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Wish Blog

May 04, 2016

Racing for Wishes

Kelsey
Each year, runners from across the country gather in downtown Indianapolis for the the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. This year, Wish Program Associate and self-proclaimed "non-runner" Kelsey Barta will be participating in the race. See what's inspiring her to cross the finish line in today's Wish Blog post.

I am not a runner.

This isn’t me being humble. This is me being honest. I will brag about many things, but running is not one of them. Yet, I find myself registered for my second Indianapolis Mini Marathon.

Again, I am not a runner, but I am a very logical person. So when I’m asked why I have literally signed up for soreness and exhaustion, my answer is simple:

I can run, so I will run.

The average person can’t wake up one morning and decide to run 13.1 miles before breakfast and still function for the rest of the day. But after a few months of training, it’s more than possible. It takes time and training but it’s just running. It’s not my idea of fun, but it is temporary pain. I have a choice to continue running, and I have the same choice to stop running.

Wish kids don’t often have that option. Some don’t have the choice to get up and go for a run. They, instead, wake up to treatments and medications before they can even start their day. The choice is often the form of treatment, not whether they need the treatment. Their lives often revolve around doctor’s appointments, surgeries, medications, and parameters dictating what they can and cannot do. Worrying that training takes too much time and energy out of my day is selfish. If wish kids are spending day after day doing therapy and night after night in a hospital bed, I can take a few hours out of my days to run.  

They can’t give up. And because of them, I can’t either.

The goal of Team Make-A-Wish this year is to raise $8,000 through the Mini Marathon – enough to grant the wish of a Hoosier child. And that goal is more than possible. I’m not going to win the race. And I will probably even stop to walk for a bit. Likely more than once. But I’m not running for me. I’m running for the 850 kids whose wishes we will grant this year alone.  

A friend of mine makes a list that names who she’s running for each time she participates in a race. I haven’t made my list yet, but there are a few wish kids that come to mind:

Mark because he doesn’t have the opportunity to run.

Mini Marathon 2

Liam because I hope one day he will outrun me.

Mini Marathon 3

Emily because in full health, I’m pretty sure she could outrun me.

Mini Marathon 1

So if you’re reading this and you can run (or even walk), I encourage you to come out and support Team Make-A-Wish this Saturday, make a donation to our team or even sign up to run or walk your own race in the future (Walk For Wishes and the Columbus 10K benefiting Make-A-Wish are both coming up soon). Being a part of a running community is unlike anything else. Add that in to being a part of the Make-A-Wish family, and it’s a unique experience you can’t get anywhere else. For me, running for wish kids is that extra push that keeps me going. I hope to see you this weekend or at a race in the future, and I hope you have a list too.  

About this Blog

Wish Blog gives you a behind-the-scenes look at Make-A-Wish®. See how wishes come together and how they change lives forever. Hear directly from those who work or volunteer here, or those who have been transformed by a wish. And learn why we are so committed to someday granting the wish of every eligible child, every year.

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