Giving Back: The Marine Corps Marathon 2017

Source: military.id.me

On Sunday October 22, 2017 I will be running the Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington, Virginia to support our veteran service members of the armed services. I’ve chosen this cause, and by extension the Semper Fi fund, to raise awareness and contribute to because for far too long so many of us, while well-meaning, offer little, save lip service, to those who put their lives on the line daily to protect the freedom we enjoy. This has never been more true than today. We live in an uncertain and volatile world and where in the past many may have viewed signing up to be a marine, soldier or joining the Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard or Reserve as just a job, and even then I would have begged to differ, today it represents so much more. In fact, I would argue that if anyone goes in with that notion, they are all too soon disabused of the idea when duty calls.

Never before have we, as an American society, been privy to the chaotic and stormy domestic and global political climate as now. Our armed services, true to form with the respect and honor they deserve stand ready and able to defend our inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We honor and applaud that every memorial day,  4th of July, veterans day, and flag day to a lesser degree. So much have been said in honor of their fight and of the many who have lost their lives and those who have returned injured and in many ways unable to fend for themselves and/or be a regular contributing member of society anymore.

The Semper Fi fund 501(c)(3) nonprofit and its program America Fund, gives us an opportunity to pay – pun intended -more than lip service and to literally put our money where our thanks are. The fund utilizes charitable donations to provide immediate financial assistance and lifetime support for wounded, critically ill and injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.

The basic ideal that drives the fund’s efforts is simple: as much as these American heroes have sacrificed, they deserve the best care and support available in their hour of need. Injuries are often severe, and the road to recovery or rehabilitation can be long and costly. We have the remarkable opportunity to improve their circumstances by as much as 50%.

Please consider making a contribution, no matter how small; Individually we cannot achieve as much as what we can do when we come together. My goal of $1500 is a small part of the bigger picture of making sure all our injured veterans & their families in need are cared for.

Click on this link:

https://runsignup.com/Race/14046/Donate/EAgGYJk8jpKxHz5X

Thank you so much. Our injured veterans and their families and I appreciate your support!

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Miles For A Cause: Running the TCS NYC Marathon 2015

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It’s not everyday you wake up and decide to run a marathon. It’s not everyday you wake up and decide to run 26.2 miles for a good cause. I want to stress that this is not about being a hero or looking for a pat on the back or any such thing..on the contrary, this is about how the sport of running has changed one runner’s single drive for self-satisfaction and personal achievement to a dream of transforming lives one step at a time.

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Every year I have goals, more notably running goals. Prior to last year all those goals involved me either striving for a personal best or running a particular race or series of races. What has changed and why you may wonder. Well for one thing, I’ve grown; in character and in running and I give a lot of credit to the sport. In an earlier post, I called running my saving grace and it is; it has caused me to take a long, hard look at life, particularly mine and suss out exactly what purpose and who did running serve.  After much internal debate and struggle, I came to the conclusion that for running to really matter and serve a tangible purpose, it must speak to my heart for others. Thus, I determined to tie in my passion for serving the lesser advantaged with my passion for running and so the idea of miles for a cause was born. No big fan fare or anything, just a quiet, determined decision to run some of my major races this year for a charitable cause.

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Enter, The New York City Marathon and the opportunity to make every step count.  I’ll be honest, I debated with myself for a long time as to whether I would be able to pull it off – to be sure there’s a part of me that’s not too excited about having to raise a minimum of $3500 – but what cemented my decision was the happenstance of the earthquakes that struck Nepal. What a tragedy, I thought along with the world. Only… wait I can help; I can make this run count for something more than personal achievement. And so, I took a step out on faith and after careful consideration of the charities listed, decided to run for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF in light of all the work they do on the ground in disaster-stricken areas and in particular for children. I was especially touched by their theme this year: Believe In Zero. No child should ever die from a preventable cause. I, too, believe that if we work together Zero is achievable. It is my hope that through social networking and other methods, I will not only achieve my fundraising goal but that many will come to know the part they either play or can play in making our world a kinder and better place to live in. That one step at a time it is possible.

Click the link below to learn more about and contribute to this amazing cause.

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!

Running for Life in “Pink Month”

imageMany of us are aware that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast Cancer is one of the most common cancers found in women (though men are not immune) and a leading cause of death in developing countries says David Foreman, head of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, section on cancer information; in fact, in 2012 the World Health Organization stated that 14.1 million people worldwide developed cancer that year up from 12.7 million in 2008. And 1.7 million women were newly diagnosed with breast cancer, up by more than 8% from 2008; 522,000 died as a result, while the global death toll for all cancers were 8.2 million. The IARC projects that the number of global cases will jump to 19.3 million by 2025, increasing the stats on breast and every other type of cancer.

Cancer kills. Breast Cancer doesn’t have to. Running can help. One of the main ways in which we can help the fight against breast cancer is by getting involved. You can empower yourself through learning about this disease that affects millions every year and share what you know; mobile centers are being set up all over the country providing information and screening. In addition, there are many self-help options to assist you with carrying out your own breast self-examination ( videos on YouTube, flyers, brochures), which is a proactive approach to detect any early signs. And of course, you can run for the cause and donate towards research.

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Throughout October, all over the country, there are many runs, relays and walks to raise awareness about this disease. Running is one of your healthier options to give life to a cause that affects everyone in some way. The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer is one of the biggest events in October, which takes place in eight cities in the United States on different dates: Charlotte, Houston, Chicago, Boston, Washington DC, San Francisco, Santa Barbara and here in New York City from October 18-19. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, is another big event this month; hosted by the American Cancer Society, this is one of the largest fundraising and awareness events in the nation where you can join the relay for life and find a community to run with. Yet another, is the Susan G Komen, Race for the Cure: a 5k-3 day event that invites you be a part of something big, meaningful and effective. These organizations share in essence a common goal: to eradicate breast cancer and empower survivors. The work and strides that have been made to this end is nothing short of amazing and reflects largely the huge impact Breast Cancer has had around the world. There may be variations on achieving their common objective but they all share, in some way, Susan G Komen’s organization methods of getting there; through research, community health, global outreach and public policy initiatives. The best news is that it’s all easily accessible: information, runs, care and support; it’s yours with the click of a mouse. The respective websites have tons of information on how to get involved in a city near you. So, while these three are among the more popular events running in October, for sure there are a lot more throughout the country and around the world, and include cycle rides, charity swims, skydives, walks, treks and charity challenges. Let’s not forget the marathons, half-marathons, 10ks and 5ks, each and every one an opportunity to support the cause; throw on something pink, buy your ribbon and make some strides.

” The opportunist sees opportunities everywhere.”

There is always an opportunity to make a difference. The time is now to take a stand and run with it. Will you.

St. Louis Run for a Cure 2011

St. Louis Run for a Cure 2011

Summer’s Running Away

 

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Consider that Winter seems like it was just a few months ago..when we were talking crazy-cold-how-do-I-get-my-run-on weather and now we’re running through August, no stop signs in sight. To use my, of late, favorite expression – “What the hell!” Whatever happened to slow down, take time to smell the roses and all that cute stuff? Maybe, I’m just complaining cause I’m preempting what follows summer (to which I will not give a name so as to delay it as long as possible) but really the wisest course to follow would be to abstain from such thinking and do as much running damage as possible, which brings me to the matter at hand.. Summer runs rock!

I don’t know when was the last time we’ve had or even if we’ve ever had such amazing running weather in the summer in New York City! I mean this is the time to run and if you happen to be lucky and you’re in NY, then this is the place to run, and you totally lucked in cause we also have the company to get you out and about in this summer city. Some may complain of the crazy-weather-days where the highest we’ve seen so far is just about 89 and that we have lows in the 50s but this right here is runner’s paradise. It just doesn’t get better than this. And so you want to take advantage of it cause..well..hell, you never know.

Here are some ways to get running in the city that never sleeps for the visitor and New Yorker alike:

Run Central Park. You’ll never find a place more likely to make you into a runner. Running enthusiasts, visitors, sightseers, any and everyone active can be found here..Central Park is New York in action and home to everyone.

Run City Streets. Every summer for about one month, the city opens up some of the busiest  and most popular streets so that runners, joggers, cyclists, walkers, skateboarders and rollerbladers can do their thing. Yep..that’s right. No cars. The road is yours. Where else in the world can you stop traffic at your fancy?

Run with company. The Running Company is just one of the running stores that hosts free runs for running enthusiasts throughout the city. Nike, Paragon Sports, Lululemon and North Brooklyn Runners are some others to name a few. With just a click, join them and you’re in. These groups usually pace out into sub groups so everyone fits in never mind your level. It’s on to keep you fit and fab.

Run official. Do what I did; join a running club or organization that provides days, times and run workouts. Whether it is to train, to get you to your goal or to assume competitive level, such organizations exists with your purpose in mind. These clubs have an annual membership fee upon registration and acceptance; Central Park Track Club, Brooklyn Road Runners, Jack Rabbit and Dashing Whippets are among a host of others that provide the “athlete” runner with the impetus for racing.

Run with Meetup NYC. Throughout the city there are meetup groups happening for runners of all persuasions. For those who don’t know, Meetup.com exists with the sole purpose of bringing like-minded people together so that they can be passionate about whatever they care about. So of course running. And of course in NYC. Get online, join a group, reserve a spot for a suggested meetup run and voliá. You get to run all over this beautiful, crazy city for free.

Run with NYRR (New York Road Runners). Here is the mastermind behind the New York City Marathon, which is run by thousands from all over the world each year. NYRR is a running community that hosts races throughout the year in the five boroughs of New York. Most races can help with your eligibility for the ” big” race but ideally all runners are invited to belong to a community of runners that run and share the New York we know and love. Races are priced for members at a lower rate while non-members can run for a fee, though not all the races. Why not be a New York Road Runner?

Run for fun, for charity, for personal satisfaction. Whatever you decide, you have to take it to the next level. There are so many fun and charity races all over the five boroughs and beyond you couldn’t hide..but why would you want to? Summer in New York, especially this summer, is a time to make a difference in your and someone else’s life. You just wouldn’t be able to wrap it up come September and call it a great summer if you didn’t. There are color runs, mud runs, obstacle races, 5ks for Cancer research, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Kidney research and so much more. Whichever you decide, in any and all of them you can make a donation and make a difference. You’re running anyway right?

Do you doubt that we, runners, have it made? To not only live in the greatest city in the world, but to run the show. New York is not only about The Arts and Broadway and Wall Street and the Stock Market and Fashion and Times Square and Sightseeing and Tall Buildings. New York is about Running. Runners RUN this Empire State.

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