As most people, I have several friends and family members who have confronted cancer. Some have triumphed. Some have struggled. Some have lost the battle. One dear friend of mine has been turning "50" since I met her several years ago. Why? Because she wasn't sure if she would make it to 50. It makes her birthday a celebration of not just another year on the planet, but another year of success and health and happiness and, well, life. It makes the American Cancer Society's campaign as the official sponsor of birthdays pretty meaningful.
While my race calendar is pretty full for 2010, the idea of running for a bigger goal in the future is high on my to-do list. And while there are many worthy charities, a recent partnership between the American Cancer Society and the Rock 'n Roll Marathon Series already has me excited.
Since 1996, athletes have raised money for the American Cancer Society through endurance events under the "Charity Runner" program. The organization revamped its program, branding it "DetermiNation" and has partnered with events across the country. Runners are required to raise a minimum amount of funds for the American Cancer Society in order to participate in the event. In return, they receive training, support and VIP amenities on race day.
The Rock 'n Roll Marathon Series began in 1998 as a way to incorporate live music during the race and places bands at each mile marker along the 26.2-mile route.
In this partnership, three Rock 'n Roll Marathons and 1/2 marathons will be branded for the benefit of the American Cancer Society -- Seattle (June), Chicago (August) and New Orleans (February 2011). Additionally, the American Cancer Society will be the preferred charity for the Rock 'n Roll events in Denver, Los Angeles, Nashville, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Jose and Virginia Beach.