Plattsburgh Kimberly Davis has been running for a cause since 2006, and she hopes to inspire others to do it with her this year.
Davis is a volunteer with Team in Training, the main fund-raising arm of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. She is currently training for the Lake Placid half marathon, held on the second Sunday in June.
“It’s a life changing experience,” says Davis. “If anyone has ever thought about doing something like this, I would say yes, you can, and it will be something that you never forget.”
When she first got the idea to get involved in 2006, she had never been a distance athlete. She had heard of Team in Training, and their mentoring program for first time runners and walkers, and took the plunge. Team in Training provides both a mentor to help with fund raising, and a coach to train a person from whatever their starting point is, to the ability to complete their event. After she completed her first event, Davis was asked to be a mentor. After competing in numerous subsequent events, she was asked to be a coach as well.
When Davis first started, Team in Training only participated in marathons and half marathon. Now they have cycling and hiking events, as well as triathlons.
“They give you a personal training schedule right when you sign up,” said Charly Mallet, Team in Training Campaign Manager for the Upstate New York/Vermont chapter. “This program is for people from beginners to people who have done tons of marathons.
Mallet has been participating in marathons since 2009. She too was not an endurance athlete when she first started. She has raised approximately $11,000 through various events in just four years. Her mother Colleen has also competed in Team in Training events.
For Davis, it’s the survivors she’s met, and the people who are going through treatment and their families, that inspire her to continue to participate. It’s hard to meet someone, she says, who hasn’t at some point had someone in their life who has been affected by blood cancer. When she signed up to do her first event, there wasn’t a specific survivor she hain mind, or memory of a specific person, that motivated her. She’s not the type of person who needs a reason to get involved she says.