Imagine the grueling intensity of a half-marathon and the blood, sweat, and tears that went into training for it.
Now imagine starting in last place…on purpose.
That’s the idea behind Cents of Hope, a THON fundraiser in its 5th year of existence. This Sunday, Cents of Hope participants will start last in the Philadelphia Half-Marathon and collect money from friends and family based upon the number of people they pass.
Steve Huber, a 2013 graduate of Penn State, got the idea from his father who saw a similar fundraiser in Runner’s World magazine. “We both loved the concept so I decided to apply it to the Philadelphia Marathon to benefit THON,” said Huber of Cents of Hope’s inception. The yearly fundraiser has collected more than $30,000 for THON.
Huber, a former brother of AKPsi who danced in THON 2013, began training and raising money as a solo runner for the 2011 Philadelphia Half-Marathon and, since then, Cents of Hope’s success has grown exponentially as other participants were invited to join. This year, 25 runners, both students and alumni, are raising money for 10 different THON organizations.
Although he won’t be running this year, Huber is still looking forward to race day. He says, “As we have grown, my role has evolved to be more administrative with less time to train… or at least that’s my excuse! I am very excited to meet all of our new runners, take lots of pictures and be a full-time cheerleader.”
Cents of Hope has also expanded outside of the Philadelphia area — runners can now run through Cents of Hope in the Pittsburgh Marathon come May 2016.
“Despite the major changes,” says Huber, “our mission remains the same: to build a community of runners, sponsors and supporters who are dedicated to conquering childhood cancer.”
Further, he says, “We run to inspire charitable action and provide a sense of hope for those in need.”
For more information about Cents of Hope, visit their website by clicking here, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The Philadelphia Half-Marathon takes place this Sunday, November 22nd, at 7 a.m.
Cents of Hope is still looking for runners and sponsors for the Pittsburgh Half-Marathon, which takes place on May 1, 2016. They can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.