I have to agree with Bill, but not just because running privately or in long-distance races is a test of physical and mental endurance, but because it’s also a testament to the size of a person’s heart and soul, when he/she runs for a cause.
This was more than evident in the Tata Mumbai Marathon that was organized earlier this year on the 21st of January – a massive event in which people with gigantic hearts chose to step up and run for causes close to their heart. The event’s fundraising platform – United Way of Mumbai saw people from all walks of life and abilities raise lakhs for rupees for causes as varied as autism, blindness, hemophilia, downtrodden youth, mental health, environment, slum rehabilitation, elderly welfare, child welfare and development, and palliative care for cancer patients, to name a few. 550 NGOs participated in the past 14 editions of the Mumbai Marathon, raising a whopping Rs.196 crores in total. This year, Thane S.P.C.A. was a participant as well, and thanks to our runners, as well as almost 90 online contributors, we raised over Rs. 3.5 lakhs – much more than the original goal that we had set for ourselves. Donations and contributions came flooding through from different parts of India and the world, with such wonderful words of motivation and gratitude, that we were injected with truckloads of encouragement – enough to make us want to keep participating in as many races going forward, as possible. The response to our simple fundraising effort, was truly overwhelming, and the experience itself – running amongst thousands of Mumbaikars and citizens of other countries, the energy pulsing through the tracks and radiating out into the entire city, and the sheer volume of amazing people participating for personal satisfaction and to raise funds for the causes they support and believe in – it was an incredible experience. And in the end, with the funds raised for Thane S.P.C.A., the animals at our hospital/shelter benefitted, which always makes every effort, every challenge, and even every little daily trial, worth it.
The Mumbai Marathon – the single largest philanthropic sporting event in the country, is one of the top ten marathons in the world – alongside the likes of the famed New York City marathon and Boston marathon. If you are a Mumbaikar, Thanekar, Punekar, or really, located anywhere else, but want to run for a cause, think Mumbai Marathon, and think Thane S.P.C.A. It’ll be great cardio for your heart and super food for your soul, and rest assured, the animals will bless you for it!
So, lace up your running shoes and get training – we’ll see you on the track next year!