Marathon with a Meaning

September 1, 2009 § 2 Comments

While running a marathon may be something that hundreds of thousands of people accomplish each year, it’s up to the runner to make it mean something to them. This is my marathon with a meaning. 

While my goal to run a marathon has mostly focused around the idea that I will have accomplished something that is an immense physical and mental challenge for me, there was something lacking from it. When I was training for the half marathon in 2008, I noticed there were several charitable organizations that developed teams to run for their cause. I thought that was a really great idea and could help give my marathon more meaning. When I started to look into a bit more for my upcoming marathon, I realized that in addition to the commitment of running anywhere from 15 to 40 miles per week to prepare myself for the race, I would also need to find a way to raise a hefty chunk of change for the charity. While every penny raised would be worth the time spent getting it, it’s still a considerable obligation.

That’s when my marathon took on a whole new meaning. I knew I wanted to have a charitable focus for my run, but I couldn’t fully connect with the ones offered through the P.F. Chang’s Rock N Roll Marathon. The more I thought about myself and how I could give back to an organization that has impacted my life, the answer became more and more clear.

 In January 2001, the Barrow Neurological Institute  (BNI) at St. Joseph’s Hospital helped me get through a very difficult time. After battling with a pituitary tumor for several months, I needed to have emergency surgery to remove it. I had one of the top neurosurgeons in the country perform my surgery and was able to recover with no signs to date of the tumor returning. So, January will not only be a time for me to celebrate the completion of my goal to run a marathon, but also for me to remember how fortunate I am to be happy and healthy.

To show my appreciation and support for BNI and to commemorate nine years of being healthy, I have pledged to raise money for them through my marathon training! Through emails, letters and even a fundraising Pasta Party, I have begun to spread the word family and friends. I set myself a realistic goal of raising $1,500, but I’d be ecstatic to raise more. Granted, I know I can’t make an impact like the big-dollar and corporate donors, but I’m hoping my donation will help in some way.

Just because running a marathon is a pretty common goal, that doesn’t make it any less significant for someone who has this ambition to do it. What makes it special and unique is the story each person has of why they want to run and what it means to them. If you ever decide to run a marathon, or even a half, I hope you can find your meaning like I found mine.

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