The Fate of Charity Running in a World Without Races: Susan Hurley If you’ve run for charity, you’re probably wondering how charities have been doing this year with so few races being run. Or maybe you’re looking for inspiration and motivation during these uncertain times. If so, this week’s guest, Susan Hurley, may provide the answers you’re seeking. A former New England Patriots cheerleader, Susan brings the high energy, creative mind, and fun approach required to motivate, inspire, and lead others to achieve personal goals through fitness and running, while also raising funds for small nonprofits through her organization CharityTeams. CharityTeams helps nonprofits raise money for good causes through the use of running races and athletic events. Running for charity takes a lot more than just asking your friends and family for money. It takes a lot of organization, and Charity Teams helps take care of the details. Susan shares how 2020 has impacted charity running and what she sees for the future, through virtual racing and beyond. She also talks about her app, Charge Running, which she’s developed over the last 3 years with a team in Chicago. Charge Running is a live virtual training and racing platform, which is especially relevant now when there are so few in-person races. Susan started CharityTeams when she recognized the need small nonprofits had for support in valuable athletic fundraising opportunities, and she created a niche sports-related business around that. CharityTeams has blazed a trail for many nonprofits to grow and set the bar high in the athletic fundraising industry. Her teams are some of the most desired to run on. She is a certified RRCA professional running coach and fundraising expert. Susan is a professional at developing team brands and understands what it takes to keep them succeeding. Her network in the industry is extensive and she has a strong ability to work with runners of all backgrounds in running and fundraising building lasting friendships in her groups and strong ambassadors for charities. She is formerly a New England Patriots Cheerleader and continues to dispel the words of her mother, that "You can't be a cheerleader your whole life." Susan's marathon personal best is 3:16 and she continues to run The Boston Marathon, NYC Marathon and Chicago Marathon each year, as well as many other races. (Qualifying for NY and Chicago) She has been running since she missed the bus in 2nd grade. She has qualified and competed in the World Triathlon Championship in Hawaii. She continues to run competitively while raising funds for various causes. Susan completed the first ever 2017 Fenway Park Marathon and the first ever Gillette Stadium Marathon. She is a two time finisher of the Mt. Washington Road Race in 2018 and 2019. She finished her first 50K at the Marine Corps Marathon weekend in 2021. Susan also works on special projects such as the Bobbi Gibb sculpture project which will be unveiled in April of 2021. This beautiful statue named after the children's book, The Girl Who Ran, was sculpted by winner of the Boston Marathon and trailblazer for women’s running, Bobbi Gibb. It is of herself. In 1966, Gibb popped out from behind forsythia bushes in Hopkinton to become the first woman to run Boston. After listening to Susan, maybe you’ll be inspired to run for a higher purpose! Questions Susan is asked: 6:36 Your business, Charity Teams, has raised over $24 million for various non-profits. Can you tell us more about how Charity Teams works and how you started it? 7:39 Let’s say I am a charity and I want to raise money and I give you a phone call. What’s that conversation going to be like? 8:26 Charity Teams is like a one-stop shop then for fundraising? 8:57 Obviously 2020 has been strange for all of us, but especially in the running world with no races. What are charities doing? 9:48 Most runners, we race because we want to achieve a personal goal. What makes it different when you run for charity? 11:09 Let’s talk about the Boston Marathon for example. If you’re not fast enough to meet the qualifications, you can go ahead and sign up with a charity and run for charity. But there’s some big fundraising goals you have to meet which I think might be intimidating to some people, and maybe kind of stressful. So how do you encourage people when they’re facing some $5,000 goal or something like that? How do you encourage people because that seems a little scary to me? 12:41 Do you have anybody that you can think of in mind that is just a charity superstar? Any good stories that you can share with us? 14:23 Let’s talk about virtual racing. Virtual racing is here to stay I think for a while. I think it’s a challenge for some people because it’s not the same as in-person races, and you’ve kind of come up with a little bit of a solution for that with your app. Do you want to tell us a little bit about it? 16:22 So if I wanted to go out the door and go for a run using your Charge Running app, I just plug in my headphones and somebody will be telling me to run faster, or how does it work? 17:22 Is the Charge Running app course specific? 18:10 One of your projects you are working on is installing a statue of Bobbi Gibbs on the Boston Marathon race course. Can you tell us, for those who may not know, who Bobbi Gibbs is and why the statue’s so important? 19:08 What made you want to get involved in the Bobbi Gibbs statue project? 20:01 Do you know anything about the Bobbi Gibbs statue artist? 20:35 This year has been really challenging for a lot of people, so I would love to hear your tips since you’ve worked so much in the virtual race space, how do we stay motivated? How do we look beyond possibly having no races and nothing to plan for? What are your best tips for this? 22:20 Could choosing a charity and having to show up to a race for someone besides yourself be really motivational for some people? 23:27 What is next for you? You mentioned that you are training for some virtual marathons. What kind of things are you training for? Questions I ask everyone: 24:42 If you could go back and talk to yourself when you started running, what advice would you give? 25:37 What is the greatest gift running has given you? 26:10 Where can listeners and charities connect with you? Quotes by Susan: “The bigger charities have a lot of bandwidth to be able to provide services, but the smaller charities don’t, so the smaller charities is really where I have made my little bit of a niche, if you will. And so I’ve really helped a lot of small nonprofits grow.” “I think you see a different breed of runner going into the charity world. Maybe not as fast. Definitely somebody that might be just more of an average runner trying to qualify, or maybe would never have the chance to qualify for an event, but they go into this charity space and they’re inspired and they can set goals and feel like they’re achieving a lot of great things.” “With goal setting comes inspiration. Maybe find a nonprofit that is hosting a virtual run and use that for your inspiration in your goal setting so that you can continue to stay in shape as we move through this really uncertain time.” Take a Listen on Your Next Run Want more awesome interviews and advice? Subscribe to our iTunes channel Mentioned in this podcast: Charity Teams Charge Running App Runners Connect Winner's Circle Facebook Community RunnersConnect Facebook page email@example.com Follow Susan on: Facebook - Charity Teams Instagram - Charity Teams Twitter - Charity Teams We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top. The best way you can show your support of the show is to share this podcast with your family and friends and share it on your Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media channel you use. 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