Why a Charity Run is Good Running Karma

Source: yeuchaybo.com

Life can be very hectic. Often, we have so much going on making it’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind. We’re busy and have jobs, families, studies, exercise and various other things going on –sometimes simultaneously. Because of this mad rush of a lifestyle, many of us are left with little time for others. The concept of giving back seems more like an ideal and, though worthy enough, is not chief on our list of priorities.

We’ve all heard about “giving back to the community” and the truth is this can and does take many forms chief among them charitable donations, which is more than a feel-good sentiment. Charitable donations have the potential to make a huge difference through effecting change and having a major impact on the targeted community.

The running community has its fair share of causes to run for. For every major race from a 5K to a full marathon among others there are a variety of causes put forward for runners to partner up with. Some of these causes include research and support for many illnesses and diseases such as various forms of cancer, Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, Parkinson’s etc. In addition, there are options for causes that involve support for veterans, children education, individuals recovering from substance abuse, homelessness and many others. Many organizations work alongside race organizers to offer spots for participants who choose to fundraise as an entry means to the particular race. Runners who choose this option stand to benefit personally as well as gain the benefit for recipients of the funds they raise.

5 major benefits to running for a charitable cause include:

(1) the personal satisfaction of adding meaning to your miles and the rewarding knowledge that you are making a difference one step at a time and contributing to a cause that needs your help.

– There’s an opportunity here to choose a cause that’s close to your heart, either because someone close to you have been affected by it or for some other personal reason.

(2) the financial contribution gained for the cause chosen.

(3) raising awareness about and for the particular cause, which potentially means more exposure and thus more donors.

(4) gaining knowledge about the cause selected and an added affinity and sensitivity to issues underscored by the organization.

(5)  becoming part of a larger community and team that provides support such as training plans and fundraising instructions and tips and encouragement, team swag, and pre-race and race-day amenities.

Whether you were on the fence about it or never gave it a thought before now, I hope I’ve made a good case and gone some way in convincing you to run for a good cause this summer or for the upcoming fall season. It would actually be a nice addition to your runs this year and go a long way in completing your goals on high note of accomplishment.

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Cancer, A Cause to Run for

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             breastcancermarathon.com

Every month in these United States we advocate, support and highlight a form of cancer and the strides we have made in the fight against it. This dreadful disease can take many forms and insinuates itself into almost every part of the human body; from breast cancer, which we highlight this month, along with liver cancer, to colon cancer and pancreatic cancer among others, we are made aware of the far-reaching effects of cancer as no one remains unaffected by it. For this and other reasons, running is an ideal platform to support the fight against it.

In the month of October most of the western world and organisations like The American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Avon, Memorial Sloan Kettering  and others sponsor, support and/or organize walks and runs that highlight the great work: research, successes and stories of women around the globe living and battling breast cancer everyday. The goal is to bring awareness, increase knowledge and encourage early testing, diagnosis and treatment.

Running is all about utilizing good health to achieve great results. Since we need to be fully functional to do it, it makes sense to use this platform as a means by which cancer research and education can become part of mainstream discussion; particularly breast cancer for us women who are more susceptible to it.

Last weekend, there were walks, around the country and thousands of women came out in support of this worthy cause, raising the bar on the discussion and actively walking out their struggles with breast cancer in the company of family, friends, advocates and supporters. The good news is that many of us were actively involved and got out there as part of the movement. That’s a great start. The weekend before when I ran the Chicago marathon for St Jude in support of the work they do in the field of childhood cancer, I was gratified with all the support and cheers for St Jude. However, I see it in a wider context now, people are deeply affected by cancer and beginning to realize that unless we all unite in the fight against it, chances are very good that one of us may become its next victim.

In this vein, we should strive to become a part of the solution. As runners, what better way to do this than to get our family, friends and supporters behind us to run for a great cause. Cancer is that cause and there are a lot of running opportunities this month and going forward. Most races provide the option to run for or to donate to a favorite charity to run. Just sign up, fundraise or donate, then run – the easiest part. I promise the rewards last beyond the finish line.

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Making My Miles Count

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Two years ago I made a commitment; a promise to myself to use running for more than personal gain; to – in some way – be a blessing to the wider community. Turns out, once a mind is made up it becomes relatively easy to forge ahead. Enter my miles-4-a-cause project this year: The Chicago Marathon for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. St. Jude is  a hero of mine, they provide free treatment for children with cancer and research, diagnose and treat other types of childhood diseases. I’ve often wished they had a presence here in New York so I could do some volunteer work with them; as it is, Tennessee is not next door so I’ll just have to settle for what I can do right here.

Running is a great platform to highlight the phenomenal work St. Jude does. These days most races provide the opportunity to run for a good cause and are pretty much open to all runners. It’s as easy as picking the charity of your choice, registering with them and building a fundraising page, which you then share with friends and other interested parties. Better still, social media has made fundraising so much easier as you’re able to reach a wide audience with relatively minor effort. The only challenge is being comfortable with asking others for help. Ideally you begin by encouraging, enlisting and persuading family and friends and then extending your reach to friends of friends and so on. 

Some organizations provide incentives for your efforts but really when I’m running for a cause, there is no way I want to benefit from this except to feel good crossing the finish line knowing that my running has made a bit of difference in someone’s life. The medal, possible PR and celebrations are strictly bonuses then.

The Chicago Marathon is on October, 9; that gives me a few months to work hard at garnering as much support as I can for a pretty amazing cause. Wish me luck! And please click on the link below to give to St. Jude and become a St. Jude Hero by saving a child’s life today.

Support us here: http://fundraising.stjude.org/site/TR/Heroes/Heroes?px=3992776&pg=personal&fr_id=57054

 

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Marathon Training, Fundraising & Just Because

 

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Approximately sixteen weeks to Chicago and eighteen weeks to The New York City Marathon. I mean WOW! Where did the time go? Am I alone in thinking that we’re not the only ones running here, that so is time! That being said, technically, I should to be in marathon training mode, which means I’m suppose to be running practically everyday working on mileage, speed, strength and endurance. In reality, I figure to take the next couple weeks to myself and run for sheer enjoyment – just because it’s Summer, it’s hot, it’s pretty and because there’s the inescapable fact looming that I’m about to embark on some crazy running; two challenging marathons in two successive months.

Rest assured, I’m not crazy, people do this all the time – not really. Not ordinary people anyhow, but then you’ve probably already figured out that normal does not describe me. Not to worry, it’s not my first time, only the second..wink..and I’ve already figured my strategy is more mental than physical. See, I’m training for a marathon so I’ll just keep running..joke..but really, it’s just a shift in focus after the first run as the next is within two weeks. This is ideal as it works to keep the momentum going. With enough sleep, training and cross-training, the right diet and proper hydration, I should be fine. In fact, I predict they’ll be runs of a lifetime, providing I stay injury-free. My past record notwithstanding, I aim to stay positive; run a few races between now and then and try to maintain top form. With God on my side, I can’t lose now, can I.

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On another related note, I haven’t been all-ensconed in fundraising efforts for my project – Team UNICEF re the NYC Marathon – as I should be. I’ll have to be a bit more brazen in my approach if I am to reach the $3500 goal that is allotted me. While I’d love to raise more, it being for such a great cause and all, I’ll settle for being within target range for now. If you’re reading this, please feel obligated to help a runner and sister out; plus you’ll earn bragging rights for a good cause and get your name on my running-T on marathon day. I also have a few cool T-Shirts for very generous donors and a couple pom poms for you if you go the extra mile and show up to cheer me on race day. It rarely gets better than this but I’m sure you deserve it!

 

Running for causes aside, I really treasure each opportunity I get to make a difference while running. Being a force for change is something we can all benefit from; hence why I think I take running and training so seriously leaving very little time to enjoy the sport. So excuse me while I fix that before doubling down for some record running in the coming months.

Be a trooper and support my cause here:   https://www.crowdrise.com/unicefnyc2015/fundraiser/loricaldon

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Cause Running

RunningHD_1-(2) (web optimised) It’s Christmas time; the season of giving. What better time to look at making a difference in the life of someone. Earlier this year, I had decided that I was going to incorporate more charity runs into my racing. I figured it was a way of giving back to the running community and a big thank you to the sport that has given me so much in terms of self-development and taught me a great deal about drive and perseverance. Turns out it’s easier said than done and so yours truly have not fully engaged the process of running for someone or something other than self. Truth is, I find it somewhat intimidating to ask others to help a passion of mine. What’s in it for them? See, when I first thought of running for a cause, it seemed easy enough; sign up for a race and give a donation..pretty easy, no strings attached and doable only for a smaller number of races. It turns out that meaningful giving in running is a bit more involved than that.

You have only to google running for charity and a host of events and information will come up, which indicates the popularity of this method of entry into races from 5ks to marathons. So it’s not for a lack of information that I view this with some trepidation, as races are eager to impart how to best access information and support on how to proceed. What I’m a bit wary of is actually getting on a platform and committing to raise a certain amount of money within a specified period of time; the amount being a big issue and then the time frame allotted in which to do this. I’ll admit right off that a sales person I am not so the pitch just doesn’t come to me nor does it ever sound right, which leaves me questioning my motives cause this is not about me right?

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Cause running has opened up the field of runners to just about anyone with a heart to do good, the bonus is exercise and the chance to do something one might not have attempted but for the pull of the greater good. In addition, there’s the added benefit of training teams and cheering sections This makes it a win-win situation as there are multiple groups with different models that allow runners to consider the cause – which runs from cancer research to providing animal rescue – race distance, fundraising minimum and training programs. The recent addition of crowdrise, peer-to-peer fundraising site, to the running platform allows runners who don’t find a cause they’re interested in to create a page and run for a group of their choice.(Runners World)

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The causes are endless and the opportunities to make my running count are better now than they’ve ever been; all I need is social media, my friend lists and the ability to pitch my cause. I’m giving it a go for the New York City Half Marathon in March. A couple thousands shouldn’t be hard..wish me luck!

I Run Because…

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running happy

I had a fun and celebratory run in the park yesterday to commemorate National Running Day and ended up smack dab in the middle of  Chase Bank’s corporate challenge run, 15000 strong.  Apparently, I wasn’t the only runner with running on her mind; seeing so many other like-minded folks was pretty super and helped assuage my irritation of blocked paths, slow pace and  too much company. The weather was a tolerably humid 74 degrees; overcast with a slight breeze, which meant you wanted to be as close to naked as possible while going heavy on hydration.

While out there cheering the runners on, my mind got to thinking about why I run..why I constantly put my knees and ankles through the often brutal pounding of running..I’m well aware I’m not getting any younger and so there are gonna be a lot more aches and pains as time goes along.  As I reflected on this and my various runs, I sensed a commitment to the sport that has carried me through the years; a commitment to running first because I can..it’s my happy place, and secondly, for all those who can’t.  Sure there are many other underlying reasons such as: the medals, great physical form, traveling, meeting fantastic runners, the physical challenge and so on, but mainly it’s because I feel I’ve been given a gift and it’s up to me what I do with it.  The challenge lies in not getting so caught up in myself and my ability, that I lose sight of being able to use this platform to help others.

With that in mind, I’ve recently recommitted to cause-running as oppose to mainly races for my personal enjoyment and will be joining like-minded runners this summer to give all those who can’t a fighting chance. I’ve always found that when you identify a purpose for what you do.. whatever that is.. it begins to matter differently and adds meaning and value to the challenges you meet and the sacrifices that you will ultimately have to make.  So I’m challenging you to determine a reason for your running, print it on your mind, place it on your heart and share it with your friends, after all there are thousands of reasons to run.  It shouldn’t be difficult to find one and own it; let it become your running badge that defines your purpose for indulging in this craze that has exploded over the years.  You are not just another face out there, you have an important story to tell that will bless someone, never mind that you’ve chosen  an unorthodox method for telling it.

So what is it: health, friendships, a good cause, to de-stress, freedom, community, to stay fit, to explore, it’s cheap therapy, for fun, fitness etc… It can be funny, personal, inspiring, challenging, motivating, it’s yours to tell.

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