Recently, a team of Barefoot Books employees from our Cambridge office participated in the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in Boston. We asked one of the runners, Sarah Soldano, our Graphic Designer, to share her story about the meaning of the evening. In her words

A rush of adrenaline buzzed through my body as I stretched my legs beside my colleagues. Our team, eight strong in red T-shirts proudly featuring the unmistakable Barefoot Books feet, was swallowed up among the 12,000 other participants of the 2011 Boston JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge. The bright green grass of the Boston Common squished beneath our running shoes; a loudspeaker echoed over the hum of rush-hour traffic and excited chatter.

While it’s not an every day occurrence for the Barefoot Books team to run a race after a day at our Cambridge office, it felt right — we were supporting the community and the environment, being active, working as a team and having fun. The proceeds from the race benefited two Boston charities: The Emerald Necklace Conservancy, an organization that sustains the beautiful parks in historic areas of Boston, and Horizons for Homeless Children, a nonprofit that runs play spaces in homeless shelters in Massachusetts, allowing children facing great difficulties to simply enjoy the fun of being a child. Supporting these charities were among the main reasons why we signed up. That, and the idea of enjoying beautiful Boston’s Back Bay at dusk while getting in a great workout.

The race wound away from the Boston Common toward Commonwealth Ave, where we jogged next to Boston’s legendary brownstones, counting down the blocks as the street names progressed alphabetically from Arlington to Hereford. We dipped (and bottlenecked) into a tunnel, approaching bustling Kenmore square, our footsteps echoing as we enjoyed the slight downhill.

I ran alongside Taylor, our Global Sales Associate, and we encouraged each other and returned up Commonwealth for the homestretch. The rest of our co-workers paired off as well, each finding our stride among the moving crowd. When we proudly crossed the finish, we gave each other congratulatory high-fives as I abruptly began to gasp for breath. It took me those lovely 3.5 miles to realize that I was exhausted!

But, our sense of accomplishment was far greater than our exhaustion. As our team reconvened on the Common, we watched the sun set behind the Boston skyline, feeling hopeful that our (figuratively) Barefoot footsteps that evening may make a difference.

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