Team One Spirit will participate in the Colfax Marathon at Denver, Colorado to compete for more than $50,000 in charity award money. Fifteen Lakota Athletes will run in three teams of five in the Relay Marathon.
Money raised by these runners will help meet the expense of these events and help build youth programs on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Statistics show that 90% of the people on Pine Ridge Reservation live below the poverty level; unemployment hovers around 80%, families, children, and elders go without food on a regular basis, life expectancy is about 50 years, the high school drop-out rate is roughly 70% and teenage suicide is 3 ½ times higher than anywhere else in the US. The goal of the youth programs -- the reason Team One Spirit runs -- is to promote hope in life and in the future.
Local runners traveling to different places to participate in events like the Colfax Marathon means so much to the Lakota people. Just the effort to run serves as inspiration to the youth on the reservation to believe in themselves and know that, just like Team One Spirit, they can do anything they set their mind to. We want to help encourage this belief in personal abilities and inspire healthy habits through a variety of different youth programs.
Now it is time to meet three more members of Team One Spirit that will be running in the Colfax Marathon!
Show them you are with them – donate to their cause!
Meet David Michaud
David Michaud has been the Pine Ridge wrestling coach for twenty-five years. The 26 high school and 24 elementary kids currently under his tutelage get firm and loving guidance both in wrestling techniques and in their personal life. To be on the wrestling team, the kids sign a contract to attend all school classes with only excused absences, to maintain at least a C grade in all classes, and to volunteer each month to help with reservation cleanups. In addition, the high school team members volunteer to work with the elementary kids. David feels strongly that the youth have to give something back to the community. He understands that many of his charges live in difficult circumstances and often provides a temporary home for the kids when they need a place to stay for a while. He keeps the gym open during the summer so the kids can stay in shape. At a recent AAU tournament, the team had 66 wins, 21 losses, 6 champions, 5 runner-ups, 6 third place, and 2 fourth place finishes.
David graduated from Huron College and has lived on the reservation all his life. He says he always ran while he was in school and now runs to stay young and in shape. He prefers trail running as trails are softer than cement and easier on the feet and legs. He often enters his team in trail runs when he can afford the entry fee. David has two children – a son who is an MMA fighter and a daughter who is currently in the military stationed in Bahrain.
Meet Chantal Nez
My name is Chantal Nez and I was born and raised on the Navajo Nation. After graduating from Arizona State University, I moved to Rapid City, SD to work for a Native non-profit organization, Black Hills Center for American Indian Health. Growing up on the reservation, my siblings and I were encouraged to run in the morning and to pray for good things to come in our lives and in the lives of the ones we love. I have run eight marathons and currently training for my ninth marathon. Running has been my strength in the hardest times of my life. Running has allowed me to believe in myself and to prove that with dedication and commitment that anything is possible.
Meet Erin Bresette
Sports have always played a major role in my life. As a high school athlete, I scored 1200 plus career points in basketball and played on the golf team. I went on to play basketball at the collegiate level. In my early 20's, I continued golf and began to focus more on other individual sports like skiing, running and fitness at the gym. I enjoy running daily with Annie, my 3 year old chocolate lab and our new puppy Rudy. I enter local marathons, 1/2 marathons and 5Ks. I am certified to teach group fitness classes and instruct more than 6 classes per week at a local fitness center. In my spare time, I like to coach youth basketball teams from the Central Vermont region.
My introduction to Team One Spirit was in 2013 when the team came to Vermont for a Spartan Race in Killington. My uncle, who coaches runners for Team One Spirit, asked me to fill in last minute as an alternate. I loved it! I have a cousin who also competes on the team
Team One Spirit Gets Shoes!
Thanks to generosity of the Milender White Construction Company in Denver, CO, the entire team will be specially fitted for the right type of shoe for their stride and physique before the marathon on May 17th at the Boulder Running Company in Cherry Creek, CO.
Long time One Spirit supporters, Eddie Spears and Michael Spears, with the help of Elizabeth Reid and Spears Brothers Giving Tree, have joined with the group Hell On Wheels and Then Some to make sure Team One Spirit has the shoes to keep running through the 2014 New York City Marathon in November. That's right! Team One Spirit will once again take part in the prestigious event during the first week in November.
We are so thankful for all of your support! In addition, we want to thank the Spears Brothers, Elizabeth Reid, Spears Brother's Fans, Powwows.com, and the Adam Beach Foundation for helping to spread the word about Team One Spirit and the work they're doing for Lakota youth.
Denver Area Volunteers Needed!
One Spirit will have a booth at the Denver Marathon to raise awareness and funds. We need volunteers to represent Pine Ridge and Team One Spirit for this part of our experience. Our tent will be operating Sat. 8-11am and Sunday 8-12:30pm. We will have info to hand out about Team One Spirit, etc., and several things on sale. Any decorating ideas are welcome! They will be judging and awarding three of the best tents. Thank you to Tanka Bars of Pine Ridge for providing a generous number of Tanka Bars for the occasion.
Learn more about our generous sponsors and supporters:
Milender White Construction Co.: http://www.milenderwhite.com/
Spears Brothers Fans: http://www.spearsbrothersfans.com/
Eddie Spears: http://www.eddiespearsactor.com/
Michael Spears: http://michaelspearsactor.com/
The Adam Beach Foundation: http://adambeachfoundation.org/