To celebrate Global Running Day the Pledge It team highlights four of our athletes who used running to raise money toward the causes that matter most to them.
Human Rights Activist Uses Marathon to Benefit Gaza Kids
Jen Marlowe is a writer, a director, and a playwright. But her true passion, and the subject for most of her work, centers around advocating for human rights. That’s what convinced her to complete an athletic achievement she never thought to accomplish: she ran a marathon.
“In the past, if someone asked me, ‘hey, do you want to run a marathon?’ My first thought would be ‘no, that sounds horrible,’” she said with a laugh. But that was before she found out the organization that founded the Palestine Marathon—Right to Movement— established the race as a platform to highlight the lack of freedom of movement that many Palestinians are subject to.
While the ability to use the marathon to advocate for human rights was a draw, Marlowe had another concern: she had grown close with four children that had suffered various hardships, and were in need of financial support. So the challenge became, how to connect the two passions?
Marlowe ended up using the Right to Movement to earn over $12,000 to benefit the four children, as well as for her umbrella non-profit, Donkeysaddle Projects. Learn how more about how he she ran such a successful marathon fundraiser here.
20 Miles of Murphs for Nursing Scholarships
Lisa Kelly is a U.S. Army Veteran, where she achieved rank as Captain in the Army Nurse Corp. For the last 15 years she has worked as a nurse at the Darnall Army Community Hospital. Through her time there, she has watched as the shortage of nurses grew progressively, creating a bigger gap between the care veterans need and what they receive.
She recently became the first woman in history to complete a 24hr. “Murph” marathon. Murphs—named after legendary Navy SEAL Mike Murphy— consist of 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats, and a final one-mile run, performed while wearing a 20lb. tactical weighted vest.
This past Memorial Day, Kelly performed 10 of these in 24 hrs, meaning she ran 20 miles, and completed 100 pull-ups, 2,000 push-ups, and 2,100 air squats. This herculean effort earned over $5,000 for Educated Angels , where the money will be used to fund nursing scholarships.
You can read the rest of her story here.
Halfs for Hope: Runner Using Half-Marathons to Memorialize Late Aunt
In recent years Stephanie Berry picked up half marathons as her primary hobby, and as a release from everyday life. It was during one of these runs—the Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon— that she received heartbreaking news: Her aunt had passed away from cancer.
It wasn’t long after that Berry continued the theme of turning personal tragedy into triumph. With her Aunt’s memory as inspiration, Berry started a half-marathon fundraising campaign that has now raised over $6,500 to benefit the Foundation for Women’s Cancer.
“I really wanted to do something in her memory and her honor,” Berry explained when asked why she started this running fundraiser. “Yes, my Aunt’s gone and that’s always going to hurt, but this is a way for me and my family to cope. The outpouring of love and support from family and friends is overwhelming. It’s something that is bigger than me at this point.”
You can read the rest of her story here (not published yet).
Running Down a Cure for Mom and Dad: Former Wrestler Uses Marathon to Honor Parents
When Eric Devos’ parents were taken ill, he dusted off the running shoes and ran a marathon as a way to show support. His friends, family and community pledged per mile, enabling him to
earn nearly $5,000 toward causes related to their respective illnesses.
Running the marathon wasn't easy for the former college wrestler who has undergone knee and back surgeries, and hadn’t run more than a mile in four years. However, with his mother’s diagnosis of Stage 4 breast cancer and his father’ continued battle with ALS, DeVos had plenty of inspiration to fight through the aches and pains and run the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon this past March in his parents’ name, regardless.
You can read the rest of his story here.