More To A Marathon Than Running

The Old Running Shoes

A month into the new year. How are the resolutions going? I could be wrong, but seems to me that ‘becoming healthier—or more specifically, ‘losing weight’ is the typical numero uno of resolutions.

If you are looking at options to prevent getting bored on your treadmill or are feeling alone on your quest for fitness, here are some ways to get in shape, meet some people and do something good for the charity of your choice all at the same time.

Sports Races

Marathons and Half-Marathons. A friend of mine’s, husband—Steve Minnich—recently ran in the Suntrust Richmond Marathon in Virginia. Typically, each race has an official charity that you can sign up to support. But you can also choose one of your own—as Steve did, running on behalf of the Winston-Salem street school (WSSS)—a cause with which he was already involved.

This street school helps disenfranchised kids finish high school and receives no public funds. It currently enrolls 30+ students who have dropped out or have been expelled. The kids are mostly from broken homes and impoverished neighborhoods, from families with histories of drug and alcohol abuse, many are teenage mothers or fathers. At WSSS, they find teachers and mentors who give them hope for their future.

Steve raised over $3,000 for the street school and he and his wife, Michelle, also tutor there. Funds and action hand-in-hand.

Triathlons, Century Rides (cycling) and Hiking Adventures: In addition to marathons and half marathons, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Sports Charity Training Program allows participants world-class, individualized training by certified coaches. And for those with busy schedules, they now have FLEX—an online training option developed by their coaches. Clinics are provided as well on topics like gear, apparel and injury prevention.

All the funds raised go to helping find better therapies and even cures for patients with cancer.

Walks: Look in the newspaper and you’ll most likely spot one for your area. In Charleston, I intend to do the Water Missions International – Walk for Water – in March. It is about a 3.5 mile walk where participants carry a bucket filled with water to symbolize the trek women and children make each day to collect water in developing countries. Water Missions is raising funds to provide safe water around the globe.

And this is just scratching the surface. What sports activities have you done that support a cause? What kind of event would you support?

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