Running For A Cause
The sport of running requires a passion that makes it well-suited as a fundraising vehicle for causes
Posted Wednesday, 11 February, 2004
Introduction by Jennifer Bostwick - SheRuns publisher
I have created SheRuns because I believe women runners need a voice and a space for expressing themselves. Although more women run than ever, there are limited magazines for running, in general, and insufficient magazines and articles aimed at women, in particular. Running is individual, for certain, but as a group, I believe women make up an amazingly connected presence with unique perspectives, goals and lives. With SheRuns, I hope to address issues that directly relate to running and how it fits into our lives as women. Excerpted articles for the current issue of SheRuns will be posted here monthly. This is the third article to be published. Be sure to come back and check out next month's article! Send me a note, let me know what you think.
RUNNING FOR A CAUSE
We all run for different reasons. The obvious, and perhaps the most common reasons have to do with staying fit and creating a healthy balance in life. Competitive runners do it for those reasons and more: It defines them, and in many cases is their true passion. But you don't have to be a competitive runner to be passionate about it, nor does running need to define who you are.
There are things about running though, that define each and every one of us who runs regularly. Among many things, running takes determination, focus, and guts. This makes it a sport that relatively few people truly stick with in the long run (pun intended), and well-suited as a fundraising vehicle for causes from Diabetes to Arthritis to Leukemia…..just to name a few.
There are numerous non-profit organizations that have developed training and fundraising programs around running events from the 5K to the marathon. Fundraising success is apparent in the size of the structured programs that exist today. Go to any major marathon and you'll see hundreds of Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team in Training (TNT) runners flowing along the course. All of these runners, and those associated with other programs or their own personal causes, have spent hours training and fundraising. Why do they do it….. How do they do it?
Why they do it differs for each person: Personal connection to the cause, the desire to get in shape and perhaps achieve something never before thought possible. The reasons are as unique as the individuals. The reasons are what drive runners to the finish line.
How they do it is inherent in the word "runner": determined, focused, gutsy. The cause for which they are running brings these traits out even more. Struggling through a training run or a race is nothing when compared to the challenges faced by those fighting illness, disease, or other hardships. Running for a cause can help put things in perspective.
The structured programs, such as TNT, are great for new runners or those seeking training support and guidance. TNT Runners train for specific marathons (or half marathons) together over the course of four or five months, and over that time develop the confidence and experience necessary to successfully complete their event. TNT Coaches provide information on proper stretching, injury prevention and treatment, nutrition, hydration, racing strategies, and more. In exchange for the benefits of the program, runners raise funds for the affiliated cause.
The rewards for those who run for a cause are priceless: new friendships, a feeling of tremendous accomplishment in helping others, the thrill of crossing the finish line, and the new attitude about running (and life) that says "Things could always be worse right now. At least I CAN run. Stop the self-pity, and get on with the 20 miles!" If you are interested in running for a cause, there are programs many different programs from which to choose. Some options are listed below. Each program is different, but the rewards of running for a cause are undoubtedly the same. Good luck!
www.strokeassociation.org (American Heart Association)
www.arthritis.org/events/jointsinmotion/default.asp (Arthritis Foundation)
www.diabetes.org/teamdiabetes/team/ (American Diabetes Association)
www.teamintraining.org (The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society)
Choose Your Own Cause / Varying Causes: