Fit to Ride: Running for a cause

Want to start running but lack motivation? Do it for the horses! In October, Biz Stamm will be running the Portland Marathon for charity Ever After Mustang Rescue.

From Biz:

Sticking to a fitness routine, in my humble opinion, is the most difficult aspect of getting and staying in shape. Last year, when I was finding it nearly impossible to drag myself out of bed for my morning runs, I decided I needed to do something increase my nearly non-existent level of motivation.  So what did I do?  I signed up for a half-marathon.

There was something very definite and very final about typing in my credit card number and submitting my entrance fee for the race.  As my fellow horse owners know, money is not something to be carelessly tossed around, so the fact that I had spent money on the race meant that I would be running it.  Period.  Instead of waking up and thinking “I don’t want to run today.  I could really use another hour of sleep,”  I woke up thinking “I have a race that I MUST complete in the near future, and I’d rather not die of exhaustion in the process.  I better go train.”

Here I am finishing the Silver Falls trail half-marathon.  I highly recommend wearing flashy tights and a cape to those looking for a self-esteem boost.  My fellow competitors referred to me as “super hero,” and after awhile, I started to believe that I was a super hero, granted with the power to go slow and steady.

Signing up for races has proven to be a great motivator, and now that I have a couple of half-marathons under my belt, I decided that it was time to bite the bullet and sign up for a full marathon.  So I did.  This October, I will be running the Portland Marathon.  Training for this grueling 26.2 mile race is going to require some SERIOUS motivation.  More than my measly entrance fee can muster, so I found a way to make my completion of the race carry a bit more weight.  I decided to run the race for charity, with the transfer of money raised to my charity of choice contingent on my completion of the race.

Picking a charity was easy.  While I was in college, I worked for Ever After Mustang Rescue, and saw first hand what great work they do. All of the volunteers are extremely hard-working, and it is my honor to do whatever I can to aid them in their noble endeavor.  I set up a website to collect donations through, a site specifically designed to help runners achieve their non-profit, fundraising goals.

I have found this motivational strategy to be incredibly effective (“you better go for a run or little Reno might not get his worming paste!”), and it’s one that I highly recommend to all of you citizens of Horse Nation.  Not only does it encourage you to do something good for your own health, it allows you to get behind a cause in which you really believe.  So c’mon Horse Nation, let’s get out there and get running. And as always, GO RIDING!

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