In The Incomplete Book of Running, I describe how running has brought me extraordinary benefits: not only in terms of health and fitness, but also in terms of my overall well-being. It's given me confidence, resilience, and brought me to places, literal and metaphorical, I never would have seen.
But I'm also aware that even with its minimal requirements -- a pair of shoes, shorts, shirt and/or bra -- running isn't available to everyone. Sometimes even running shoes are beyond a person's means. You need a safe neighborhood to run in, and the support of family and friends.
This is why I've allied with Chicago Run, a non-profit devoted to bringing the benefits of running to underserved kids all over Chicago. They train them, encourage them, organize events, get them shoes and shirts... all so that they can enjoy what I've been able to take for granted: the freedom to go for a run.
This year, I'm running two (maybe three!) marathons, Big Sur at the end of this month and Maui (and possibly NYC) in the fall. Since I'm not going to break any records, I've decided on a better goal: raising money for Chicago Run. Every donation goes directly to them.
Donate what you can. I'll be posting "rewards" for big donors as I think of them. In the meantime: support one middle aged marathoner in his quest to finish two marathons in one year and hundreds of kids as they deal with far, far more serious challenges.