In 2013, I became a runner. Sure, before this year I ran a few 5Ks and an adventure race, but wasn't really into running. It wasn't until February of this year that a group of my friends decided to challenge ourselves and run in the Pittsburgh Marathon Relay in May that I started to train. My goal was just to make it to 5.5 miles, but some last minute shuffling made it so that I needed to run the 6.1 leg. That race hooked me in a big way. The feeling of running through my city on roads where I'd normally sit in traffic, with the crowds cheering my every step and knowing my friend was waiting for me to get to her for the last leg? Amazing.
So then I kept training and kept setting goals and signing up for races. I just finished my last race of 2013 on Thanksgiving Day - a Turkey Trot with my dad at Presque Isle State Park in Erie (in packed snow and ice, to boot). It was, fittingly, my 13th race of 2013. It's been a good year. So what's on the docket for next year?
This year I'm returning to the Pittsburgh Marathon event to run the UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half - 13.1 miles of glorious Pittsburgh, the first weekend in May. And this year, I'm running for a reason. My goal is to raise $350 for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank - $26.72 for each mile I'm going to run that day.
I chose to run for the GPCFB because there's nothing so important as making sure people's basic needs are met. And through more than 350 agencies, the GPCFB helps to feed people in an 11 county area surrounding and including Pittsburgh. They distribute 27 million pounds of food in the area each year. 27 million pounds. But they don't just stop at distributing food - they also work toward ending hunger by education and advocacy. And that's a cause that's near and dear to my heart.
Through their partnerships, they are able to make every $1 donated translate to $5 of food for hungry people. You can read more about their work here.
So next May 4, I'll be running my first half marathon of the season to support GPCFB. If you'd like to make a (tax-deductible) donation to my fund, you can do so by clicking here. Share it around with anyone you know - or if you're feeling like running through my city, register to run for GPCFB too!