By Stefani Jackenthal
Marathon season is upon us, and now you can transform those endless training and race miles into dollars and awareness for charity with Athlete.com. Not just for marathoners, it’s a modern day run/walkathon of sorts for athletes of all levels, where friends, family and colleagues can pledge dollars (or cents) per mile logged running – or walking, hiking and soon cycling – and then monitors progress on Athlete.com.
A first-of-its-kind social fundraising platform, Athlete.com allows individual athletes (and small-to-mid-size charities) to custom craft “virtual charity sport events” for their favorite cause during a set amount of miles or period of time – for a week, month or beyond. Miles are recorded on a Garmin, Athlete.com app, or manually entered on Athlete.com.
“We wanted to create a means for athletes to raise money for charity thru their daily fitness routines and races, while inspiring others to become active.” Says Drew Izzo, CEO of Athlete.com.
Here’s how it works: Lets say you decide to raise money for a charity by running 100 miles in the two months leading up a 10K running race. Your running goal and charity will appear on your “virtual charity home page,” which is created upon registering on Athlete.com for free. Next, ask family, friends and colleagues to pledge dollar (or cents) to support your goal. Then get running and raising charitable dollars. Easy as that!
This month, Athlete.com launched its biggest effort yet, hosting Teamwinter.org’s S1x fundraiser for prostate cancer during the month of September, Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
Those not keen on starting their own “virtual charity sports event” can join Teamwinter S1X to raise money for prostate cancer. Register at www.athlete.com/s1x. Registration is $40 for Teamwinter S1X and participants receive over $150 in swag from event sponsors.
Stefani Jackenthal is a former All American triathlete and nationally ranked road bicycle racer turned international ultra runner. She is an adventure travel & wine journalist for print, web, TV and radio. Stefani has contributed to The New York Times, Runner’s World, Outside, The Huffington Post, Shape, Women’s Health, Fitness, Prevention, Marie Claire, Conde’ Nast Traveler, amongst others.