Mountain Circle Family Services, Inc. couldn’t put on Running with the Bears without the runners. Charity Runners are unique. They’re working with us to raise money for Mountain Circle’s programs. In turn, we put 100% of that money right back where it belongs – the foster children and teens. Charity Runners each have a unique story about why they do what they do…..

Donna all dolled up for a night on the town......

Donna all dolled up for a night on the town……

Donna is actually from Greenville, CA, the same town as the Running with the Bears event. Her parents have jumped in to volunteer for the race in past years – helping us serve up beer and wine to the finishing runners. Naturally they bribed and blackmailed encouraged Donna, like good parents do, by offering their house to stay in, and support for her during the run. Since Donna participated last year, it was a no brainer to come again this year. This isn’t Donna’s first half marathon by far, but let’s learn about what happened before half marathons:

Rock it girl!!!

Rock it girl!!!

Donna has worked with animals since she was a teenager. One day, she happened to have a dog that was having a seizure and while leaning over to help him, she ruptured a disc in her neck. The injury made it so that she couldn’t use her arms well, but Donna decided there was nothing wrong with her legs. Donna chose to sign up with Team In Training to meet people, get coaching, and to benefit her physically. With Team In Training’s support she slowly built up her mileage. Donna lost about 40 pounds through walking, but was also able to learn about healthy eating, practice yoga, do track work, and get all the support she needed. There is still permanent damage in one arm, however, continuing to walk half marathons has alleviated pain and stiffness and has helped Donna to maintain her weight, stay more lean, and have better mobility.

You can never sparkle too much at a race

You can never sparkle too much at a race

Donna’s first half marathon was the Midnight Mayors Run in Anchorage, Alaska, but she’s done several warrior obstacle races to support our troops, as well as the Rock N Roll series half marathons in the Bay area, San Jose, San Diego, and Las Vegas. Donna is always motivated by the cause- from supporting our troops to the leukemia/lymphoma society. Donna finds it motivating that her running isn’t just to help herself anymore, it’s helping others also. Running with the Bears is a great race for Donna – no finish time for walkers, in her hometown, and for a Charity she loves to support. She’s now motivating others- her boyfriend has already completed two half marathons (so far…..) and her cousin, from Modesto, CA ran Running with the Bears last year. Donna’s favorite thing about races (other than the cause)?? The people you encounter, being connected to each other through all the energy, the conversations with runners along the way. “With all the people I get to meet and talk to, I never feel alone during a race.”

Donna and a friend

Donna and a friend

You can contribute to Donna at her fundraising page HERE