Walk, Climb or Bike for a Good Cause

As the weather improves, it’s time to start planning for a spring or summer athletic event, both to focus your training and to get in shape for swimsuit season.

Combine your fitness and charitable goals by committing to one of the many charitable athletic endeavors in Chicagoland. As you log your training time on Saturday mornings, the philanthropic element will motivate you. Recruit a few friends, sign up, develop a training plan, set a fund-raising goal and look forward to a physical feat that will have a lasting impact.

Three challenging, fun options:

Hustle Up the Hancock
April 13

Take the stairs up the John Hancock building and raise money for the Respiratory Health Association; do the full (94 stories) or half climb (52 stories). The event raises more than $1 million to promote lung health and fight disease.

Training for this taxing event requires real fitness. Participants are encouraged to work out three to four times a week for at least four weeks leading up to the event. Running, elliptical training and stair climbing are the best preparation. “Estimate how long you expect it to take you, say 30 minutes,” says Dan Kittaka, former Hustle Up the Hancock champion. “Train at least once or twice at the same level of intensity as the climb for the same duration.”

Pictured: Team Quickstep for Health! (Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center)

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer
May 31 to June 1

This two-day walk, covering 39 miles, is a powerful experience, raising money for the Avon Foundation for Women and funding breast cancer programs across the country. This well-established event offers training assistance and programs, helpful fundraising tools, and an emotional, uplifting and empowering atmosphere along each mile.

“Training consistently for three months will best prepare you and reduce the chance of injury. Walk four to five days a week, with two one-hour walks, one one-to-two-hour walk, and a longer walk, generally on the weekend,” says Jolene Moore, world-class race walker and coach of the USA World team.

Photo courtesy of Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Chicago.

Bike MS: Tour de Farms
June 21–22

Riders can ride from 15 to 200 miles through scenic DeKalb, allowing all levels of cyclists to participate and make a difference for those suffering from MS. Bike MS provides snacks, drinks, meals, mechanical support and an energized vibe. Craig Strong, of Precision Multisport in Evanston, emphasizes that riders must allow months of preparation, including “training outdoors in variable weather conditions, dealing with other cyclists, traffic and knowing the rules of the road.” Strong suggests slowly increasing mileage by 15-20 percent a week with a long ride on the weekends to simulate the event. “A touring bike or a road bike is the best option,” he says. “Mountain bikes have wide tires and are heavier.”

Photo courtesy of MSillinois.org

Whichever event you choose, you’ll have a blast training; you’ll get lean and fit for summer; and your efforts will benefit a great cause.

  Who We Are       NFP Support       Magazine       Programs       Donate