Today, I pulled the trigger and registered to run the Chicago Marathon for Girls on the Run (see info at the end of the blog for more about this amazing organization). While this was in my plan since December, it’s always fun and exciting to make it real by registering and booking hotel/flights. (Note: I already booked the hotel about a month ago, just because I wanted to make sure we got a room!)
I wasn’t really planning to run for a charity again this year, but I changed my mind for a few reasons.
First was the lottery: while I understand the odds of getting into Chicago by lottery are quite good, I wanted a guaranteed place if I signed up to run with an official charity partner of the race. And I learned that if you sign up with a charity partner before lottery results are released (in April), the fundraising obligation is less than if you were to secure a bib with a charity partner after the lottery. So I am on the hook to raise $1000, compared to $1500 if I waited until after the lottery.
Second was that we do have our annual giving budget in our household. If I really don’t feel like begging for money from others, my husband and I will happily put money towards this fundraising, as it is a cause I feel passionate about. It makes me smile knowing that we can do this, and we are excited to support a charity that helps young girls to grow in life through running.
I’m also excited to be part of a ‘team’ for the Chicago Marathon. I’ve always run everything solo, and this will be a bit more of a group experience, from the team singlet to the pre-race group dinner. It will be neat to meet a few others who also support Girls on the Run and hear their stories of why they are running Chicago.
Finally, running for a charity allows me a chance to help introduce my family and friends to a charitable effort that I support. Even if they don’t donate now, they may remember my choice of charities at some point in the future, supporting it later on. Or perhaps someone else may see my post and think that their daughter, niece or neighborhood child could benefit from being a part of (in this case) Girls on the Run. Or maybe it will encourage a fellow runner to get involved as a coach with the programme. (Note: I would love to be a coach and help start a chapter in Cayman; however, Girls on the Run are only in the US and Canada at the present time, and have no plans to expand further at this time.) Any way that I can inspire someone to ‘join in’ makes me feel great!
While I promise I won’t bombard my blogs with donation requests, I may post the occasional reminder that I would love to have others help support my efforts. If you are led to do so, please visit my Crowdrise Fundraising page (donations are tax deductible, as GOTR is a non-profit entity!).
Being able to run a marathon and have it benefit OTHERS, well, that is clearly the best case scenario I can think of. Look out Chicago – here I come! Let’s do this!
What charities have you raised money for? How has the actual race experience been with the ‘charity team’?
Girls on the Run (information found at https://www.girlsontherun.org/)
- Started in 1996, in Charlotte, NC, with 13 participants
- Curriculum provides pre-adolescent girls with the necessary tools to embrace their individual strengths and successfully navigate life experiences
- Now serves 168,000 girls in 225+ cities across North America each year
- There are two programmes: one for grades 3-5, one for grades 6-8
- Running is used to inspire and motivate girls, encourage lifelong health and fitness, and build confidence through accomplishment. Important social, psychological, and physical skills and abilities are developed and reinforced throughout the program
- At the end of the 10-12 week programme, the participants complete a 5k running event to give them a tangible sense of achievement