The St. Jude's Heroes Program helps runners use their racing efforts to raise money for sick childeren. Erica Baca, a Regional Fitness and Endurance Event Specialist at St. Jude's was kind enough to answer questions about the program.
For folks that are unfamiliar with St Jude, please tell us about its mission and the people it serves.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has a truly unique mission: to find cures for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases through research and treatment. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
One of the ways St. Jude raises funds is through its Heroes program. How does the Heroes program work?
The St. Jude Heroes program is a way for individuals and groups to combine their fitness goals with the goal of supporting the life-saving mission of St. Jude. When you sign up as a St. Jude Hero, you are “running for a reason” and helping St. Jude find cures and save children not only in the DC area, the U.S., but around the world.
Can one raise funds through participating in any race, or are there a specific set of races? Does the process vary for different races?
We partner with some incredible races, both locally and nationally, but you can actually participate in any race of your choice and become a St. Jude Hero! The process is very similar when it comes down to registering, but by visiting our website, www.stjudeheroes.org, you can find specific fundraising details on existing races and more information on what those next steps are if your race is not on our list.
St. Jude is offering extra perks for Heroes participating in the 2014 Marine Corps Marathon. Please offer details.
Currently, we still have entries for the 2014 Marine Corps Marathon (October 26 in DC), but these are going pretty fast. For those that didn't get in through the lottery system this year, you can sign up as a St. Jude Hero to get a guaranteed bib*. Lucky individuals who won an entry through the official race lottery can also run as St. Jude Heroes. Benefits include a pasta party and a St. Jude racing top.
Also coming up, is the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon (May 18 in Fredericksburg, VA) with limited entries available. New and exciting in 2014, is the opportunity to win a special medal for participating and fundraising in both the half and full distance races through St. Jude and Marine Corps!!
Are there any unique opportunities available only to Washington D.C. area runners?
This is a great year to sign up for a fall race as a St. Jude Hero in the DC area. We are partnering with Pacers Running Store to create an official training program dedicated to our amazing DC area Heroes signed up a fundraising level Bronze and above. Training will being in June and include weekday runs as well as weekend long runs with a dedicated Pacers coach to help you reach your goals. The training program will also allow for St. Jude Heroes to meet other Heroes from the area, many of which will be participating in the same fall races. St. Jude Heroes can also participate in monthly social events beginning in May.
For non-runners, is there another mechanism to support the cause?
Absolutely! Running is not the only way you can support St. Jude. We also have a wonderful family-friendly 5k event the Saturday before Thanksgiving called the St. Jude Give thanks. Walk. It will take place on the National Mall on November 22 and registration will open up on June 1. Although registration is free, fundraising is encouraged with some great benefits for walkers reaching various fundraising levels.
We have numerous other events throughout the year where we count on the generous support of wonderful volunteers and sponsors. For more information, you can also visit our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/stjudemidatlantic
Read more about the Heroes Program on the St. Jude's website.