I have always been a runner. In 1989 after running countless 5 and 10K’s I decided to pick up the pace and train for and run a marathon. Back then there were not really the training programs there are today. GU, Shot Blocks, Cliff shots, were non-existent. We had Power Bars and lemon lime Gatorade, hard core running.
My second marathon was in 1998. I took some time off to coach my two children’s soccer teams attend dance recital and gymnastic meets. My longs runs became running up and down the soccer field. Once my son began high school and my daughter gave up her soccer career, I suddenly had a lot of extra time. What better way to fill that time than to train for a marathon.
Training became a little easier, but I was still training by myself. It wasn’t until 2005 that I began training with a group, CARA. This was a big improvement over training by myself. Those long runs almost became enjoyable.
It was in 2009 that I become a charity runner. I received the monthly CARA newsletter that stated that the American Heart Association was teaming up with CARA to train people for the Chicago marathon. I had always been involved wtih the AHA through my wife’s association on many different boards. How great is that, I am training for the marathon again, and can help out a great organization which was near and dear to my heart, pun intended.
I lost both of my parents to heart disease so it was a no brainer to train for a marathon and raise funds to help cure the number one killer of people in the United States. In 2009 I joined 37 other runners help raise $35,000. This was a great accomplishment for a first time program. In 2010 I was elected to be the chairman of the AHA, Start to Run program, OK I was asked and I accepted. This past year we had 70 runners and raised almost $90,000! Another great year. For 2011 we want to recruit 250 runners and raise $200,000. A lofty goal, perhaps, but so is running a marathon.
Most of the runners we recruit are first time marathoners. Our goal is help them get across the finish line, both in their fund raising goals and literally to cross the marathon finish line. I will be running my 11th marathon in 2011 and my third as a charity runner. Every one of them is a challenge. Running for a charity helps you through the long training miles and helps get