Kristen Foley Always Makes Sure To Find The Fun In Fundraising
My guest today is running for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as a part of Team in Training in her build-up to the 2020 Boston Marathon.
She’s also no stranger to Disney races, so between Team in Training and Run Disney we will have plenty to chat about!
I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Kristen Foley today.
Uncovering A Hidden Passion
Kristen Foley didn’t begin to enjoy running until she was an adult.
She has been running seriously for about 10 years now, but before that, she was occasionally running 5ks.
It was in 2010 that she decided to take the leap and try training for a half marathon.
After completing her first half, it didn’t take Kristen long to decide to sign up for a full marathon next.
In that first full year of running, Kristen completed her first half and full marathon.
During her training, Kristen ran all of her miles alone.
She enjoyed the process of running all the miles, but she longed to have a community to share her training with.
Community Is Constant
Kristen found her community when she joined Columbus East Side Running, a local running group.
The group dynamic and camaraderie have helped Kristen immensely in many areas with her training.
Having a group of like-minded runners has pushed Kristen to do things she may not have considered on her own.
For instance, in 2013 Kristen and 8 other friends decided to run 13 half marathons that year.
At this point in time, during the era of social distancing, Kristen is still able to maintain her connections with the group.
The constant solo runs are challenging for Kristen in many aspects, but looking ahead to Boston in September is what continues to push her.
Running For A Cause
Kristen created a bucket list of 5 things she wanted to accomplish and running in the Boston Marathon was one of those five.
Kristen knew she didn’t have the speed to qualify at this point in time so she began focusing on charity options.
While researching which charity to run for, Kristen came across the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Her father was diagnosed with leukemia in 2014, so immediately this charity held a place close to her heart.
After going through the application process, Kristen was only one of 35 individuals selected.
Along with making the cut, she was also the first runner for this charity located in central Ohio.
Training for a marathon in itself can be a daunting task, but as a charity runner, Kristen was required to raise a certain amount of money.
Between October of 2019, when she was notified, and Boston in April of 2020, Kristen had to raise $15,000.
Kristen surprised herself by reaching her goal by the end of December.
She was able to accomplish this through personal donations and holding special fundraiser events.
When holding events, Kristen recommends looking for unique ways to draw people in.
Some fundraisers that have proven successful have been Tupperware parties with drag queens, wine-tasting parties, and involvement with a local jewelry store.
Social media has proven to be a huge asset when fundraising.
For the first time in over 100 years the Boston Marathon got postponed.
Kristen, like so many others, was emotional about this announcement.
Training and fundraising had consumed a large portion of her life leading up to what would have been her first Boston.
Kristen is viewing this as a re-start and trying to find balance in her life.
Originally running Boston was a bucket list item for Kristen.
Over the many months of training and raising money, she began to see the bigger picture.
This larger scope of view is what helped in part to get her out of her pity party.
Though her training was put on pause, cancer was not.
Kristen is using this extra time to continue to fundraise and further exceed her goal.
She is maintaining her mileage for when her training for Boston in the fall starts to ramp up again.
Following Boston, Kristen also hopes to one day run the NYC marathon.
Disney will of course always pop up in her race schedule.
She has always been drawn to the magic of Disney and that is no exception even as an adult.
The connections running has given her can never be taken away.
Even in the midst of a pandemic, when nothing is constant, running is always there for her.
Mentioned In This Article:
Stay Connected with Kristen by following her on Instagram and/or Twitter and if able, consider donating to her Team In Training Site.
Kristen Foley is raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as a member of Team in Training. Her road to Boston is not as straight as she expected, but she still has her eyes on the finish line. Click To Tweet
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