Undoubtedly, the social side of running and the ‘buzz’ around race day at a big marathon or half marathon event has a lot going for it. But if you are one of those who hate being crowded out by other runners, left behind for dust, or find it hard to make the time for organised races, virtual running is a god send.
Today’s featured runner is leveraging virtual running, through online running events, to get people running all over the world and help a multitude of charities at the same time. Not only that, Scott Frasard is going for a world record breaking 70 half marathons in 70 days!!!
Taking up running to avoid injury?!?
Some people (especially non-runners) associate long-distance running with lost toe nails, bad knees, shin splints… perfectly fit humans reduced to injured wrecks.
But ask Scott about how he got into running and you realise the very opposite can be true. For him, running has helped him handle some serious physical problems:
About eight years ago, I started having issues with my left knee and within a year it progressed to the point I had problems walking. At times, my left knee would buckle and I would fall. After being diagnosed with arthritis in both knees and a loose T-band in my left knee, I ended up in physical therapy for about a month and a half.
I never wanted to feel like I did – in constant pain and experiencing life-impacting issues – so I began walking and eventually got into running. In April 2012, I ran my first organized 5K event and things sort of escalated from there, completing many half and full marathons, expanded into triathlons, and in April 2017 I completed a full Ironman.
Another incredible story of how running, mixed with one person’s own will power, can be life changing.
Virtual Running to help charities
There are plenty of runners out there running for great causes, but it’s fair to say that Scott has gone more than the extra mile to the causes nearest and dearest to him.
He explained exactly how his company is set up to help charities.
My company, Furever Home Running (www.fureverhomerunning.com), produces virtual running events. With a portion of the proceeds going to nonprofit animal rescue groups. Each calendar year, I select two organizations to support and sign a formal charitable pledge agreement with them, donating money each quarter.
For 2018, I am donating to Roman’s Rescue in Round Rock, TX and Wayward Whiskers Cat Rescue in San Antonio, TX.
Roman’s Rescue seeks to save as many dogs and cats as possible and help them find loving forever homes. Carole Mitchell owns and operates this 501(c)3 nonprofit rescue organization. Check out their website at: https://www.romansrescueinc.com/
Wayward Whiskers Cat Rescue was founded in January 2013 to take in special needs cats and kittens that may otherwise be discarded or euthanized. Wayward Whiskers operates solely on support from individual and corporate donors and does not accept any city or government funding.
You can see more at: https://www.wayward-whiskers-cat-rescue.org/
Talk about passion for great causes! If you’re one of those people who thinks virtual running is for you, definitely check out Scott’s website.
Finding a good charity: More great advice
I always like to find out how our featured runners find charities that really deserve support. And seeing as Scott is constantly looking for new organisations I thought he’d be just the man to ask about this often tricky decision.
He has a really clear, step-by-step process.
First reflect upon what is important in your life. This will help narrow down where to donate so you can make a greater impact. I think narrowing down one’s charitable choices to a maximum of two or three will make things more manageable as well as meaningful (unless money is no object). Then I would simply search the Internet for charity organizations in your focus areas.
As a word of caution – be sure to do your homework and explore potential organizations so you know where your money is going and how it will be used. I would first make sure they are a bona fide nonprofit organization and verify this with the appropriate government body (this can be accomplished with an Internet search as well).
Next, I would explore the organization’s web site to determine how much goes to the actual cause versus going to administrative or other expenses to maximize the impact of my donation.
Finally, I would see what others who have donated think about the organization.
That’s pretty clear, then. Choose something that is personally dear to you, and then do due diligence!
What’s your “golden tip” for any newbie runners out there?
Scott’s astounding path from injured ‘non-runner’ to potential multi-half marathon running record breaker is just unbelievable.
I wanted to find out what his golden tips were for anyone else just getting into running.
I’d say my golden rule is twofold. First – don’t over do things! Don’t get yourself hurt by trying to do too much to soon. Running is not something on simply picks up and becomes an elite athlete overnight. Listen to your body and do what it tells you! An injured runner cannot (or at least should not) run.
Second, run for yourself. Don’t measure your running success by others’ yardstick. Despite organized races having thousands of participants running at the same time, each individual is running a separate race. If you try to define your success by comparing it to someone else’s success, you could be disappointed or worse, injured (which violates the first tip above).
A mile is a mile no matter how fast you run it. Forward progress is progress regardless of how long it takes. Even with the social and emotional support you will most likely receive from your friends and family, make no mistake – only you can run the race and thus, your success is uniquely yours.
Above all, enjoy running!
Absolutely sound advice- running is a solo sport so you should make all your goals your own.
So Scott at Furever Home Running will be undertaking his 70 halfers in 70 days soon. Keep tabs on his facebook page to lend your support! And make sure you jump on his site to join one of his virtual running events. I will be joining one as part of my half marathon challenge. Why not drop a comment below to show your support??