Missy Larson can’t wait for the Sanford Fargo Marathon on May 19. She’s looking forward to the excitement that builds around the starting line, racing with runners of all ages and hearing shouts of encouragement from hundreds of fans along the half-marathon route.
“I’d have to say, the fans and spectators that line the streets to cheer everyone on is my favorite part,” she said. “I once ran a full marathon in Eugene, Oregon, and there were not even a fourth of the people cheering that we see in Fargo.”
This year, Larson wanted to do more than run, so she joined the Roger Maris Cancer Center charity team. Fundraising for local cancer patients adds purpose to her race.
“It’s a way to bring more meaning to all the training I put in and the race itself,” she said.
In honor of grandmother
Larson will run in memory of her maternal grandmother, who died of breast cancer before Larson had a chance to meet her. She’s raced for her grandmother before and knows how it can motivate her on race day.
“When training for my first full marathon, it helped me mentally push through those tough 17- to 20-mile long runs in below-zero wind chills some days,” Larson said. “I knew what I was experiencing was only temporary pain and discomfort in comparison to what she must have gone through.”
Others can help jump-start Larson’s fundraising.
When someone donates to Larson’s team in honor or in memory of someone, she will pin a ribbon to her shirt with their loved one’s name. Plus, Larson is partnering with Azool Nutrition in Moorhead, Minnesota; for every shake sold May 3 and 4, the business will donate $1 to Larson’s team.
Larson, a coding provider practice director at Sanford Clinic Coding, is also engaging her colleagues with candy guessing jars.
By supporting the Roger Maris Cancer Center charity team, Larson will help provide comprehensive care for women and men across the region, including preventative screening, treatment, survivorship services and more.
“I would encourage others to sign up to get the satisfaction of knowing that you are not only doing something amazing for yourself, but also adding meaning and perspective to it,” Larson said.
The Sanford Fargo Marathon is approaching quickly. And while most people taking part in one of the numerous events do it as part of a fitness goal, raising money for charity also drives a lot of the participants.
There’s still time to sign up for a charity team and create a personal fundraising page, then share it with friends and family and ask them to donate toward the cause.
Sanford Health, the title sponsor of this year’s marathon, created a fundraising toolkit with tips, sample messaging and information. Some of the local Sanford Health charities that runners are supporting:
- Edith Sanford Breast Center — Provide comprehensive care for every woman, including preventative screening, treatment, survivorship program and more.
- Roger Maris Cancer Center — Help cancer patients through every step of their journey with a multidisciplinary team of Sanford Health experts.
- Sanford Children’s Hospital — Support family-focused care where sick and injured children benefit from specialized equipment, unique programs and direct child and family assistance.
The more people raise, the more prizes they can earn, like: a T-shirt for $100, a T-shirt and custom water bottle for $250, and a quarter-zip pullover for $500.