I have participated in the Pittsburgh Half Marathon for the past two years. So I am certainly not a seasoned veteran… but I guess you could say I’ve been around the block. The first year I ran I was not prepared like I should have been and ended up with a minor knee injury that could have been much, much worse. But it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! I can’t compare my first half marathon to any other experience thus far in my life, and if you are thinking about running one I highly encourage you to do it! I really expected to feel the same rush and overwhelming sense of accomplishment the second time I ran the course, and while I felt great and even improved my time, there was nothing quite like that first run.
When I ran my first half marathon I was pretty sure I would do it once to check it off the old bucket list and move on! It’s a big commitment, and sometimes it just. plain. hurts. But here I am, going on the third consecutive year that I’ve signed up to run, and for some reason I love it (runner’s high??).
This year I did something a little different though. I noticed that if you scroll to the bottom of the Pittsburgh marathon website, there is a charities section called “Run for a Reason”. I didn’t know anyone who has signed up to run for a charity before, but being an animal lover I decided to go on a limb and sign up to run for the Animal Rescue League. Although the guidelines were a little unclear, I figured the amount I needed to fundraise couldn’t be that much more than the entry fee… so if I had to choose between paying to register or donating that same amount of money to help a good cause… seems like a no brainer, right?
So far it hasn’t been too demanding. There are lots of opportunities to fundraise for the cause (gift wrapping at the mall, a painting with a twist night, and various vendors who will partner with the Animal Rescue League to aid in their funding). I participated in one event, and it was so, so simple. I got my friend’s and family’s goodwill donations and drove them to the Animal Rescue League to donate, and $250 toward my fundraiser later I’m feeling a lot less nervous about meeting my goal!
I plan to write a full review of my experience running for a reason. If you are interested in donating to the cause you can visit the fundraising site, or you can sign up to run for your own reason! There are tons of other charities that participate in this event, and if you run for a reason your registration is free!
I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my training plan when I have it finalized!