glory Zone App. They can share their experiences and achievements at athletic, educational, and artistic events back into their communities through social media, thus encouraging further participation and inclusiveness.  

If you organize an event or work with under-resourced communities and want to partner with or learn more about Glory Authority please let us know! You can email frank@gloryauthority.org to start a conversation.