26.2 Miles to Make a Difference

26.2 Miles to Make a Difference

From Ralph Filardo

I'm running the NYC Marathon and raising money for two charities that I highly value - March of Dimes and American Heart Association. Your donation will be split between the two!

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Twenty years ago from this past summer, my childhood hero, Grandpa Z passed in his early 70's after a suffering a heart attack. Two years ago, I thought about doing something huge to honor his memory on this 20-year mark and decided that I'd try to run a marathon. 

Having never have run more than 3 miles before, the odds were stacked against me, not to mention the literal odds of getting selected by the NYC Marathon Lottery to be an automatic qualifier. With over 100,000 people applying for the lottery and only about 30,000 receiving an automatic entry, you'd understand my shock when I received word in March that I'd gotten in on my first attempt. Gramps was definitely looking out for me!

Along with honoring Grandpa Zarrilli's memory, I will also be putting further meaning behind each mile, by raising money to two charities that have special significance to me - The American Heart Association and The March of Dimes. My grandfather was robbed of seeing his grandchildren grow up because of a heart condition he didn't know he had until his final day, so I've always valued the work The American Heart Association does. Back in the good ol' days of 1984, I was born a month and a half premature, so I've always been an advocate of the stellar work The March of Dimes does for premature babies. 

**Each of your donations will be split in half (50% to The American Heart Association, 50% to The March of Dimes), unless you specify otherwise.**

For the last three months, running has taken over my life. I have a new-found respect for runners on all levels. The dedication and perseverance it takes to succeed in this hobby is unlike anything I've experienced before. It was a summer full of watching everyone have fun, while I stayed in on Friday nights, got up early on Saturday mornings for long runs, cut out alcohol and partying, began to watch what I ate, and pushed myself to complete every run on the training schedule. Every run has had its challenges, having to get after it after a long day of work, thunderstorms, bee stings!, humidity and heat, dehydration, and the new obstacle - the cold! 

All in all, it has been the most incredible experience, and race day is still over 30 days away! 

So, help me make the 26.2 miles that I will run through all five boroughs of New York City on November 2, make a difference by donating. Any bit helps (10 bucks = 5 dollars for the March of Dimes, 5 dollars for the American Heart Association). Thanks very much for your support and I can't wait for Nov. 2 and more importantly, to present this wonderful check to my favorite two charities. 

You can accomplish the impossible, by believing that what you are going after is possible, and having faith that you've been put in this position to succeed. 

-Ralph

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