This message is intended to reach family, friends and the amazing running community to whom I’m very indebted for having welcomed me without reserve or hesitation. Whether it’s the local, regional, state, country or global running community, this message is for you!
My name is Claudia Torres, I live in Knoxville, TN and like you, I’m a runner! I’m reaching out to you all because I’m about to embark on a journey I’ve never done before… I HAVE COMMITED TO RUN THE 2020 CHICAGO MARATHON!!! For clarification this is not my first marathon – it will be my second – but it is the first one of this kind. Why? Because my 2020 marathon commitment is to run for a charity. Why have I chosen to do it this way you may ask? There’s a couple of reasons:
First ; I know y’all runners can relate to this; ever since I started my running journey (more on this coming below) one of my bucket-list goals has been to run in one of the Abbott World Marathons Majors.
And second because there’s only 3 ways to get into an Abbott World Marathon Major marathon: 1. Qualifying Time (let’s be honest, not in my wildest dreams will I be able to do that), 2. Drawing system, a.k.a. “the lottery” (your chances to get in are next to nothing and believe me, I already tried and failed 3 times in a row). Finally, the 3rd option is fundraising for a charity. This is a guaranteed entry if you meet the goal. It goes without saying that this is my only way in, and I’m committed to do it! But I certainly wouldn’t mind a little bit of help from y’all.
As such, I plea to our running camaraderie and humbly ask for your support. I hope you’ll help me fundraise for the Chicago Parks Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that is near and dear to my heart. Parks & Recs associations in general are amazing organizations. Simply put, where would runners (and pet/dog lovers) would be without them? Our beloved greenways, trails, and parks are where we get to run, jog, walk, or bike and free our minds and enjoy ourselves and the outdoors. I love how runner-friendly Knoxville is. In fact, I think Knoxville’s greenways and parks are among our city’s greatest assets and I support our local Parks & Rec organization through local charitable running events. I travel a lot for work and everywhere I go, my running shoes are with me. In my trips I get to truly appreciate the value of our greenways here at home. Chicago is a prime example - you can see the exemplar work that the Chicago Parks Foundation does. Every time I visit my family in South Elgin, I always make time for a run; the greenways in this area are clean, neat and well-kept, so donating to this organization will help ensure that those living or traveling to Chicago will be able to enjoy well-maintained, safe running routes in parks throughout the city. I’m a fan and a believer of the Chicago Parks Foundation’s hard work and that’s why I’ve chosen to support this organization. “Go team ChiParks”!!!
So, to secure my race entry for the Chicago Marathon on October 11, 2020, I’ve committed to raise $1700 for Team ChiParks. Of course, I must meet this goal before the marathon. My first fundraising deadline is in the month of April; at this point I am supposed to have raised about $500.00 usd. By the way, not that you asked, but it just so happens that my birthday is on April 1st (yes, yes, I’m an April’s fool girl) so, birthday gift donations are in order and are more than welcome and beyond appreciated! Rest assured, I will be forever grateful for your support!
About my running journey… I started running back in 2017 in Knoxville, TN. I jumped on the running band-wagon because like many other people, I wanted to be “active,” but also wanted to work on lowering stress levels. One day I started running and was immediately addicted!
It all started with the C25K (yes, I’m one of those runners) training App, followed by my first 5K race! The first thing I noticed was that this is the most expensive “free” sport there is LOL!
Fast forward 3 years… I’ve completed countless 5Ks, dozens of 10Ks, several 15Ks, 7 Half Marathons and one Full Marathon (Mercedes-Benz Birmingham, AL). Amidst all of this I also became a Ragnarian, conquering 121 miles-ish of trails in the mountains of Lake Tahoe, CA together with my 7 teammates… and the saga continues! I’m sure I’m not the only one, but I have to say that my running experience has been incredibly amazing and all the challenges I have overcome are beyond fulfilling. But more than anything, running has shown me the things that I’m capable of and all that I can accomplish. Never in a million years could I have imagined being who I am today as a runner. I love my life, running, and my running family!
Special shootout to @865running @northknoxbeerrunners @craftybastardrunningcrew @schulzbraurunners and of course my dear Shenanigan Runners