We recently had a Facebook contest to celebrate reaching 1000 likes in just over a year; the prize was a free entry to the 2016 Golden Ultra. Our selection method was random but, as luck would have it, we were pretty stoked to read the bio of the person who won. Given what we learned about Valerie Anne from her submission, we figured she'd be an awesome person to have at the Golden Ultra... what we didn't know is that she is actually 10x that awesome.
Here's Valerie's story...
It was Tuesday night and I was in the kitchen cooking dinner - following a recipe from Facebook on my laptop, I could see the little red '1' next to my notifications but didn't want to check it and lose my recipe page.
As I continued on cooking, my phone started to beep with incoming messages. I paused to see who was texting me, it was my friend Katy and the message read, "You won the free Golden entry!!!!" with lots of smiley faces attached. I wrote back "Shut up!" and quickly had to tend to my close-to-burning dinner.
More messages came in from her: "You did!!! Look on fb!!!" "Did you see it". Me? I won something?! I never win! Well, once, when my siblings and I called a radio contest and my brother answered the question right. It was a Calvin Klein gift basket that turned out to be a cheap water bottle, way too big of T-shirts and a CK note pad and pen (super lame). But this, this was big to me! I won an Ultra Race entry in beautiful BC - my home province by the way.
I quickly clicked that little red notification, and sure enough it was from Golden Ultra mentioning me in a comment. My phone started to beep again more messages, Katy posted in our 'Running Girls' group text "And the winner of the free Golden Ultra is.... Valerie Anne!!! *Enter lots of emojies*" then the congratulates from my trail girls started coming in.
I finished up dinner, sat on the couch and read my little post on the entry and wondered why they picked little 'ol me? I messaged back and forth with Katy, asking her for advice on what I should do, the whole 85 or the 1/2 pint? I'm not good with making decisions and I always look for advice from my running friends. I asked her why they picked me and she replied, "Yours was the best".
As the night went on I started to think more about Katy and how she wanted to win this. I messaged Golden Ultra and thanked them, I saw they messaged me back later that night but I didn't reply until the next morning, because I wanted to ask them if I could give my entry to Katy.
I want to do this race but I really want Katy to do it. I know that either way, if she won or not, she was going to enter this race. But I wanted to see if I could give my free entry to her. You see, Katy is amazing, I call her the 'little engine that could' I don't even know if she knows that I call her that - haha, but Katy she can keep going, her feet could be full of blisters, her toe nails falling off and she doesn't quit she just keeps pushing along. I often tell her on runs that I want to be like her when I grow up!
I woke up Wednesday morning and saw I had more congratulation texts that came in during the night and I had that message from Golden Ultra still waiting; wanting to know what race I wanted to do. I wanted to ask them if I could give my entry to Katy, I was a little nervous to ask, but I really wanted to do this for my friend.
So Golden Ultra, if its ok with you, I would love to "pay it forward" and give my entry to my friend, my neighbour (lucky me!), someone who inspires me to run far, and an all around amazing person - Katy Poirier.
Katy you need to take more time for YOU and I'd love to see you conquer the Golden Ultra!
Much love your neighbour and running buddy - Valerie
Of course our answer is YES! ... and we're going to give Valerie 50% off, too, just for being such an awesome friend. If you've got a running buddy that you're dying to go on a race-cation with, stay tuned for our Valentine's Day contest!