Running for a Cause

Running is good for you in many ways. Physically of course. Mentally for sure. But it also allows you a venue to “give back” to your community, or to a cause you believe in, while helping to bring focus on that issue. 
I got into this through charity, namely Team in Training, and have willingly made a nuisance of myself to friends, family, and co-workers raising money for the cause, one I truly believe in. I am a cancer survivor myself, of the thyroid variety. While it’s not nearly the same as a blood cancer, surviving is surviving, and I feel that giving back, even in a small way, is well worth the time and effort. I have also raised money for the American Lung Association, United Way, American Cancer Society, and I am sure I will be raising money and awareness for other issues.

The current one is related to the tragedy in Newtown, CT. What occurred there made me sick to my stomach, so I was very pleased when Beth Shaw and Benjamin Mena, through their racing company Mena Shaw Races, decided to organize a virtual half marathon and 5k to raise money for the victims of this despicable crime. If you would like to join in, please go this link: Sandy Hook Elementary School Memorial Run. What was almost as bad, though, was the insistence of certain people on Facebook, Active.com, and other site, to discredit this effort by bringing doubt into the validity of the event. One even went so far as to find a mug shot of a woman names Mena Shaw and posted it trying to represent Beth and Benjamin as the scammer. Granted, we are all aware that there are awful people in this world that will try to take advantage of good hearted people, but to arbitrarily, and without much research, tag an event as “a scam” baffled me. I could not believe what I was reading. Everything ranging from mild “be careful” warnings, to full blown political rants about donating money through organizations such as United Way, or Salvation Army. It sickens me to think that we have become the type of country where morons can post blasphemous tirades based on undocumented and unresearched accusations without being held accountable. What saddens me even more is that my own place of employment (Hillsborough County) also has refused to send out an announcement email informing staff of this event because they “spoke to someone in Western Connecticut United Way” that would not confirm knowledge of the event (although when I got this response I called them myself and got confirmation with no issue). Ridiculous. The event has now been mentioned online by Runners World magazine. I guess that’s just not good enough.

There are many causes out here, with many people in need of help. I would urge everyone to do at least one run or event for charity each year. Even if it’s volunteering to help those trying to complete an event, like the coaches and mentors in TNT, pay something forward. And support the teammates, friends, families, co-workers who are putting in the miles and running these races, even if it’s just $5. Every little bit helps.

We Are Fat Slow Triathletes …
… and We Will Be Reckoned With

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