We’ve all done it – made a New Year’s related-resolution to devote more time to exercise, to make smarter nutritional choices, to live healthier lifestyles. We’ve all done this too – broken those fitness and health resolutions come March or April. Sticking to a fitness plan can be tough, so it’s important to devise a strategy that empowers you to reach your goal.
That’s where Dana-Farber’s Run Any Race presented by Saucony comes in.
Dana-Farber’s Run Any Race empowers runners, beginner and more experienced, to choose any race, anywhere, any distance, and dedicate their race to Dana-Farber’s mission to conquer cancer by raising funds. Following suit and making this program as flexible as possible, there is no minimum fundraising commitment. Raise $100, raise $10,000 – every single dollar helps.
Now, back to your 2016 fitness resolution. You need Run Any Race, and here are five ways this program will keep you on track in 2016.
- Choose a race distance that feels achievable. If you’ve never run before, register for a 1-miler or 5K. If you want to take it to a more intense level, sign up for a triathlon or an obstacle course race. Kevin Long, pictured right, had never run a marathon before, but had always wanted to. When his mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and treated at Dana-Farber, he set a reasonable goal and signed up to run a marathon through Dana-Farber’s Run Any Race.“I have always wanted to challenge myself to run a marathon, but always chickened out. All my old excuses—too hard, not enough time, and so on—didn’t really cut it anymore once I saw my mother battle chemotherapy. I watched as she lost her hair and began to look weaker. Through the whole ordeal, I only heard her complain once: she hated her wig because it was itchy.”“I decided to register for Run Any Race to raise money for Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund through the Bay State Marathon. The outpouring of support from friends, family, and coworkers has been amazing. I hope that the fundraising I have done can help Dana-Farber discover new treatments, like the one that successfully treated my mom and helped her go into remission.”
- Do it as a team. Building a support network and involving family, friends and colleagues holds you accountable. Surrounding yourself with positive people who will cheer you on, or even run with you, will increase the odds of reaching your fitness goal.
Dana-Farber’s Run Any Race team is made up of runners from all over the country, all working toward the same goal – running to conquer cancer – so you’ll never be alone in your mission. In addition to the larger Run Any Race team, you can also recruit friends, family and colleagues and form your own group to run with you.
Heather Webb had just finished her senior year of college when she was diagnosed with stage 3B melanoma. Her doctors gave her a 20% chance of surviving the year. Three months later, her mother, Amy Webb, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma.
“Heather and I walked 5-7 miles every day throughout treatment, and when I went in for my transplant I did laps around the 9th floor,” said Amy. “With our family’s encouragement, Heather and I promised that we would challenge ourselves to a race someday, to thank and support Dana-Farber for providing hope to our family and so many others. We recently completed the Maine State Triathlon together, and will soon be holding a 108 Sun Salutations Challenge at Heather’s yoga studio in Norwell, MA. Together, we run, walk, swim, bike, and do yoga to fight for a cure for cancer.”
- Make it public. Being accountable for sticking to your resolution is key, and there’s no better way to remain accountable than sharing what you’re doing with family, friends, co-workers, your dog, everyone. Social media is the perfect platform to tell the world what race you’re doing, and why you’ve decided to make this your goal for 2016. With your Run Any Race participation, you’ll receive your own fundraising website, making it super easy to share with your networks via social media and email. We also pull all photos and videos from Twitter, Instagram and Vine tagged with #RunDanaFarber into a special gallery. In this gallery you can see all of your fellow runners, and maybe even see some fundraising ideas that inspire you.
- Dedicate your run to something bigger. When you’re struggling to lace up those running shoes and the miles seem so long, it’s important to stay motivated, and there’s no better motivation than supporting the fight against cancer. Through your Run Any Race participation, you can dedicate your race to a loved one affected by cancer.
“I run in honor and memory of my nephew Tommy, who battled an inoperable brain tumor for more than 8 years,” shares Marie Caulfield. “I have run with the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team in the Boston Marathon® several times since 1997, and I’ve also participated in the Run Any Race program. Every dollar counts in the fight against cancer, and the flexibility of the Run Any Race program makes it easy to do both. I can’t imagine running a race without doing my part to support Dana-Farber – it makes every mile worth it.”
- Reward yourself. Hand in hand with setting achievable goals, it’s important to celebrate the small stuff along your fitness resolution journey. You planned to run every day this week, and you made it happen – treat yourself to new running shirt, or get a well-deserved pedicure. Dana-Farber will reward you, too. Run Any Race encourages and recognizes fundraising achievements through a system called Pacesetter Rewards. When you hit a designated fundraising milestone, you will receive a special item. For example, if you raise $500, you will receive an exclusive Run for Dana-Farber race singlet that you can wear on race day (pictured below). The pride and cheers that come along with wearing that singlet on race day are incredible.
We hope you reach your 2016 fitness resolutions, and encourage you to join Run Any Race to help you achieve your goals and make a difference in the fight against cancer. Cheers to a great year ahead!
What are your running goals for 2016?
Assistant Director, Development Communications