Not everyone can enjoy the rush of running on their own two feet. But Crane Group Senior ERP Developer Randy Boring ensures that dozens of disabled youths and adults still experience the thrill of race day. Here, the husband, stepfather, grandfather, and 15-year Crane Group veteran shares how he combines his passion for running with giving back.
Q: You are the Community Outreach Director for Team Heart and Sole. What does the organization do?
A: We are a 100% volunteer, inclusive, and local organization that participates in Central Ohio running and biking events during the year. These events allow differently abled youths and adults — we call them champions — to enjoy the excitement and camaraderie of race day. We provide opportunities that allow them to participate by running, walking, being pushed in a chair, biking, or being pulled (in a Wike for biking), depending on the event and their ability. We include each champion’s family (when possible). Meeting them at our events gives me a better perspective of the hurdles they encounter on a daily basis.
Q: How often do you race for Team Heart and Sole?
A: I’ve done about 15 races a year for seven years.
Q: Why are you so passionate about it?
A: I came into running about 10 years ago. In it, I found a real sense of community among long distance runners — inclusive, inviting, and nonjudgmental. No matter how fast or slow the runner, we celebrate PRs (personal records), near misses, and give support when there is a disappointment or injury. We all have different stories that got us to where and why we got into running. Team Heart and Sole is a way for me to help others who may not otherwise get a chance to share in the joy of running in a race.
Q: You give back in other ways, too. How?
A: I run every year from Cincinnati to Columbus as part of the American Cancer Society C2C Relay Runs, which raise money for cancer patients and research. I have participated in all seven relays since the inaugural event. I also help develop the race routes for them as part of the route committee. And I volunteer for community projects with Crane Group through United Way and Besa.
Q: What is your most memorable give-back moment?
A: With Team Heart and Sole, in the 2018 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Half-Marathon (13.1 miles), while pushing a champion named Bryan. Along with another teammate, we switched off pushing Bryan every mile or so in chilly and windy conditions. With about four miles to go, it suddenly got windier, and we were getting pelted with rain heading west on Livingston Avenue. While we run, it is important for those of us pushing to make sure our champion is comfortable and enjoying the experience as much as possible. So I asked Bryan how he was doing at that point. Despite the conditions, he was enjoying it so much that he was laughing. I also like to say that we probably set a World’s Record for knock-knock jokes in a half-marathon that day!