Now that I completed the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, which was very near and dear to my heart, and crushed my marathon PR, it’s time to shift gears and focus on fall, which brings us to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon! Yes, I am beyond excited to run this race again after having completed the half marathon last year, and I’m ready to have marathon #6 under my belt. This year, I am back as a Children’s Champion with a goal to raise at least $1,000 for the hospital to help provide life-saving treatment to children in need.
Last year, I opted for the half marathon instead of the full. It was a busy time for me personally, and I knew training for another marathon would be extremely difficult. I was feeling bad about this, so to up the ante with the race, I signed on to be a Children’s Champion and wanted to raise at least $500. Little did I know it would be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Running with a purpose added so much value to the training and race and pushed me harder. On race day, I proudly wore my Children’s Champion shirt with the words Kids, Cures, & Miracles across the front and was brought to tears when patients and parents shouted my name as I passed, congratulating me and thanking me for my efforts. But I have a confession. As I ran I felt guilty that I wasn’t completing the full marathon. I wanted to give as much as I could to those children and families, and I wanted to see all of the Patient Champions along the course, not just half. Those children are just amazing. Many of them wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for the hospital, and to see them cheering on the runners at their designated mile is the ultimate motivation. They didn’t quit, and neither will I.
Because of this, I am proudly running the full marathon in October and want to double my donation goal from last year. This is where I need your help. Please consider making a donation to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in support of my fundraising efforts. Any denomination would be greatly appreciated by both the hospital and me. Here’s the link to my page: http://nationwidechildrens.kintera.org/childrenschampions2014/stephlesco. Please click the Give Now button on the right. As you can see, I am far off from reaching my goal, but I know I’ll get there! Thanks in advance, and I would appreciate it if you wouldn’t mind sharing this blog post on Facebook and Twitter in an effort to raise more money for the hospital. Let’s help make a difference together!