Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Running for My Granddaddy's Memory

Hey guys! Today I have an awesome guest post from Jackie about running a race with a charity organization. I've never actually run a race for charity, but I have tons of friends who have and I thought Jackie's story was touching and wanted to share!

Jackie Clark blogs for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance's blog. She also has a personal blog, Jackie's Arc, that shares health and fitness tips. Jackie has been participating in charity marathon running for the past 3 years. To stay in shape she runs 5-6 times a week either outside or at her local gym. Feel free to contact Jackie with any questions jclarkmca@gmail.com.

There are many things that I have done in my life for worthwhile reasons, but none more so then when I entered the 2009 5K Run For The Cure marathon for mesothelioma research. This is a cause that is near and dear to my heart because I lost my grandfather to this dreadful disease at a time when the mesothelioma survival rate wasn't high because of lack of knowledge. So for me running this race was about giving others the chance that I didn’t feel Granddaddy had.

The most important part of running the marathon, aside from raising funds, was to prepare myself both physically and emotionally. Of course raising funds were also important, which meant finding sponsors to contribute and support me in the marathon. Obviously I went to friends and family first, and luckily the business my grandfather worked for was eager to support and contribute as well. In fact, when my church members and my co-workers discovered that I was running this marathon for my grandfather’s memory to help raise money for research and such, the fundraising was no problem at all.

Now that I had the finances covered it was time to cover the physical part, so I began training. Of course I couldn’t just get out and start running, I had two months before I had to run the marathon, while that seems like a lot of time, its really not when you look at it in physical fitness terms, which meant it was time to get serious and get into good shape.

I started by walking twice a day for a week. I would walk in the morning before work and then in the evening afterwards. This helped stretch my legs and such out as well as helped me develop the muscles and strength in my legs.

After a week of the walking and increasing my speed it was time to start running. I began slowly and for a short distance, after a week I increased my distance until I worked my way up to the full distance.

Finally, the day of the marathon came and I was ready and eager to run.

Although it was hard to finish, I did, and I raised a good bit of money for mesothelioma research, which I donated in Granddaddy’s name, something I thought fitting since I felt his presence there.

Although I was thrilled to even finish the race I was a little disappointed that I came in 27th place out of 57 runners (It was my first marathon experience, lets keep that in mind!) However, the fact that we raised approximately $23,257 dollars for mesothelioma research on April 18, 2009 in Mobile, AL, more then made up for that small disappointment.

Have any of you ever run a race for charity? How did you go about fundraiser? And did you train with a team to help you build endurance?

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