Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A New Reason To Run

Project Purple
I have ran marathons for several different "reasons" over the years.  Of course the majority of them have been in effort to catch that elusive unicorn, but I have also ran them for fun, training miles and of course as a pacer.

My first marathon experience, back in 2010, was essentially just to see if I could even do it.  I had no time goal, I just wanted to cross that finish line.  So I chose a race that would have a special meaning for me (in case I never did another one lol) and ran the Marine Corps Marathon.  My parents were both marines and I had lost my father a few years prior, so this race would hold always hold a very special place in my heart.

Fast forward almost 7 years and 8 marathons later, it has been quite a distance running journey to say the least.  One filled with every emotion from pride to disappointment, happiness to heartbreak, and defeat and perseverance.  Though I have yet to reach my ultimate goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon (I've come super close), I press on and continue to find new meaning and reasons to run.

This Fall, I had planned to run a marathon like I do every Fall.  Realizing it would be my 10th marathon, I wanted to make it an extra special experience because, well 10 seems like a pretty exciting number to celebrate.  Feeling a little burnt out on all this BQ chasing, I wanted a different perspective on a training cycle and a race.  I thought what better way to do that run for charity!?!

The thought of running for a charity always interested me.  It seemed like a great way to give more purpose and meaning to a race than just running for a PR.  When you have a special cause you hold near and dear to your heart, why not support that cause through your passion.  So my mind was made up, running for a charity would be how I would spend training for and running my next (and 10th) full marathon.

It was pretty quick and easy for me to decide on a charity.  Of course there are several great causes out there and if I had not had my heart set on one already, it would have been rather difficult to decide which cause to choose from.  But I already had my mind made up on one particular cause that has affected my family, and I wanted to honor an incredibly special person and run in memory of him.  That of course is my dad, who lost his battle to Pancreatic Cancer in 2003.  He was such an amazing and loving husband, father and friend, who's life was cut too short but such an ugly disease.
Daddy and me, circa 1983
I ran my first marathon in memory of him when I chose to run with the Marines, and I'm dedicating my 10th marathon to him as I work to raise funds and awareness for the awful disease that took his life 14 years ago.  I will be taking on the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul as I run with Project Purple at the Twin Cities Marathon this October.  My hope is to not only exceed my minimum fundraising goal of $1000, but to also raise awareness for this deadly disease and of course make my family proud as I run in memory of my dad.

And one of the best parts about running in the Twin Cities is that my dad was originally from that part of the country and some of our family will be there to cheer me on race day!

To learn more about my father's story, my fundraising efforts and how you can donate to help me reach my goal, please check out my Project Purple page.  Feel free to share and spread the word.  I, of course will be continuing to post on my marathon training as well as fundraising efforts in the coming months, so stay tune!


  1. I like this project.


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  3. If you work full time look for opportunities where you can use free time to for your marathon training. Adriana Grillet