RunFreeSLO is a support network of avid runners who donate coaching
time, provide race entry fees, and assist with running gear to support
those who run to better their lives.
Read our RunFreeSLO article in the Tribune, celebrating RunFreeSLO
runners and their accomplishments:
RunFreeSLO Aims to Connect People with Struggles to Power of Running
RunFreeSLO was started in 2014 by Michele Gordon and Sheila McCann:
Michele Gordon Johnson~I enjoy the physical rewards that running offers, but it is the mental & spiritual benefits that have made me a lifelong runner. In addition to being a runner, I am an instructor and parent educator. I teach ECE & Family Studies courses at Cuesta College and provide parent coaching, parenting classes, and parent support groups through Parent Connection of SLO County (sloparents.org).
RunFreeSLO was inspired by, and is dedicated to, my parent-support group at the Women's Honor Farm: women who taught me about hope and recovery, while trusting me to help rebuild lives. A special thank you to Santana, our first RunFreeSLO runner, who had a brave and tenacious run at the 2014 City to the Sea Half Marathon.
Running resume: I've been a runner for almost 20 years, starting when my oldest son was an infant, and have completed
six marathons (including Boston Marathon), a dozen half-marathons, rim-to-rim-to-rim (46 miles) across the Grand Canyon,
Double Dipsea (over Mt. Tamapalis and back), a 50-miler to celebrate my 50th birthday, and a 3-day, 40-mile, run along the
beautiful Rogue River in Oregon.
Sheila McCann~I originally started running to lose weight, but now I am motivated because I really enjoy running and all
that it offers (especially local trail runs). Running helps to clear my mind when I am faced with challenging decisions,
creates a more appreciative state, and allows me to feel greater forgiveness and empathy for others.
I am the owner of House of Bread, a micro-bread bakery. As a former public defender, the decision to open up my own
bakery café business has supported a more positive lifestyle and given me the flexibility to pursue diverse interests.
My legal/business background helped to establish RunFreeSLO as a non-profit and to promote it within the running community.
Running resume: I have completed a fifty-mile run (a "one and done"), nine stand-alone marathons,
(including Boston Marathon), Ironman completions (a 2.4 mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and full marathon) and numerous
fun runs including rim-to-rim (23 miles) at the Grand Canyon and the Douple Dipsea event in northern California.
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