The new year is upon us and it’s the perfect time to not only reflect on the lessons and successes of the last twelve months, but to also set new goals and resolutions for the new year. 2020 is a special year — as we get to start off a whole NEW DECADE together and commemorate 20 years of doing what we do best, funding the most promising research to find cures and #DFYchildhoodCancers!
When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, we often hear about folks who want to focus on a fitness-related goal. Whether they are a seasoned athlete or literally putting on running shoes for the very first time, what better motivation to stay on track than by pairing that resolution with a fundraiser for St. Baldrick’s! Even though we are known for our signature head shaving events, we have a solid number of volunteers who are out there raising funds by running, biking, hiking or swimming through our Do What You Want program.
Not sure how to get started or even how to prepare for an athletic activity? No problem! We tapped in to some our most successful St. Baldrick’s athletes and asked them for their top tips as they prepare for their yearly athletic fundraisers. Here’s what they shared with us:
1. “Take your passion for your sport and turn it into a fundraiser; find a creative tie-in to St Baldricks, set the fundraising requirements, create the motivation, recruit the participants and reward them.” – John Accardo – Five Boro Bike Tour, NYC. John is a 16-year participant and 3x team leader for the Five Boro Bike Tour. He participates in honor of his daughter, Jen, who passed away in 2010 from Leptomeningeal Sarcoma. Additionally, he honors 5 other kids representing the statistic that 1 in 5 will not survive and for each borough. To date, he has raised over $35,000 from the Bike Tour alone.
2. Find a buddy to train with. Not only is it safer but more importantly it keeps you accountable!” – Felice Adler-Shohet – San Francisco Marathon and Los Angeles Marathon. Felice is a 4-time participant who runs in honor of her son, Noah. Noah is currently on experimental immunotherapy to slow the growth of his relapsed cancer. To date, she has raised more than $85,000.
3. “Don’t wear new sneakers on race day; wear comfortable, broken in sneakers, preferably the same ones that you train in.” – Kevin Maloney – Bermuda Triangle Run, New York City Marathon, Long Island Marathon and Great Iowa Marathon. Kevin is a 7-year participant who runs in memory of his wife, Lisa, who was a huge supporter of St. Baldrick’s prior to her passing in 2016. To date, he has raised over $231,000.
4. “Keep showing up! Create your training plan and stick to it. If you do that, the magic will happen on race day.” — Susan Heard — Maine Coast Marathon. Susan Heard is a 9-year volunteer and St. Baldrick’s staff member who has shaved 14 times, participated in running events from 5K’s to marathons, although she loves the triathlon most of all. Using the DWYW page or setting up a Facebook fundraiser, most of her athletic endeavors involve a fundraising component in memory of her son, David. David’s Warriors Hero Fund has raised over $500,000.
5. “It will get easier and you will get better, I promise.” – Kerri Kanuga — Badwater, Keys100 and throughout world. Kerri is an ultramarathoner and 6-time participant. She has supported Hannah’s Heroes Hero Fund since the beginning and has raised over $39,000.
Whether you’re aiming to complete your first 5k, half marathon, triathlon or obstacle course race (or any other endurance activity), we hope these tips are useful as you take on your New Year’s resolution for 2020. We also hope that the stories behind the motivation for each of these participants encourages you to join us in our efforts to #DFYchildhoodCancers.
Not sure that you’re ready to commit but know someone who is? Share this blog with them, you never know who might be inspired! Or if you’d like to bring St. Baldrick’s to your favorite community run or endurance race, reach out to us at DWYWhelp@stbaldricks.org and let us know about it! We’re also happy to share some of our St. Balrick’s athletic swag! Check it out here and let us know if you’re interested.
Here’s to the new year ahead and a promising future for kids with cancer!
Join us today and #DFYchildhoodCancers!
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