LOS ANGELES, Sept. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Recently returned U.S. military veterans, medical professionals and top runners from the newly established African nation of South Sudan all share at least one thing in common: They'll be at the starting line of the 2012 Honda LA Marathon, running on behalf of non-profit Team Rubicon, an organization that repurposes the skills of young military veterans for humanitarian disasters. As part of the race's brand-new "I Run 4 Something" campaign, tens of thousands of runners will have a similar chance to raise money for their favorite charity next March.
The "I Run 4 Something" campaign empowers runners to raise crowd-sourced donations through friends, family and social networks for any qualified non-profit organization of their choice, including the Honda LA Marathon's 70 official charities supporting critical environmental, community and health-related causes.
The first "I Run 4 Something" incentive campaign also launches today and rewards the first 50 people to raise $26 for their favorite charity with a chance to win a free LA Roadrunners membership (value $145). Ten winners will be chosen to take part in the Marathon's official 26-week training program, which has just kicked off in three locations throughout Los Angeles. Runners can take part in this incentive through Crowdrise.com/HondaLAMarathon2012, an innovative fundraising platform that is part of the marathon's effort to make it simple and fun for runners to raise more money than ever before.
"We're asking every runner to run for something – anything – that matters to you," said LA MARATHON LLC Chief Operating Officer Nick Curl. "Whether you can raise $11 or $5,000, there are so many great causes that you can support. We think if you're passionate about what you're running for, you'll run faster and raise even more to help a worthy cause. The Honda LA Marathon is both a great sporting event and a tremendous community-building opportunity. Our partnership with Crowdrise makes it as easy as possible for our runners to 'Run 4 Something'."
Crowdrise co-founder Edward Norton will also send a video message to all marathon participants when they sign up for the March 18, 2012 race.
"The lesson is, don't just run, run for something," Norton said. "I'm telling you, from experience, it will give you extra motivation and make the race twice as fun."
Already, 70 official charities have begun their outreach to thousands of participants, aided by Crowdrise, which utilizes cutting-edge ideas about crowd sourcing and combines them with the power of social networking to create a fun and captivating environment for fundraising and volunteerism. Any runner, for example, can set up a fundraising page, and reach out to a network of friends, family members and colleagues in a matter of minutes. Even those who are not running can take part – by supporting a friend who is running, or by setting up a fundraising page of their own. The goal is to make it easy for runners, volunteers and other passionate supporters to raise money for their favorite causes.
For some, that will be a charity like Team Rubicon, whose work was central to creating an ongoing peace initiative between previously warring tribes in East Africa. Among other charities taking part in the Marathon's enhanced fundraising efforts are ThinkCure! and Team in Training, both of which raise funds for cancer research. In all, 70 official charities are partners with the race, and many more will benefit through the grassroots efforts of thousands of runners. More information about Honda LA Marathon charities and the charity program may be found at www.lamarathon.com/charities.
Celebrity participants are joining thousands of other runners in choosing their favorite cause to support in preparation for the March 18, 2012 race. Rock singer and songwriter David Cook, known for winning the seventh season of American Idol, is running for Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure, aimed at finding the fastest possible route to a cure for brain cancer.
The charity program has grown exponentially in the three years since present management took over the race. In 2009, the charity program raised just over $1.25 million. In 2010, it raised $1.95 million. For the 2011 race, the fundraising total increased to just under $3 million. And for 2012, organizers believe that runners and their networks can raise $4 million for charitable causes.
"We've set an ambitious goal, but we are confident that the tens of thousands of Honda LA Marathon runners are up for the challenge," said LA MARATHON LLC Community Relations Director Ginger Williams. "After all, the only thing better than crossing the finish line in Santa Monica is crossing that line knowing that you've helped others, too. We hope all of our runners will take up our challenge to 'Run 4 Something'."
SOURCE Honda LA Marathon