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Charity Teams Make the Run More Than a Marathon

Within the field of 50,000 runners, the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon welcomed an estimated 8,000-plus participants running the five boroughs for charity. With 340 official charity partners in the race, runners could add meaning to their miles by raising funds for a wide range of causes.

Over the past decade, charity runners have raised $200 million through the New York City Marathon, and 2016 promises to be another strong year of runners giving back to the community.

One such group was Fred’s Team, named for New York City Marathon co-founder Fred Lebow, which runs in support of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Runners in their orange jerseys could draw extra inspiration as they passed the medical center on First Avenue in Manhattan.

Thompson Warren, along with his brother, Paul, joined Fred’s Team to honor their mother, who was treated for cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering but lost her battle two years ago. The two were inspired to run their first 26.2-miler after seeing her take up marathoning at age 50 and continue running with stage IV lung cancer.

“We always thought our mom was absolutely insane, because she also did IronMen while going through cancer treatments, so we were channeling a little bit of her crazy,” he said. “I have to love Fred’s Team because they treat us so well, and it’s a really great community.”

NYRR’s Team for Kids, which raises funds for New York Road Runners youth running programs, also made up a significant number of the charity runner field this year, with approximately 1,600 runners donning the team’s signature bright green jersey.

Among them was Jacqueline Tellei, who came from Honolulu, HI to run her first five-borough marathon. The seasoned ultramarathoner discovered TFK after missing out on the general entry drawing, but the experience of running for a charity transformed her running.

“For the first time I was excited about running a marathon,” she commented post-race. “Running for Team for Kids gave it a whole new perspective—a lot of people supported me.”

Having completed her first race for charity, she remarked, “Now I know other ways to use my running,” although the finish line in Central Park wasn’t the end of her run. She made a deal with her son: For every $100 raised, she would run one mile today, and to date, her total had surpassed $3,500. She joked, “I will have a few more miles to run today, but it’s for a good cause—it’s so amazing!”

Want to run the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon? You can guarantee your entry today by registering to run with NYRR Team for Kids.

By Ted Doyle