Having now run in several half-marathons, completing at least one marathon has always been on my bucket list. When my girlfriend Kelly’s dad – whose company organises the Boston Marathon – offered me an entry waiver for this year’s race in April, it was the perfect opportunity to tick it off my list. I also wanted to meet Kelly’s parents and explore the city where she grew up. The reputation and unrivaled spectator support that the Boston Marathon receives would certainly provide an unforgettable experience for my first marathon.
I’m 27 and originally from South Africa; our family immigrated to Sydney in 2004. I currently work in client relations for Crown Group, a property developer. I enjoy playing and watching most sports, hiking, reading and traveling.
During the marathon it was below 10c and there was non-stop heavy rain and a gusty headwind throughout. It became a battle not only to complete the further distance I’d ever run but to endure the conditions. Every time I came close to giving up, thoughts of all the people who had supported me through their generous donations kept me motivated to finish.
The race became an opportunity to fundraise for a good cause like ACRF after receiving the entry waiver, which meant I didn’t need to qualify. Thousands of people who do qualify each year don’t get entry due to the strict cap on number of participants. I felt very lucky to receive the waiver and wanted to “pay forward” my amazing fortune by fundraising.
Given cancer’s prevalence worldwide and its devastating effects, research into its cure requires all the help it can get. Advances in cancer research up to this point have made a huge difference in so many lives. The fact that ACRF is the only charity to fund technology and equipment for cancer researchers and over 85% of funds raised goes to research projects convinced me to support their cause.
I think just about everyone knows at least one person affected by cancer. My aunt is a cancer survivor, but two of my grandparents, my girlfriend’s grandfather and a good friend’s dad were not so fortunate and died due to cancer. The disease is completely indiscriminate with still no definitive prevention or cure and that is a scary reality which simply demands action.
The time and effort needed to fundraise is minimal and are far outweighed by the benefits, not only to ACRF and the countless lives they could save, but to yourself as well. It motivates you to achieve your goal and it adds a feeling of selfless achievement and satisfaction once it is completed. Everyone’s loved ones could potentially be affected one day, so it makes good sense to do something to help end cancer once and for all.
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