Many Michiganders have felt the portentous bliss that accompanies a Tigers home run, a Wolverines touchdown, or a Spartans three-point basket—these are distinct Michigan reveries. Champions for Charity takes famous Michigan landmarks and allows you to experience them in a new way, while simultaneously bettering your health and philanthropic ambitions.
Champions for Charity is an organization that plans major running events in Michigan every year. In the past, these events have included the Big House Big Heart with a finish line at the fifty-yard line of the Big House, the Ann Arbor Marathon, the Heart of Detroit with a finish line at the home plate of Comerica Park, and the Heart of Michigan which finishes in front of the Capitol Building in Lansing.
Champions for Charity Business Manager Will Smith explains, “When you’re at Big House Big Heart and you see 12,000 plus people converge…the most rewarding part is seeing everybody come out and knowing at least fifty-percent of them are there supporting a specific cause, that they’ve been doing fundraising, and in the meantime they’ve been training themselves and getting themselves into a healthy lifestyle. It’s kind of twofold.”
While runners are more than welcome to run CFC events for no reason bigger than personal health and ambition, The Big House Big Heart run brought in over 100 nonprofit organizations this year, and Champions for Charity allows these organizations to take the entirety of their earnings and donate them to specific causes. After covering the cost of the event, CFC uses the registration fee funds from their races to donate to four major causes: C.S Mott, The Cardiovascular Center, ALS Research, and Michigan Athletics.
CFC’s big race season is coming up, starting June 17th with the Ann Arbor Marathon. Heart of Detroit and Heart of Michigan take place on June 24th and June 30th, respectively, and then finish off with the Firecracker 5K on the Fourth of July. That’s four events in less than a month, folks. That’s ambition.
One of CFC’s new races this year, the Leaders and Best run, reestablishes an event that hasn’t been around since the University of Michigan changed their football field from TartanTurf to natural turf in 1991.
Smith says, “We’re bringing back the Big Ten concept. It’s going to be a ten mile run for people training for their fall marathons.” Hence, this is a spectacular new opportunity for Detroit marathoners and anyone else facing a twenty-six mile challenge this autumn.
For a complete list of races and dates, check out the events page on their website and sign up. The website also includes volunteer opportunities, ideas for event training, and a place to register your nonprofit organization. Whether you’re training for a 5k or a marathon, CFC provides an opportunity to help the causes of your choice, challenge yourself physically and mentally, and contribute to the overall health of Michigan as a whole.