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home > races/results > usa: florida > run your next marathon to fight breast cancer

Run Your Next Marathon to Fight Breast Cancer
Come run the inaugural race of 26.2 with Donna The National Marathon to Fight Breast Cancer with us February 17, 2008, and make your marathon effort really count. Run with us and be part of the inaugural race and weekend events that will create big news in running and in medical circles too.

Run Your Next Marathon to Fight Breast Cancer

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By Skip Cleaver
Posted Monday, 1 October, 2007

At last, a true National Marathon to Fight Breast Cancer. Get fit! Have fun! Run 26.2 with Donna The National Marathon to Fight Breast Cancer and help save lives! Join the team, use the training program and complete a full or half marathon in exciting Jacksonville Beach, Florida on February 17th. This is the nation’s only marathon dedicated solely to fighting this dread disease, which impacts so many women and families. Get in on the inaugural running. It will include an exciting weekend, including a marathon and half marathon on a beautiful course near the ocean, a health expo with information about cancer and other issues, a children’s fun run, a community celebration, and a concert. They have planned well for you.

No other marathon is specifically designed and created to raise funds to fight breast cancer and provide care to women in need. Be a part of the first running of this vitally important event. Run 26.2 with Donna The National Marathon to Fight Breast Cancer and the dual sense of accomplishment will be tremendous. Running in Florida in February has terrific appeal for thousands across the northern tier of the US and Canada, but this is also an ideal marathon for those in the south. The planning, sponsorship, expertise, and detail in preparing for your run are second to none.

Make a Difference in Your Life—and In the Lives of Others
Start Training! You have been planning on running a marathon, and this is the one. You can help. You are invited to begin a remarkable, life-changing adventure. It will be a journey that will help you get in the best shape of your life, and you will make a difference in the fight against breast cancer. Take the first step; go to the Website and check it out. Your lifesaving adventure begins when you begin training, and it promises to be the journey of a lifetime.

Make your marathon run more meaningful, and more rewarding. Get your heart rate up, and put your heart in the right place by getting involved in this tremendously important effort to assist individuals and families struggling to cope with breast cancer. It does not discriminate and can strike anyone at any age, of any gender or race. Everyone knows someone dealing with breast cancer.

Former Olympian Jeff Galloway is the Event Director, and of course he is famous for his marathon training programs that have taken hundreds of thousands to and through their first marathon (see Jeff Galloway’s Training on the Website—a training schedule will be provided for every entrant). He expects over 5,000 runners for the first annual, with incremental growth into a major US marathon within the next decade. Those running (or volunteering for) the inaugural will be laying the foundation for the future of the national breast cancer marathon. The first only happens once, to state the obvious.

The Course
The start and finish, appropriately enough, will be near the Mayo Clinic campus in Jacksonville, Florida, or the First Coast as it is known locally. Most of the course runs near the beach and includes ocean views, or beautiful marshes with waterfowl, as well as Intracoastal Waterway—water will be visible much of the time. Runners will glide through beach communities for which Florida is famous world-wide, including Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, and, of course, Jacksonville Beach. With a cooperative surf and tide, runners will run approximately two and one half miles on the hard-packed beach sands at the edge of the Atlantic.

Not only is this course scenic, but it is as flat as you can possibly get. The highest elevation is 33 feet. There is a very detailed description on the race Website.

Weather in the First Coast Region
Some runners from northern climes group all of Florida into one weather pattern. Let me tell you, Jacksonville is not south Florida. The winter weather around Jacksonville is nearly ideal for marathoning, averaging 67 as the high and 44 as the low in mid February. This is nearly equivalent to Boston in mid April and New York in the first weekend of November. However, the Jacksonville area has more consistent weather and is much less likely to see those extremes as experienced in Boston the last few years. Ideal weather! Count on it.

The Joy of Giving
Knowing that you can make a difference and actually doing it are two entirely different things. Just like saying you want to run a marathon and actually crossing that finish line are totally different. You can make a difference, and only you can seek contributions within your network. Fundraising is encouraged, but not required. But it will add significantly to your overall marathon experience and sense of accomplishment. Check the fundraising tab on the Website. They have made it as simple as it can possible be. For example, you can create your own Web Fundraising Home Page to help you reach friends, relatives, and co-workers; and it will bring them into your experience by sharing training details and milestones as you prepare.

You Can
Traveling to Jacksonville for this marathon or half marathon as a runner or volunteer will be an experience of a lifetime. You will have an opportunity to meet runners form all over the land. Sharing, planning, and supporting each member of your team (and other teams as well) will create a sense of bonding and teamwork not experienced in other races. You can travel to an exciting destination, make life-long friends, and accomplish not only a goal of completing a full or half marathon, but also doing it as a part of a team that is making a huge difference in the essential fight against breast cancer. All entry fees, 100%, will go directly for essential programs at either the Donna Hicken Foundation or the Mayo Clinic and their highly regarded Multidiciplinary Breast Clinic thanks to the event’s generous sponsors.

Thousands of Volunteers Needed
You can participate in this tremendously important event even if you cannot run a marathon or half marathon. You can still experience that terrific sense of accomplishing good works—for the running community and for the cause of fighting breast cancer—by volunteering. Are friends and relatives running? Don’t be left out; get involved! Enjoy your destination weekend and accomplish something important. Make a difference. Remember, without volunteers there would be very few road races. Volunteering is vital, and fun. Please check the volunteer tab on the Website.

Donna Hicken and the Donna Hicken Foundation
Donna is a two-time breast cancer survivor, avid marathon runner, a television news anchor, author, and now foundation executive director. She met a lot of women while going through her cancer treatment who desperately needed help—insurance issues, loss of income, medical bills, and the stress of treatment and uncertainty of outcome. They needed help, and she decided to start the Donna Hicken Foundation, based in Jacksonville, to provide that assistance. This event weekend is an outgrowth of that commitment.

The Foundation is dedicated to funding critical needs of underserved and at-risk women with breast cancer. Every year approximately 200,000 women and about 10,000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in the US and Canada. Approximately 43,000 deaths are directly attributable to this disease. But medical science has made tremendous inroads, and enormous strides have been made. Leading research centers such as the Mayo Clinic are making progress every day, but research must be funded.

Support, financial and other, has been very hit or miss for many women in the United States, especially when they can no longer work or when they lose insurance coverage. Very often, once insurance is lost from one provider, insurance is either impossible to get or so exorbitantly expensive as to be out of reach for most women. The Donna Hicken Foundation is trying to fill that void.

This is the One
Enjoy the terrific experience and camaraderie of a marathon while making a real difference in the lives of families impacted by breast cancer. Thanks to the Donna Hicken Foundation, this tremendously important issue now has legs—your legs.

Make your marathon more meaningful, and more rewarding. This is the marathon you have been waiting for. Register now, start planning and begin the training that will take you across that finish line in Jacksonville Beach on February 17, 2008--26.2 with Donna The National Marathon to Fight Breast Cancer. For more information or registration, running or volunteering, please visit



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