Team MEOW: Wind Wolves 10K

Team MEOW from Left to right: Daniel Mariano, Jenni Cat, Team Captain – Sean Loya, Melanie Juarez, Paige Loya, Kelly Haddad, and Brady Downs (kneeling in front)

Our team trained for the race every weekend for the last Two months – sometimes an extra day or two in between… and none of it truly prepared us for Wind Wolves.

The weather forecast had called for showers during the run, but we got lucky and had the opportunity to run under the beautiful sun and semi clear blue skies.

It did rain the evening before, which left some of the trails muddy and a hint of moisture lofting through the grass and air.

The first Two miles were pretty tough – they could only be described as a “vertical climb.” Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but I wasn’t alone with that feeling.

Almost all my fellow runner-in-arms were mummering “you’ve got to be kidding me” as we each trugged step by step up the mountainous hills.

I’m not gonna lie – it was tough. There were a few times where I honestly thought I wasn’t gonna be able to finish. Like I said before – it was tough.

The one thing that got me though all the steep hills, creeks and ultimately to the finish line was the teams’ inner joke turned mantra, “It’s for the kitties. It’s for the kitties.”

“…for the kitties” – that’s the heart of everything we do, not just within Team MEOW, but throughout SOXrescue.

I’m very proud of the team for all the time they put into training for Wind Wolves and how well we each did during the run.

Shout out to Brady Downs for placing Overall 2nd in the Men’s category!

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a runner, and neither are the majority of the Team MEOW members. I remember the first 5K we did as a team (the Bakersfield Marathon 5K), and the whole time asking my self “what the heck I’m doing?” And the answer was always the same “whatever hell I have to do for the kitties.”

That mantra has been used and said countless times, not just by me but other staff and volunteers at SOX. From the Neonate Kitten Staff working 48 hours bottle feeding abandoned babies, to our transport staff driving over a 200 miles and clocking in 8 hours of volunteer time a day just to give some of our kitties the chance to find their forever homes.

So, if you ever wonder why our volunteers keep doing what they do, why our care techs clock out and stay an extra five hours just to help with the neonate, and why Team MEOW runners hit the trails at 7am, rain or shine, run five miles, and then head to the SOXrescue shelter to start their shift with the kitties… I can almost guarantee you that in their heads, they’re telling themselves “…for the kitties.”

If you ever want to join Team MEOW and run for the kitties, visit soxrescue.org/teamMEOW.html and see when the next run is coming up – but don’t wait too long, registration usually books up quickly.

If you’re not local but still want to join the team, you can – You can always become a team captain and build your own Team MEOW in your area. Just message TeamMEOW@soxrescue.org to find out how.

I’d like to thank the team and all the supports that helped us through the Wind Wolves 10K. I’d also like to acknowledge and thank our Team MEOW Captain, Sean Loya – thank you Sean, for putting together and building such a strong team.

Don’t forget, we’re nonprofit and depend on the support of the community to keep our projects, programs, and shelter running. If you can spare $5 a month or even the loose change in your car, our kitties would be eternally grateful. You can help save an abandoned kitties’ life by donating HERE.

Melanie Juarez – Executive Director, SOXrescue

Save the Kitties

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