When I decided to run the Chicago marathon last year in 2013, I ran with the American Cancer Society's Determination team. This year, in order to score an entry to the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 12, 2014, it will be by lottery system, unless you run with a charity. If you run with a charity, you have a guaranteed entry and sometimes they even comp the entry fee if you agree to raise a certain amount of money. It was a great experience as it was my first (and maybe only, but never say never!) marathon, and running for a charity had several great effects:
-I was able to go from a novice runner to marathon finisher with the help of an organized program, with training runs and mentors that would check up on me, email me, and other team mates that would do the same
-I was not allowed to give up! It gave me accountability. These cancer survivors were counting on me to help raise money to find a cure
-Since all my friends knew I was running, they were happy to donate money and "follow me" to gauge my progress. It is amazing what support you can get from friends and family if you just reach out and ask!
-I was part of a team the day of the race, with veteran runners to guide me along and fellow first timers to feel nervous with.
-You will finish. You have to finish, because you know that people are depending on you to finish. And it is an incredible feeling!
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