The motivator I related to the most, however, was this: run for a reason. I can't even say how much running with the American Cancer Society's DetermiNation program has enhanced my time in New York and transformed my view on running. It used to be a chore, I used to fear competitive races, now I love them. Cancer was something that had personally broken my heart, now I am making a difference in fighting this terrible disease. I've made friends, learned more about running tricks and tools and gotten in better shape.
While I have a clear bias towards DetermiNation, there are an almost overwhelming number of worthy causes out there that sponsor bib numbers in popular, sold-out races. If you are interested in running the ING New York Marathon and didn't get a lottery number (I mean, who did? I don't think I've ever met someone who actually got in through the lottery!), please check out these charities, which currently have spots available!
Streetwise Partners - an NY-based organization that "provides an effective, free job training program for highly motivated people who face multiple barriers to employment (source)."
Girls on the Run - an organization that is particularly dear to my heart as they encourage girls to gain confidence and live healthfully through running! Running for this charity is an awesome opportunity for grown-up girls to lead by healthy example.
Team Fox - Michael J. Fox's foundation for Parkinson's Research has an amazing running team, and let's be honest, how cool is Michael J. Fox?
Team in Training - the purple team. For those who are runners, this team likely needs no introduction. It is a huge team of charity runners running for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
And of course....DetermiNation!
I have had friends participate in the running programs for all charities listed and all had wonderful experiences - I wouldn't lead you astray!
Now that you can't use, "I didn't get into the lottery" as an excuse...what are you waiting for??