2012 is off to a running start.  I’m seeing some prayers being answered, doors opening, opportunities presenting themselves and persistence being rewarded, and it’s only the second week of the year!

In these first few days of the new year, two separate websites have approached me about writing a regular column on traveling and running for their site, and I’ve been contacted by a race director about participating in a race I’ve had my eye on for a while.  I can’t give you more than that until details are finalized, which I hope will be soon. Fingers crossed!!

The biggest thing that has happened regarding running thus far in the new year is that I was given the opportunity to get some runners together to participate in the relay portion of the Milano City Marathon relay, which I mentioned briefly in post looking back on my running in 2011. I am happy to announce that Team Mo Travels is official and currently training for the spring event.

As many of you probably know, I’m very active on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, DailyMile are just some of the social media sites where I waste infinite amounts of time  you can find me (by the way, feel free to like and/or follow me on any of the above mentioned sites).  And it is on some of these sites that I encountered the three other members of the team, who I will now introduce to you:

Renee – An American expat living in Holland, who runs and is obsessed with Starbucks. Sounds eerily familiar, doesn’t it?  Her blog, run – laugh – eat pie, is an ode to her favorite things, and a tribute to the transformative power of running.   She is the virtual running buddy I spoke of last spring who encouraged me – via Twitter – to get off my butt and go run a race that I’d signed up for, even though it was absolutely the last thing I felt like doing.  We’ve meet in person once, and hopefully, we’ll be able to meet again in the upcoming weeks to do a training run together.

Hanna – I “met” Hanna, a Polish expat living in Italy, on DailyMile, the social media site for runners. Like me, Hanna runs the world, and has run races in Switzerland, Sweden, the UK and Italy. In fact, she ran the Milano Marathon last year.  Her blog is called Run Like No One is Watching and it’s where she’s logging her training on the way to her third marathon in Madrid. The week after our little rendezvous with the Milano Marathon.

Maya – Facebook was the social media site that brought Maya and I together.  During a discussion on the Facebook group Nomad-ness Travel Tribe, of which we are both members, I discovered that Maya, an American expat living in Spain, was also a runner and looking to participate in some races around Europe. Maya and I have more than running in common, she is also from Los Angeles and she and Mr. Man share the same alma mater. She is exploring the world and writing about it on her blog, LiviN Life DailY.

In case you’re wondering, there was a method to the madness for putting this team together.  I wanted a team of  bloggers who live and run in Europe, and blog about it in English.  The fact that we’re all expats is a random, but cool extra.  Another random, but cool extra about Team Mo Travels is that 3 of the 4 members are participating in the Rock ‘n’ Roll race series in Madrid the following week. Maya and I are scheduled to run the 10K, while Hanna will “run like no one is watching” for a full marathon.

The last piece of running related good news I’ve received this year, is that my photo is a finalist in Flying Blue Running photo contest of Facebook. I’m shameless, I know, but if you would please vote and help me win 5,000 points towards my quest to run the world, I’d really appreciate it.

To vote, go to the Flying Blue Running Facebook page, like them, then scroll down through the pictures and vote for mine. My photo is the sixth one down.