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University of Iowa Dance Marathon Members Take on Different Marathon

With the health of hundreds of kids battling cancer as motivation, over 2,000 Dance Marathon members at the University of Iowa will happily embrace the challenge of not sitting, sleeping or drinking caffeine for 24 straight hours in February of 2016 to raise money for pediatric cancer research. However, an elite group of these Dance Marathoners will be taking on a new marathon challenge in the interest of these brave children: the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. 

Of the 2,000 plus University of Iowa Dance Marathon members, 197 participants will trade in their dancing shoes for their running shoes this Sunday, October 11th, to run 26.2 miles, all for the kids. 

The marathon journey began with an 18-week training program, set by the Dance Marathon the Marathon Coaching Chair, Lauren O’Sullivan. “The training process for the Chicago Marathon has been a long one but a positive one.” 

Becca Cohen, the Dance Marathon the Marathon Logistics Chair, also added, “ After our final runner meetings last week, Lauren and I could feel the heart and motivation of our DM runners that are so excited to run the streets of Chicago with the inspiration of all of our Dance Marathon kiddos behind them.” 

All 197 runners signed up to take on the marathon this weekend have raised at least $1,000, doubling the fundraising minimum set for all dancers. Inspired by the children at the heart of all the efforts undertaken by Dance Marathon participants, these runners have already gone above and beyond with their fundraising and training for the Chicago Marathon. 

However, the willingness of these Dance Marathon members to take on the daily hardships of training for a marathon pales in comparison to the daily struggles faced by the courageous kids attacked in so many ways by the evils of cancer. The Dance Marathon runners have transformed every step of the 26.2 miles of the Chicago Marathon into another step closer to defeating cancer in our lifetimes. 

Madi Smith, Dance Marathon member and first time Marathon runner stated, “Although training has physically wore my body down, my heart and mind is stronger than ever. Running for 5 hours seems so insignificant when I remember why I’m doing it. I can not wait to cross that finish like FTK.” 

Media Contact: Evan Furlong