Wednesday, December 16, 2009
$1 Billion for Charity! Endurance athletes cross major fundraising milestone!
Great news today from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's home office in White Plains, NY!!
Team In Training (TNT), The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) groundbreaking charity sports training program, has reached a remarkable milestone of raising $1 billion to support blood cancer research and patient services.
For more than 21 years, TNT has been the pre-eminent charity endurance sports training program, preparing amateurs and seasoned athletes to complete a marathon, half marathon, triathlon, 100-mile century cycle ride or hike adventure. Through the program’s expert coaching and support, more than 420,000 people have experienced the exhilaration of embracing and achieving a major athletic feat. The enormous success of TNT has made possible advances in blood cancer research, helping to find better therapies and treatments that have prolonged and enhanced the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients.
TNT began in 1988, when Bruce Cleland, a Westchester County, NY, businessman, spurred on a group of 38 to train for the New York City Marathon while they raised money for leukemia research in response to his own young daughter’s diagnosis with the disease. Cleland enlisted friend and Olympian Rod Dixon to train them. That first team raised $320,000 for LLS; and so a movement was born.
“I had been supporting LLS, organizing galas and other events like that, but I wanted to do more – something different. And then it occurred to me: let’s bring a group of non-athletes together, train them, and run a marathon together for the cause,” recalled Cleland. “Who would ever have thought, way back in 1988, that this program would have grown into the force that it is today? I am so awed at all the effort that has gone into the program, by LLS and the TNT staff, by the 420,000 participants, and of course by all the extraordinarily generous donors.”
The idea quickly began to catch on with other chapters, and during the 1990s, walk, cycle and triathlon were added to the mix. Spectators at the events quickly began to recognize the signature purple jersey worn proudly by TNT participants. The advent of online fundraising has also helped the program grow.
TNT continues to provide high caliber training by certified coaches and participants have the camaraderie of a group of supportive teammates while they train. In addition to weekly training sessions TNT offers clinics on nutrition, equipment, injury prevention and safety.
Among the more than 200 national and local events TNT participants can attend, the program has increasingly been adding more co-branded events to its roster, including The Nike Women’s Marathon to Benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; the Nation’s Triathlon to Benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; the Women’s Running Magazine Women’s Half Marathon and 5K to Benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & ½ to Benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
“TNT helps participants realize their dream of taking on the most challenging of athletic events while raising money to conquer blood cancers,” said LLS President and CEO John Walter. “There can be no denying the influence TNT has had on the world of endurance sports, granting everyday athletes access to venues that were once only the realm of the sports elite. And TNT has been the big engine driving LLS’s progress, enabling the expansion of our research and patient services initiatives.”
TNT is currently recruiting for its summer season, which includes the and Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & ½ to Benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride in Lake Tahoe and the Mayor’s Marathon in Anchorage, AK. To learn more visit www.teamintraining.org or call 1.800.482-TEAM.