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TeamAIDAsha Half/Full Marathon 2016 Program

Ruta Upalekar
03/08/2016

From 0 To 26.2 Miles
A TeamAIDAsha Runner Perspective

Ruta Upalekar 

My journey from non-runner to marathoner started in the spring of 2015 and ended in the fall, on October 25th 2015, when I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC. After several years of chasing deadlines at various corporate jobs, followed by 7+ years of motherhood, I felt ready for the next big challenge: running a marathon. What started out with the idea of "giving it a try" has now become a passion. Running has helped me discover myself. I am amazed at how far I have come, and I couldn’t have done it without TeamAIDAsha. 

After being encouraged by volunteers at a tabling event, I took the first step and attended an orientation at MIT. The next 6 months were a phenomenal experience. I had initial apprehensions considering my little kids in tow and my 30-mile commute to the run, but my fellow volunteers and the program made it easy for me. I vividly remember my first run. All volunteers, alumni, and coaches were ready to go. Everyone had a warm smile, and although I was nervous, the excitement made me forget my worries. The support and enthusiasm by the fellow TeamAIDAsha runners continued throughout the course of the training period. Everybody was always helpful and encouraging. There were stories shared, bonds developed and some everlasting memories were created.  

Running with TeamAIDAsha has been an experience of a lifetime. Running a marathon, and more importantly, running for a cause, has been a very satisfying and a life changing one. AID and Asha are two voluntary non-profit organizations committed to promoting education, sustainable, equitable and just development in India by working with grassroots organizations and movements there. AID and Asha support and initiate efforts in interconnected spheres such as education, livelihoods, natural resources, health, women's empowerment and social justice. 

Having been with TeamAIDAsha since last year, I look forward to volunteering and running more races with the program. This is the 14th year of TeamAIDAsha's marathon program which has raised over $750,000 for AID and Asha, and I would highly encourage experienced runners, beginners, and non-runners to give us a try. A TeamAIDAsha informational session is happening on April 3, 2016 in MIT, building 4, room 163 for this year’s training program. 

You will only gain from this wonderful program and you will make a significant difference in the world.  For more information, visit www.teamaidasha.org.



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