Rural Running Challenges

Running with the Bears helicopter view

Running with the Bears helicopter view

Running with the Bears is a very rural race which is why so many people absolutely love it.  The rolling hills, the clean, fresh air, the ranches and large parcels of land.  Continue reading

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Charity Running – Sara Miller

Sara started running track and cross-country in high school and continued in college.  She never won a race, but was never last either.  After college, years went by without running until a friend convinced Sara to train for a marathon with Team in Training in 2007.  A few years later, as part of a plan to lose about 50 pounds, she started running regularly again and decided to try her hand at the half marathon.  For several years now, she’s run three or four half marathons and have gradually improved her PR to 2:08!!!

Post Florida half marathon

Post Florida half marathon

A friend and co-worker of Sara’s in Greenville, CA – Eva Gorman – who knows about her passion for running, invited her to stay with her and complete Running with the Bears half marathon.

Eva’s description of the race and the festivities attracted Sara to the race and then she learned that our race benefits kids in foster care.  That cinched the deal for Sara – a run, a friend, a great time and a good cause.

In Hawaii before a race

Sara in Hawaii with her sister Annie before the race in Hawaii

Sara grew up in upstate New York, has lived abroad for about 15 years and has been settled in Oakland, CA for the past 8 years.  The Bay Area is not at a loss for races and Sara has run Oakland Running Festival, Kaiser Permanente and the Giant Race as well as half marathons in Idaho, Hawaii and Florida.  They keep it in the family as Sara’s sister has run over 20 marathons and continues to inspire her.  She’s run the marathon while Sara ran the half in both Florida and Hawaii.  Her biggest fan is her Mom, though, who recently moved to California and will be travelling to Running with the Bears to cheer Sara on.

Sara’s commitment to running has been in full force the last 3 years to assist her in losing weight but it’s still challenging for Sara to get going.  Once she’s in motion, it’s easy but taking that first step out the door is always the most challenging.  When she’s on the move, she likes to take the time to think and manage stress.  Not to mention that finishing any run makes her feel strong!!

Donate to Sara’s page HERE



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Aid Station #10…Genesee Store!

When you reach Aid Station #10 you have reached the Marathon turn around! With approximately 1/2 way to go until the finish line you will be served water and snacks by the team at the Genesee Store.

The Genesee Store is a bistro/deli located in Genesee Valley on Genesee Road in the historic town of Genesee.

(wherever did they come up with their name?)

Genesee Store

They have been in business for 25 years and are family owned and operated in this unique circa 1880′s country store, post office & gas station.

This team doesn’t need to rely on flashy costumes, just take a look at the breathtaking scenery! The half-way point is a great time to re-focus and the Genesee Store team will help you do that. They have done this aid station since the beginning of Running with the Bears in 2011! Owner Robert and his team are great at personal service to each and every runner and have appreciation for not only what the runners are doing, but also what they are doing for our community.

Robert and Carol Meacher own the store and if they win in one of the categories the money would go toward medical expenses incurred battling Carol Meacher’s stage four lung cancer. Carol is a true fighter and is running her own personal matathon since being diagnosed in December 2012. She will be there at aid station #10 on race day!

Visit them on Facebook: The Genesee Store. They are the only full service restaurant in Genesee Valley.

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Why Runners Make Great Fundraisers


Fundraising in general takes a certain kind of person.  I’ve read several studies on how companies recruit fundraisers and it’s an intriguing list of qualities.  Continue reading

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Charity Running – Brandi Bishop



Brandi ran her first half marathon in December 2013 and is excited to run her second – and her Dog’s first – half marathon with Running with the Bears. Since Brandi’s dog is important to her, she found our race when she searched online for races that would allow her to bring the dog along for the run.

The first half marathon in Walnut Creek went great.  Brandi had a good time and was proud of attaining a goal she wasn’t sure she would reach.  The running friend that got her started knew she could.  When Brandi was looking for a way to challenge herself mentally and physically he recommended she look in to running and here she is on her second half marathon.  The most difficult part of running??  That first 3 miles when she’s tired and would rather be in bed.  The most gratifying part of running?  Attaining that goal.

Our race wasn’t appealing to Brandi only because of the dog.  She has volunteered with a couple of youth outreach programs and is currently a big sister through the Big Brother Big Sister program.   Always looking for ways to help the community, especially children, she felt that Running with the Bears was a perfect blend of outreach and training with her dog.

Donate to Brandi’s page HERE

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Aid Station #7…The Saez Family!

Marathon runners will get to meet a group near and dear to Mountain Circle’s heart at Aid Station #7…The Saez Family!

The Saez’s are Alex, Stacy, Anthony and Jhona. We love them so much because Mountain Circle brought them all together! They got Anthony and Jhona as foster children when they were 5 and 4, and adopted them about a year later.

“We feel that they were meant to be our children from the time they were born, it just took us a little while to find each other! Our family has been incredibly blessed by being a family, and by the experience of foster/adoption. As they are now 13 and 14, our family has been through some fun changes and challenges.”

Stacey 2

For their aid station, they are working on a theme of “The All American Family.” Families these days come in all different packages, delivered all sorts of different ways. Stacy said, “We’re not perfect, but we’re perfect for each other!” They have been busy testing out several homemade protein snack recipes, but have come to the conclusion that homemade peanut butter cookies will be best for our runners. Eggs and peanut butter have protein, right? :)

Hey Stacy, if you need taste testers…come by the office!!

Stacey 1

After several years of working as an aide in public schools, Stacy is getting ready to start a teacher credential program. If they win in one of the categories, $1,000 would go a long way when applied to tuition! They would also use the money to do something fun for the kids :)

Remember to vote for your favorite aid stations at the finish line in the categories of “Best Theme” “Best Spirit” and “Best Snack” winner of each will receive $1,000!

Stacey 3

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Charity Running – Tanya Harrison

Running on train-tracks could be crazy...

Running on train-tracks could be crazy…

Tanya Harrison – aka Running Crazy – is a Mommy with two kiddos ages 6 and 4. She has lived in Plumas County in the past and when out at a restaurant spotted a bulletin for Running With The Bears. Instead of going the traditional route and signing up for the race, Tanya decided to go for the charity run. This will be Tanya’s first marathon, however she runs regularly with Big Blue Adventures in Tahoe for their series. Although she’s not necessarily trying to Boston Qualify, she does think that doing so would be pretty cool.

Tanya’s Mom’s family – her Aunt – had foster kids, so she grew up surrounded by the idea of foster care and embracing kids into the family. Now that she’s a Mommy to two of her own children, that example of foster care in her earlier years struck a very empathetic chord and she wanted to do more. Not feels that races are like family and Running With The Bears agrees. Welcome!

Donate to Tanya’s page HERE

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