Campaigning for charity at sports events are very common in countries like the US, Canada and in the UK. I live in Denmark, where the trend has only been taking off during the past few years.
In this post I will share my story about raising money for charity through the campaign: Racing Ironman 2015 for Refugees.
On August 23rd I reached goal of my second full distance Ironman competition in Copenhagen. I moved myself 226 km by swimming 3,8 km, biking 180 km and running 42,2 km. Those distances are great and it takes a lot of training hours in the months before the race to get strong enough to ”just do it”.
This year I initiated a charity campain to collect money for the Danish Refugee Council’s work for refugees worldwide. I am appalled by knowing that so many people coming from countries of conflicts and war struggle to survive day-by-day in refuge. It is difficult to see how you as an individual can change power struggles going on in distant places. But one thing I can do is to help fund organisations that are big enough to make real changes.
The campaign for refugees is a part of a movement that I initiated last year called Race for a Reason.
I started it to do something good for people in the world while learning and doing the quite individualistic and competetive sport of triathlon.
This year the Ironman trip took me 13 hours and 23 minutes. During these long hours, you reach a point where you are just thinking about when it will end. I hit the wall somewhere around 17 km into the run – the point where my legs fell sore, my feet like stepping on needles and my all and all condition just felt tired – dreaming of sofas and eating huge meals.
”Just quit, you have done this already, you are already an Ironman – you do not need to prove that you can. You already proved last year that you can”
Some voice echoed in my head.
Still, another voice was louder, clearer. It was rooted in my heart for WHY I was doing it, and why it made sense to continue to the finish line:
”I am not just doing this race for me. I am doing it out of promises to people who have donated money for my campaign that I would do my very best to reach goal of this Ironman this year too. People, who I will probably never meet will benefit from what I am doing now. So I am doing it. Just keep on going girl!”
This voice motivated me to stop hindring myself in reaching my goal. It made me accept the pains, enjoy the spectators cheering and helped me to find a strategy that would make me accomplish making it to that finish line and get a good experience.
Soon after I found a run buddy on the course. Together we made our way of walking/running to break through that marathon ”wall” and cross the spectacular finish line with the sweet sound of ”You are an Ironman”.
This mental journey made me so PROUD at finishing. It made me richer.
It motivates me to know that the time and energy I put in leisure activities for my own good, also will benefit strangers who are in critical circumstances in their lives. I am thankful to everybody who supports the campaign.
I will never know those people that will benefit from it. Yet the feeling that my campaign makes positive changes possible energizes me and makes me richer in reaching personal goals. It makes me feel connected to the world amidst this very individual performance that a triathlon race is.
Many contributions can do small positive changes to people that may help them to survive at a critical point. If the money I have collected through my campaign will save just one person so they can make positive changes in the worlds they live in, it all makes sense to me doing it. The campaign is still open for donations.
You can contribute through this link.