Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The beginning…

It was three years ago (2006) when I first started to run marathons and running marathons for a charity was something I wanted to do for myself and for the person that I felt I could benefit from and that was my grandmother. I had followed in my sister’s footsteps in running marathons as she had ran two (2) already: Kiawah Island, South Carolina and the ING New York City marathon (NYC Marathon) in New York. I had felt pretty confident that I could do the marathon due to my immense training and many different half marathons that I have done and this would be my first marathon.

My sister in the past has raised money for her previous marathons for the Alzheimer’s Association where we would get a bunch of checks and mail it into the main chapter in Chicago. So, we would raise money together and do my first marathon and her third marathon in the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC.

After I completed that my first (and second) which we planned on meeting up at the Outer Banks in North Carolina for the inaugural marathon, I volunteered for the ING NYC marathon. I was currently new on the Junior Committee board for the Alzheimer’s Association and quickly got the idea of wanting the Alzheimer’s Association to be represented in the NYC marathon.

This is where it all started. We had to wait ti

ll February or March to submit our requests to the New York Road Runners (NYRR). Here I would get the help of MM, the president at the time and she fully supported our plans in doing this. This was the year of 2007… which we were denied entry of an official charity group.

So that year, since we were denied entry…I decided to do the Chicago Marathon and ran for Team CARE to get advice and tips from their established team. They offered some great advice and had a tent and a whole lot of amenities. Although it was a scorching marathon that year, I gained a whole lot of perspective on how to run a team, when the NYRR would admit us into being an official charity.

A month later, I endured in one of the best

marathons that I have ever done, the NYC Marathon. Volunteering the year before at the start brought a great feeling of respect for this marathon and a very great appreciation for the volunteers at the beginning of the race and also very grateful and happy to see my local team and teammates at mile 19 giving out Power Gel’s to the runners. I wanted to enjoy this marathon, although ended up Boston Qualifying as well with a little handy dandy finish in the end…(do not try this...)

January of 2008, as I entered my qualified number into the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) website as I had qualified for the prestigious marathon. I searched the charity organizations. To my amaze, I found that the Alzheimer’s Association was chosen as one of their official charity programs…I joined their team in pursue of fighting for a cause as well as learning about the race.

Their staff was amazing and the people were so comforting. The program that they laid out just brought a whole new light in organization for the team in which we would follow if we had a NYC marathon team. March came around and we submitted another form for qualifications into being an official charity group for the Alzheimer’s Association for the NYC marathon. We followed up…and we were denied once again. Strike two.

The Boston marathon was comparable to the New York City marathon as the energy and excitement was amazing! It was the fundraising that was the killer part. I was amazed about how much money the team has organized to raise and it was amazing just the presence of how the team atmosphere felt. I was an out of state member and it was difficult for me to “be part of the team” as often they referenced many group runs and meetings which I had attended over the phone and later got my chance to run a 20 miler on the Boston Marathon course with the team.

I ended up volunteering for the NYC marathon in 2008 and endured the bitter cold starting line as the excitement caught the air. I ran off the bus from the west side to the east side and joined my teammates giving out Power Gels at mile 19 on 1st avenue and 98th Street. It was great, exciting, although I was not running.

March 2009…Give it another go as the third time is a charm…RIGHT? MM was still on board as she had endured all two rejections…why not a third? She had even made talked up the scenario with the London Alzheimer’s Chapter in doing the NYC marathon if we were to get in…but the chances were slim right? So….we gave it another go!

These chances were somewhat good. I have talked with my connections where I knew RH, who was part of my running club team and he was head of the Charity Program. He had guaranteed something of either the NYC half marathon or the NYC marathon. Ok…but we wanted the full rather than the half.

The chapter knew an in as well as they went full out to getting their connections going to getting us in. The application was also enhanced due to JK who joined us on board for a well deserved spark in our organization factor and enthusiasm. By this time, MM and I were pretty set on our ways that we were going to be rejected and a third strike against us…wondering HOW ARE WE GOING TO GET INTO THIS CHARITY GIG?

April came around…as I signed up for the NYC marathon and applied my local team in for who I was running for. I saw the charity box and just browsed through the list of teams…Team for Kids, Fred Lebow, American Cancer Society, Team Fox, Livestrong…Alzheimer’s Association?

Wait…what? I immediately sent out an e-mail asking anyone else if they had gotten word if we were accepted. Is this another Alzheimer’s Association chapter? Was this us? I was so confused! A week of trying to find out and e-mailing back and forth…


1 comment:

  1. Wow! I didn't realize that the Alzheimer's Association was rejected for the past two years. For me, that makes this year's acceptance - and the fact that I am able to run for the Run To Remember team - even more special! Thanks for sharing this!