Lysrunning – this is a great question so I want to answer it so other people can benefit from my response as well~

First off, thanks for your concern and well wishes… I am moving forward and getting better and stronger each day….baby steps!!

Now, to answer the bigger (and real) question here – running for charity and what that involves. 

I will start with the one fact that I can speak to for all charity runners at the Boston Marathon – the BAA sets a fundraising minimum of $4000.00 for all charity runners regardless of charity.  So, first be prepared that you will have to raise that at a minimum in order to run next year.

Now, the more general answers for you come from my experience and also from talking to other charity runners from other organizations this year.  What you need to do is research now what the Alzheimer’s team requires for you to run with them (this goes for any charity organization that the BAA allows for anyone looking to run Boston next year):

  • Fundraising minimum above & beyond the $4k
  • Do you need a detailed fundraising plan?
  • Does your charity of choice offer fundraising strategies/tools?
  • Do you have to pay any amount that you are short of goal?
  • Incidental costs other than your goal?  Bib fee?? Processing fee? etc
  • Can you participate in local training runs? Group meet ups? etc
  • What type of support does your charity group provide?
  • Are you a good fit for this charity and visa versa?

Here is my personal experience this year in my opting to run for Dana Farber:

I knew that I wanted to run in memory of my friend David who died of cancer last June.  I emailed the coordinator for the marathon challenge team with a detailed letter about my desire to run Boston…to carry the memory of David from Hopkinton to the finish at Boston and expressed that I believed in their research and their passion to find a cure for cancer.  They replied with the offer for me to submit a detailed fundraising plan (IE spreadsheets with $$ amounts, strategic plan ,etc) on how I was going to raise the money and they highly encouraged me to shoot for something higher than the $4000 minimum.  I provided them with my plan – they approved it – and the rest is history.  I started my fundraising (DFCI provides the tools) and I just had to start hitting up friends, family, co-workers, bloggers and Facebook!

As far as my bib and entry – I was in Corral 6, wave 3 with a HUGE amount of charity runners – when you look me up on the BAA site you look up my bib # and it comes up with my name, age and region.  It does not associate me with Dana Farber but without Dana Farber my name would not have been there as I will NEVER run fast enough to BQ.  You can also run for charity if you do BQ and there were qualified runners who were part of Dana Farber and I believe that their fundraising level was less than a true ‘charity runner’.   But my times are mine, my splits are mine, and my finish (if I had been able to finish) would have been mine!  But all facilitated by running for a charity!

I hope this was helpful and clear (though I feel like its not) – please follow up if you have anymore question!

And DO IT – you will NOT regret it!!