Chicago Run operates and supports running programs for children and youth in Chicago.
On October 7, I am racing the Chicago Marathon. My goal is to beat my personal best time I set in 1996. To do so, I will have to finish the 26.2 miles in about a 6:40 per mile average pace. Beating my time set 16 years ago requires dedicated training, mental fortitude and tons of support. One of my supporters is Malcolm – and you can read his words of encouragement he sent to me if you open the letter attached. (Click on the second image above).
Studies show that the rate of childhood obesity is rapidly increasing, and children who struggle with their weight are much more likely to struggle with it into adulthood. The lack of access to fitness programs and health and nutrition education in major cities like Chicago make some kids especially vulnerable to obesity and the illnesses associated with it.
Chicago Run is an organization dedicated to reversing this trend by providing free running programs to thousands of Chicago students. These programs facilitate an inclusive and safe space for students to get active, have fun and develop healthy habits that will serve them for a lifetime. Because Chicago Run also gives children a structured way to take breaks during the school day, attention and academic success for those in the program is more likely. With Malcolm’s words to spur me on, I have been supporting Chicago Run for three years. In that time, with help from so many generous supporters, the program has grown from 12 schools to 55 schools. 13,000 kids are now participating.
Racing the Chicago Marathon on behalf of Chicago Run has inspired me to work hard to reach my goals, and work hard to help many kids reach theirs. With your support, Chicago Run can achieve the goal of continuing to expand an extraordinarily successful effort to help kids improve their bodies – and their minds. As I race on Sunday to achieve my goal, I will be motivated by knowing that my efforts are helping others – including Malcolm. If you care to join me in this effort, please make a contribution. The kids of Chicago will benefit, and healthy, smart children are a benefit to all of us.