Marathon helps participants give back to the community

| 25/06/2019 | 0 Comments
CNS Local Life
Patrice Donalds-Morgan will be running her first marathon this year

(CNS Local Life): Participants in last year’s Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon raised more than US$9,000 online for several local charities, and organisers are hoping that more people will use the event, scheduled for Sunday, 8 December this year, to bring awareness and support to the many non-profit and charitable organisations in the community. 

The lion’s share of funds raised was for Jasmine (formerly Cayman HospiceCare), which received almost US$5,500, stated a press release. The Cayman Islands Red Cross also received almost US$1,500 in online donations thanks to local runner Oddy Grullon, who “ran for red”, and a little more than US$1,000 was raised for ALS Canada by Cayman resident Kristina Wight.

Other organisations for which money was raised include the Cayman Islands Cancer Society, Feed Our Future, Special Needs Foundation Cayman and the Youth Anti-Crime Trust.

“Increasingly we are seeing more participants looking to run or walk for a purpose beyond their own personal enjoyment or improvement of their health,” said Rhonda Kelly, co-race director for the marathon. “Committing to run/walk to raise funds for a charity is a great motivator; knowing that someone else’s life can be positively impacted by your efforts gives you another reason to put in the hours of training and sacrifice necessary to get across that finish line.”

She said participants can create a fundraising page when they register online, set their goal, and then send out a link to family, friends and supporters which will allow them to donate from anywhere in the world. 

Patrice Donalds-Morgan is one such participant who will be running with a purpose in December as she tackles her first full marathon (26.2 miles) and aims to raise $10,000 for the Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation (ESRF) through her ‘Beyond the Race’ fundraising effort.

Perhaps best known in the community as a dancer who has represented the Cayman Islands on both local and international stages, Donalds-Morgan, 46, also competed in various track and field events when she was younger, said the release. However, when still a teenager she decided to focus on dance because training for both disciplines was incompatible, evidenced by the amount of injuries she was sustaining.

Since then she has participated in 5K running events as well as the Cayman Islands half marathon (2012, 2015) and four-person relay (2016). Now she says she is ready to take on the longer distance. 

“I participated in my second half marathon and the team event to raise funds for the Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation because of my own experience of being in an abusive relationship,” Donalds-Morgan said in the release. “Completing the race and raising funds served the dual purpose of proving that I could do it and helping someone else at the same time.”

As for the challenge of the full marathon, she said, “I am much stronger, more healed and less fearful of being in the public eye again. For a while, I had difficulty being in large crowds and spent about two years staying away from most social situations. Highlighting my own journey will inspire others at whatever point they are in their healing process.”

In 2016, Donalds-Morgan did not meet her $5,000 fundraising goal for the ESRF; this year she wanted to push harder so started the effort in January and set an ambitious goal. “I will not fail this time,” she said. “I needed a larger goal to push me and the more money I raise, the more there is to share with the community.”

The ESRF will add to what she raises and give the funds to several key non-governmental organisations that are helping the community with programmes which directly impact women and families.

Her advice to anyone who is thinking about running a full or half marathon and/or using the race to fundraise is to begin well in advance. “Start training and fundraising very early and get a team of supporters, encouragers and training partners together. I have the Daylight Warriors team from the 2016 four-person relay as my champions, and new ones who encourage me at every event I participate in. It makes a huge difference when you are in pain and very tempted to just stop, quit, give up,” she said.

“Celebrate all the wins, no matter how small. I did some of the races while in severe pain, and I took it easy, but I made it to the end. That sense of accomplishment is amazing and can be a source of encouragement for you for weeks, months even.”

To donate to the Beyond the Race fundraiser call Patrice Donalds-Morgan at 324-7651 or email pdonalds@gmail.com

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Category: Community, Fundraiser, Running, Sports

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