running for charity
Health groups field runners in the
race to benefit their causes
Runners for several health organizations are boosting participation in today's Honolulu Marathon.
A total of 850 people from 21 chapters of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in 17 states were among the approximately 25,000 participants. They raised $3 million, according to Liz Olsen, a spokeswoman for the society.
The society's Team in Training program has been participating in the Honolulu Marathon since 1994, she said.
Also sending running groups to Honolulu were Team Diabetes from Canada; Joints in Motion, an arthritis fund-raising group from Canada; and several California AIDS groups.
They were among thousands of runners in the race for reasons other than winning.
"This gives the marathon a big boost," said Honolulu Marathon spokesman Pat Bigold.
Chrissy Lomax, of Westlake Village, Calif., recruits members for the Team in Training she coaches during lectures she gives as a representative of Weight Watchers.
Lomax said she lectures seven times a week, talking to up to 600 people. "I tell them to get in shape and save lives at the same time," she said.
Fourteen of her 20 team members are from Weight Watchers, she said.
"In our marathon training, we tell them to take it one mile at a time like you take one pound at a time," she said.
Each team member had to raise a minimum of $3,800, Lomax said. The majority -- 75 percent -- goes to research and patient care, with the remainder for administrative costs and the runner's air fare and hotel costs, she said.
"We are taking people off the couch and turning them into athletes," Lomax said.
"We help them raise money and help them become athletes," she said. "We help them believe in themselves, that they can do this."