Hi! My name is Madison and I need your help. I'm raising money for 261 Fearless. They do amazing work for a cause that's very close to my heart.
261 Fearless, Inc.
261 Fearless, begins with Kathrine Switzer. Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to officially enter and run the Boston Marathon. At that time, the race was considered a male-only event, but using her initials, she managed to obtain an official bib, number 261. Two miles in to the 26.2 mile race, a race official attacked Switzer and attempted to physically pull her from the race. Switzer kept running stating, "I'm gonna finish this race on my hands and my knees if I have to. Because nobody believes that I can do this....if I don't finish this race than everybody is going to believe women can't do it, that they don't deserve to be here, that they are incapable. I've got to finish this race." Switzer finished changing the world for women's running. Switzer went on to create and direct several women's running organizations and events. One of which she co-founded being 261 Fearless in 2015.
Unfortunately, many women and those whom they love, continue to live in unsafe, unequal and “disrespectful” environments. 261 Fearless Inc. campaigns for justice, solidarity, respect, peace, freedom and equality for women of all backgrounds, cultures, ages, and abilities around the world.
261 Fearless, Inc. provides an environment that inspires, motivates, and educates women of all nations, colors, faiths, and backgrounds to run and lead healthy, fearless and empowered lives. This wonderful organization achieves this through their wide array of education and community running programs which offer countless opportunities to women.
Why do I want to run the NYC Marathon for 261 Fearless
In 2019, I volunteered for the Boston Marathon as a student at MCPHS University. I, like most people, became emotional at the sight of all the runners crossing the finish line. The next day, I went to work. I began talking to my co-worker Stefanie Acierno about my experience. Overcome with inspiration from the day before, I briefly mentioned how it would be a dream of mine to run a marathon one day. As she was listening to me, her face became filled with passion and excitement. Little did I know, Stefanie Acierno was a marathon runner herself. Without hesitation, she said, "let's do it!"
Stefanie, immediately began talking about an organization (261 Fearless) that she coaches for, which helps female runners of all abilities. I took "all abilities" with a grain of salt, being that I could barely run a mile. Nonetheless, she persisted that I come and just try the group. She introduced me to the Back Bay 261 running team. The support and motivation I felt from everyone was indescribable and made me feel invincible. The feeling of empowerment I gained from running with this group continued to pull me back for more.
In 2020, before vaccinations were available, I got Covid-19 and moved back home. I couldn't even walk down my driveway. I gained weight and was devastated that all my hard work got taken away. I put my goal of running a marathon behind me. I said "there's no way I can do that now".
However, after covid settled, I was able to move back to Boston. I asked Stefanie if I could join the team for another session. Similar to when I started running with 261 Fearless, I could only do a light jog/walk. Despite my ability, everyone still made me feel invincible.
I would like to make my dream of running a marathon come true by running for a team that continues to empower me and showed me "I could" when my mind countless times told me "I can't". Although I do not look like everyone's first thought when they think of a runner, I ran my first half marathon in November 2022.
By running for 261 Fearless, Inc. I will be able to show women from all backgrounds and all abilities that they can do anything they put their mind to!
If you can, please donate to my fundraising project on GivenGain so that more women have the opportunity to feel supported.
See you at the finish line!