Chicago Marathon – Gazelle Sports Foundation

Picture this if you will –

It’s a warm, sunny Friday afternoon in early June. There’s not a cloud in the sky, it’s hot, and I’m moving at a decent clip for a warm run. It’s 2 days before my 9th Marathon (Sunburst). I am running without music, enjoying the sounds of birds and peeper frogs and squirrels scurrying about. And my mind starts to wander.

I am two days away from my 9th marathon. Two days away. Number 10 is already in the works as I have been accepted by lottery into the Chicago Marathon in October. And I begin to think about how I’d like to celebrate number 10.

It’s a round number – a big number for me. I never thought I’d be a runner. I never thought I’d fall in love so much with something that involved physical activity. Sure I played soccer from the time I was in kindergarten to the time I was a sophomore in high school, when I was cut from the team because I was too slow.From that time on, I became inactive. As my desire to do anything truly physical diminished – my waistline grew.

Fast forward thorough the rest of high school and four and a half years of college and inactivity, and I was overweight, and out of shape. I figured a good, free way to get into shape and lose some weight was to run. I started along the path by the lake in Marquette, following Couch to 5k.

Following which, I ran my first 5k. I was terrified that was going to finish last – or not finish at all. I had completed the Couch to 5k training on the flat lakeshore path along Lake Superior. The Firecracker 5k was near Teal Lake on a trail. Oh was I woefully unprepared. Hills? Roots? Rocks? What?!
I made it through and learned that “quit” was not a word that belonged in my vocabulary.
Little did I know that that first little 5k would lead to a handful of half marathons, 9 fulls, a job I’m passionate about and a sport I love.

So what has all this lead to in my constantly running mind – an idea. To celebrate marathon number 10, I decided that I wanted to run for a charity. But not just any charity, I wanted one where I could give back to the sport that has given so much to me. And I landed on the Gazelle Sports Foundation.

The Gazelle Sports Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports individuals and organizations that implement education, programs and activities involving movement and fitness. The focus of the grants will be toward groups that have barriers to integrate fitness in their lives. The Foundation will prioritize grants that include lower income individuals and families.

If you’d like to help me out by donating, you can find my page here.¬†All you have to do is click on the donate button! Please consider helping me give back to the sport that’s given so much to me.

I will continue this campaign through the week after Chicago.

This launch is part one – stay tuned for part 2 in which I talk with some of the past recipients of grants to highlight how the Foundation helps!