Triathletes, swimmers, cyclists and runners compete in all sorts of endurance events and push their bodies to the limits for multiple reasons. Some compete for weight loss in the fight to lose weight and stay fit and combat obesity. Some compete for the personal challenge to complete particular endurance event or race distance. Others compete to better their competitors and improve their performance year after year.
Another motivation for participants to enter a running race or ironman distance triathlon is to raise money for a cause. There are a lot to choose from, so options are not an issue. Multiple charities have harnessed the energy of motivated athletes and created endurance sport specific programs that athletes can officially be a part of. These organizations have created groups, support groups, training groups and advanced online tools to supports these athletes and get them to the finish line while raising funds for non-profits, charity organizations and illness research. Think about Livestrong, but on a broader scale and at times, more focused on a specific illness or disorder.
This list will look at 4 charities and outline some basics and how to get more information.
- Train 4 Autism is a foundation dedicated to bringing together a community of athletes, physically active, and socially conscious people who are committed to raising awareness and funds for research and treatment for those living with Autism and their families. Fundraising and volunteer opportunities for individual athletes, teams and entire families include marathons, half marathons, 10Ks, 5Ks, walks, triathlons, swimming, and cycling events.
- Wounded Warrior Project Physical Health & Wellness program provides recreation, adaptive sports programs, and overall strategies to help wounded veterans remain physically engaged while adjusting to life after injury. Warriors' physical and psychological well-being are optimized through comprehensive recreation and sports programs, physical health promotion strategies, legislative policy change, and physical rehabilitation designed to help maximize independence.
- Team Red, White and Blue wants to transform the way America supports its wounded veterans when they return from active duty. Their intention is to create a community of veterans, their families, and American citizens who can enjoy authentic social interaction and shared experiences through activities and events all across America.
- Joints in Motion is the Arthritis Foundation's athletic training program. Fundraisers can become a Joints in Motion member and raise funds and awareness on behalf of the Arthritis Foundation to fight arthritis, the nation's leading cause of disability. Their experienced coaches will train you to run or walk a marathon or half marathon, while also getting the opportunity to travel to an exciting destination.
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