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There are six marathons that are part of the World Marathon Majors- Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, New York and Tokyo. These are the biggest races in terms of field size and organisation. These races are also interesting because of the race course which usually takes runners around major city highlights, through the different neighbourhoods and boroughs and finishing at an iconic landmark. What also makes these marathons extra special is the coming together of different nationalities from all over the world. Runners travel from all over to take part in a one-of-a-kind sporting event.
I had made it one of my life dreams to finish all of the six marathons by 2016. I did not know about this league of major marathons until I read more about it at the 2012 Berlin Marathon. I joined Berlin Marathon so we can combine Oktoberfest and running in a single trip. But I was amazed by the whole Berlin experience that I vowed to finish all of the majors. So in 2013 I ran Chicago and this year, I got my New York Marathon entry after failing to get into the lottery for the past three years. I also ran the Tokyo Marathon this year after being lucky on my first lottery entry. Four down, two to go!
There are various ways to get into the major marathons of the world. You may get in via lottery, which is usually over subscribed because of the growing popularity of these races. You may also get a guaranteed entry if you meet certain qualifying requirements, depending on the race. For instance, you are assured of an entry in New York if you run nine of their local New York Road Runners races and volunteer during one of the runs. You may also get in if you hit the required qualifying times for your age group, as in the case of the Boston Marathon. But a big percentage of the race participants get in via charity institutions. These marathons are major contributors to non-profit organizations all over the world.
The London Marathon is the world’s largest annual single-day charity fundraising event. Compared to marathon majors in the US (Boston, Chicago, New York), the percentage of runners entering via charity is way higher at more than seventy-five percent of total entrants. I will be one of those running for charity when I run the London Marathon in April 2015.
I am running for Scope, a charity dedicated to disability. This cause is very close to my heart and something I am truly passionate about because I was raised by my mom who is a person-with-disability (PWD). This is why I have always considered running as a privilege. Every time I run, I remember my mom who has never ran a day in her life. She has been a pillar of strength for me, inspiring me to be more and give more as a runner. I am reminded that the ability to run, to be an athlete and even travel the world for the sport are wonderful blessings.
In light of this and without sounding presumptuous, I would like to ask family and friends to just contribute to my London Marathon fund raising in lieu of a gift this Christmas. It would mean so much more to receive this gift of charity as this takes me closer to achieving a dream while helping Scope’s disability programs. Any amount will be very much appreciated and will go a long way. To give a gift of charity, kindly just go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MenchieDizon. Thank you very much and wishing you a blessed Christmas:)