Friday, June 26, 2009

A Casual Marathon: It's Relay for Life Season

You’ve read about my running, but you may not know that my passion for marathons was born in a tent on my local high school football field. Long before the Boston Marathon, I walked/ran the Relay for Life, and currently teams across the country are running and preparing to run in support of the American Cancer Society.

I love the challenge and rigor of a full-fledged marathon, but I know how daunting it can be. The Relay for Life is the perfect first step for people looking for the community and exhilaration of running for charity, but not prepared to abandon their hot chocolate by the fireplace for a grueling regime of winter training.

The 24-hour event requires no experience, and participants only have to keep one team member circling the track at all times. The rest of the team can cheer the others on or, of course, recharge in tents with vital doses of sugar and caffeine. The money raised supports cancer research and awareness, while the experience itself promotes community for cancer survivors and their supporters.

I can’t promise, though, that you’ll be able to stop there; as I’ve written before, marathon fever is surprisingly contagious. After the Relay for Life, I – along with five other findingDulcinea staffers – ran an incredible twelve-person, 181-mile, 26-hour Ragnar Relay. This amazing event may seem, well, miles beyond the Relay for Life, but it also welcomes novices and offers training programs for the beginner and the experienced runner alike. Take a look at their website, and, if you still need inspiration, read our reasons to run.

You can find your local Relay for Life here, along with other ways to get involved on the event’s main website. And just in case, you may want to check out our Web Guide to Running. Who knows? Maybe next year the Boston Marathon won’t seem quite so far-fetched.

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