Thousands Of Volunteers Work At Bank Of America's Chicago Marathon To Accommodate Runners

Thousands Of Volunteers Work At Bank Of America's Chicago Marathon To Accommodate Runners

Whether working at the finish line or along the course, runners receive support through volunteers in many ways.

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As a runner, I love participating and competing in races, and after volunteering at the Chicago Marathon, I am able to understand more about how a race works. I have been fortunate enough to run in a few half marathons, but a full marathon of 26.2 miles is my next goal. As a way to prepare despite the long hours of training, decided to volunteer at the marathon so I could see how the race is viewed as a runner and as a supporter.

While volunteering, I learned that a race without volunteers won't function. I volunteered with a student organization I am part of at DePaul called the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Our group was in charge of the heat sheets. Once runners cross the finish line, they are given heat sheets and their primary purpose is so runners don't get cold too quickly once they stop running. Heatsheets are blankets that runners wrap around themselves enabling them to not turn numb after running.

Before delivering the heat sheets to runners, the day started at 5:20 a.m. where our group met at the Fullerton train station. That morning while leaving my apartment, it was cool and misty and I came prepared for the long day of volunteering. Once our group arrived at the volunteer check-in at Grant Park, we received our volunteer identifications and uniform.

The uniform for a volunteer was a nice maroon jacket with the Chicago Marathon logo on it. As a volunteer, it was one of the many perks that are offered. Afterward, our group went to the hospitality tent to fuel up before volunteering. Bananas, oranges, granola bars, fruit snacks, and other snacks gave our team the fuel we needed.

Once we were all set we headed to the finish line and started to unravel the heat sheets. Many other volunteers from other organizations helped. By this point, some of the participant waves started their race taking on the streets. Once the first few runners crossed the finish line, we finally gave them their heat sheets.

Once it hit noon, our shift was over and I had the chance within those few hours of volunteering to connect with other DePaul students, cheer on runners and support them along the way. This has inspired me to apply to run in the marathon next year, and I had so much fun despite the day being cold and having to wake up early. I encourage everyone to volunteer or cheer along the sidelines of the marathon because it was an unforgettable experience.

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An Honest Review Of ItWorks! From Someone Who Doesn't Sell The Products

No, I'm not looking for you to "join a team" or begin any challenges.
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I'm sure you've seen your friends on Facebook transition from friend to salesman. Whether it be for Scentsy, LipSense, or AdvoCare; multi-level marketing companies are on the rise thanks to social media. ItWorks! remains one of the most prominent.

ItWorks! is a health and wellness company using primarily plant-based ingredients without any artificial sweeteners or coloring. Their "number one seller" is the famous body wraps but the company is mostly weight loss supplements and vitamins. The company has a passion for the natural over the synthetic. Co-founder Mark Pentecost states on the site's Our History page that "you want to know that you're putting the very best things in your body."

Since most reviews of these products come from distributors, who are therefore biased, I have reviewed three of their greatest products and one I believe you should avoid.

1. Greens™ Blend Chocolate

As a vegan, I sometimes have to double check that I'm receiving the proper nutrients. ItWorks! Greens have been saving my life lately. It contains 52 herbs and nutrient-rich superfoods as well as 34 fruits and veggies. It is meant to alkalize, balance, and detoxify.

This is my favorite product! It gives me energy and even fills in for breakfast sometimes. It honestly makes me feel great. Then again... they always said eating all your fruits and veggies would!

ItWorks! gives you those healthy servings in a delicious chocolate flavor (which is bomb with almond milk). Make sure you use a blender bottle or blender. Like many powdered supplements, it can have that grainy aftertaste.

2. Advanced Formula Fat Fighter™

The idea behind this supplement is that it’s "okay to indulge if you have your Fat Fighters." Basically, if you just must have that sweet treat or piece of bread then you can take this pill within an hour to prevent your body from absorbing the carbs and a portion of the fats. If you're anything like me, you eat what you want when you want, so you'll end up taking these pills on the daily.

The main reason I like the Fat Fighters is that they reduce cravings and I normally have such a sweet tooth!

3. ThermoFIGHT™

This product is meant to increase calorie burning, boost the rate of your metabolism, and boost your energy. Like with Greens, I definitely feel energized when I take this supplement. Not in a jittery or wired way, either.

They say "abs start in the kitchen" but I'll try and cheat the system when I can!

4. Ultimate Body Applicator™ and Defining Gel™

This is the ItWorks! claim to fame... and that ASTOUNDS me.

I used to be so skeptical of this company because of the wraps. I tried them three different times and was not impressed each time. The ultimate body applicator and defining gel are meant to tighten and tone the skin to redefine the appearance of your body’s contour. Sure, you'll receive those results... just at an outrageous price. It's an expensive product that requires a lot of re-purchasing in order to receive any drastic results. Not to mention the most drastic results are just reduction of water weight.

They're really just an overpriced skin firming lotion. I suggest finding a nice cream from Target and sitting in the sauna instead.

If your facebook-friend-turned-salesman pushes for you to buy the wraps, just remember that I warned you.

I would like to give an honorary mention to KetoCoffee (probably their second most popular item). Because it is not vegan, I have not given it a try. I have heard amazing things from multiple women, though. Most keto coffee recipes give people the shakes and amp them up too hard. I've heard that ItWorks! has perfected the recipe.

I have used the first three products for a little over three months now. Sometimes I am inconsistent and miss servings. However, I match these products with a vegan diet (mostly whole foods based) and 3-4 days of exercise. I do not have drastic results but I have lost a little over ten pounds and feel great each day. I plan to remain a customer with this company (I have Greens on Autoship!).

I feel so blessed to be a Loyal Customer with ItWorks! because I receive up to 40% off and free shipping after three months. Without this discount, I probably never would have given this company a second thought. I highly recommend going that route because, well...

Cover Image Credit: Savanah Garcia | Instagram

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Slavery Still Exists But, I'm Running To End It

Run for something bigger than yourself.

Loui
Loui
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When I was a senior in high school, my youth pastor started talking about a movement called 30 For Freedom. It was started by Brent Silky, who had this amazing inspiration to find 30 friends, run 30 miles, and raise $30,000 for this cause to end sex trafficking and it was all to take place on his birthday. The whole movement exists to end sex trafficking in our lifetime through prevention, rescue operations, and survivor care. All the money raised through 30 For Freedom is given to Venture, Lighthouse Foundation Nepal, and F.R.E.E. International.

Venture is an organization that encourages people to run, hike, walk, bike, and swim to raise money to fund the rescue missions and after survivor care. They don't just participate in ending sex trafficking but also provide meals for the malnourished in SouthEast Asia, provide education, and empower children. Venture works in the Thailand Burma border which is a massive global center for trafficking, sex slavery, child soldiers, extreme poverty, and refugees. It's one of the world's worst human trafficking crises.

Lighthouse Foundation Nepal is a non-profit organization that was built to improve the lives of children in Nepal who are at risk for abuse, trafficking, and neglect. Their main focus is to support abandoned babies, orphans, and children living on the streets. They focus on child development and try to encourage the communities to get involved in helping these children.

Project Rescue exists to rescue and restore victims of sexual slavery through the love and power of Jesus Christ. The organization educates poverty-stricken areas and provides residential care for children and prostituted women. They have medical clinics, night care shelters, and red-light district churches that provide care and supplies that are needed. Project Rescue sets up aftercare safe houses for rescued women and children and provides vocational training to give these victims a chance at life outside trafficking.

F.R.E.E. International has four parts- find, restore, embrace, and empower. F.R.E.E. International partners with different programs to find victims of sex trafficking and provide awareness programs for at-risk communities. They also partner with KlaasKids Search and Rescue to organize community search efforts to find missing children.

During natural disasters, human traffickers are known to go to low-income areas and search out the vulnerable. F.R.E.E. International has dispatch to support vehicles which are stationed in low-income neighborhoods to provide vital programs like legal services and medical help.

F.R.E.E. International provides resources to spread awareness to individual, communities, and survivors. The survivors need people to be aware and provide encouragement and support for them from the things they've had to endure.

You can go to https://venture.givingfuel.com/30forfreedom to make a donation through 30 For Freedom, or join me in running, this May, in the 30 For Freedom run. As many as 4.8 million people are trapped in sexual exploitation, that's more than half of New York City's population. Slavery will not end if we keep turning a blind eye to what we know is going on around us. I'm choosing to run for something bigger than myself, will you?

Loui
Loui

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