As you know, last year I ran the Chicago marathon for Team DetermiNation, the American Cancer Society’s charity. I had nothing but wonderful things to say about the organization and the support they offered both throughout training and on race day.
Recently the American Cancer Society came back as one of the charities to run for at the Pittsburgh marathon. They approached me in the fall and asked if I would be a coach for them. Obviously I said yes, then I started thinking I should fundraise again and dedicate my 5th half marathon to my grandma Betty again and everyone else I know who’s lives have been impacted by cancer. So I figured this week I’d write about why you should run for a charity if given the chance.
First of all, you’re helping to raise money for a great cause. With the American Cancer Society the money I raise is going towards things like their Hope Lodges, cancer education classes, rides to treatment, and so much more. If you’re interested in a bigger race that’s hard to get into, like Chicago, you have a guaranteed entry which is also appealing. You’re also helping to get the charity’s name and mission out there. Since I’m a back of the pack runner, I see a lot of people running in their charity singlets and it was the first time I had heard of some of them, you’re helping to reach a bigger audience.
You’re also making your miles more meaningful. When I was training for Chicago last year, every time I wanted to quit I kept thinking “I can’t stop, I’m doing this for Grandma” and thinking of her always helped me push through those hard times. On race day I wore a bib on the back of my shirt that said “I run for Grandma Betty” and the amount of people who were behind me and said they were proud of me and to keep going for her was overwhelming. I cried several times, and when it got really hard I’d tap that bib on the back of my shirt and kept pushing through.
Lastly, the support you get from the organization is great. For instance, I’m now a coach for ACS which means I’m a resource for other runners. That’s super helpful if you’re fairly new to whichever distance you picked or you need someone to help get you through training. We also have weekly group runs where you can get to know others who are running with a similar purpose, so there’s a sense of community. You can never have too many running friends. 🙂
If you’re in Pittsburgh, consider running with us for this years marathon, half marathon, or relay team! You can also donate below if you wish.
Till next time!