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How to Run for a Cause You Believe In

Have you all ever heard of a Leatherneck 5K? What about the Army Ten-Miler? Monster Glow Dash? It’s pretty obvious they’re all runs, and I had even participated in one. But it wasn’t until I ran my second Leatherneck this year I learned about the amazing organization behind the run. I then discovered the Army Ten-Miler and Monster Glow Dash, two runs in October that are for great causes.

I live south of DC and there is a big naval base where a large part of our community finds employment, so you can imagine how huge military support is where I live. The Leatherneck 5K is a fairly new run run_to_improve_the_lives_of_others_picsponsored by, and benefitting, the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. This fund is a nonprofit set up to provide immediate financial support for injured and critically ill members of the United States Armed Forced and their families. They direct resources to post 9-11 Marines and Sailors, as well as members of the other military branches who serve in support of Marine forces. The Semper Fi fund also provides relief from financial pressures that may arise during hospitalization, recovery, and those associated with continual needs.

I’ve never run the Army Ten-Miler before so I am very excited and nervous about this one. I ran the Marine Corps 17.75K in March this year, so I know I can tackle the distance, but sometimes runs like these can be an emotional battle too. You’re participating with active and retired military who all have their own stories to tell and battles to fight.

The Army Ten-Miler is put on by the Military District of Washington (MDW). They serve as the “Army Forces Component and core staff element of the Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region to conduct operations that deter, prevent, and respond to threats aimed at the National Capital Region…” (source) just to name some of the things they do. The goal of the Army Ten-Miler is to promote the Army, increase morale, and enhance community relations. The race has continued to grow in size and in 2011 had over 22,000 finishers.

The last run I’m excited to do is the Monster Glow Dash! This is local and new for this year so I’m sure many have not heard about it. They actually had to change the location of the race because they registered more participants than they originally anticipated. Proceeds from this run get split between the Community Meditation Center of St. Mary’s County (CMCSMC) and Summerseat Farms. The CMCSMC is a non-profit organization that provides alternative resolution services to St. Mary’s County residents free of charge. The mediation is convenient and scheduled on a date and time that works for all involved. The individual makes their own decision about how to handle the conflict and many who have utilized the services feel that the mediation improved their situation.

summerseat_farm_support_non_profit_picSummerseat Farms is also a non-profit organization and was formed in 2001. They own and operate the property to preserve the natural resources, history, and rural character of the farm. They aim to prevent the 127 acres of land from being developed. The farm also functions for breeding for the only publicly accessible herd of American Buffalo in the region; yes, I said buffalo!

When was the last time you looked into the cause, if any, your runs support? Take a little time to research them more. You might find yourself signing up for runs you’d never considered before, and working harder in training and the run itself. I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely motivated to run harder and faster when I feel good about the cause I’m supporting. Sounds like a win all around to me!

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