More Questions? Email us at contact@LIFErunners.org.
* Who are the LIFE Runners, and what is their mission and vision? The LIFE Runners is the action arm of the LIFE Group, Inc. LIFE Runners are LIFE Group devotion members who pray, raise funds and run…All in Christ for Pro-Life! LIFE Runner Values: Keep the Faith, Respect Life from Conception to Natural Death, Run as to Win.
* How do I join? It’s easy. Go to http://liferunners.org/signup/ and fill out the input form. Then you’ll get a welcome email from the local chapter leader.
* Who are the leaders of the LIFE Runners? Dr. Pat Castle (president/co-founder), Dr. Rich Reich (co-founder), Jeff Pauls (vp operations), Rob Rysavy (vp fundraising), Anne Carmichael (vp communications), Scott Casmer (finance officer), Jeff Grabosky (relay director). and Paul Westendorf (chapters coordinator). For biographical information go to http://liferunners.org/leaders.
* How did LIFE Runners begin and how long have they been around? The National LIFE Runners Team is the action arm of the LIFE Group…and the only Pro-Life Marathon TEAM in the nation. LIFE Runners apostolate was co-founded by running partners Dr. Pat Castle and Dr. Rich Reich in 2008, rooted in prayer and devotion flowing from the LIFE Group Devotions that they co-founded in 2007. The LIFE Runners have raced in the following National races: 2008 Chicago Marathon (13), 2009 Twin Cities Marathon (12), 2010 Sioux Falls half/full Marathon (17), 2011 Kansas City 1mi/5K/half/full Marathon/other (170), 2012 S t. Louis 1mi/5K/half/full Marathon/other (491).
* How does the National LIFE Runners leadership communicate with members? Members are encouraged to find the National LIFE Runners Facebook page. Also, many of the Chapters have their own Facebook page too. This is where pictures are posted of races, etc. It is very active too. The leadership uses email to communicate with chapters and membership. Snail mail is not used due to cost and labor. The National LIFE Runners does not have paid staff or an office. The organization relies solely on electronic communications. So be sure to check in on the Facebook page and check your email too.
LIFE Runners Races
* How many races do LIFE Runners run each year as a team and then individual chapters? Each year the National LIFE Runners team has a designated fall race that all members run in together. The LIFE Runners/March for Life Nellie Gray 5K was added for 2013 (approved by March for Life founder Nellie Gray before her passing) by the March for Life Board of Directors as part of the official March for Life activities. Also in 2013 we started another new annual tradition with the A-Cross America Relay for Pro-Life (Mar 5 – Apr 15). Each spring chapters are encouraged to have an additional designated race for the local membership. This is in addition to monthly training runs.
* What are some of the upcoming races? March for Life 5K Run/Walk with Kids 1K Fun Run (8am, 22 Jan, East Potomac Park,DC); A-Cross the Country Relay for Pro-Life (Mar 5-Apr 15); 2014 Air Force 1K/5K/half/fullMarathon (Sep 20); 2015 Long Beach 1mi/5K/half/fullMarathon (Oct); 2016 Marine Corps 1mi/5K/10K/full Marathon (Oct).
* Can we run races in our local community? Absolutely! Part of the mission is to bring awareness of the issue and the best way is to wear the LIFE Runner shirt in other races too. Often members post pictures of themselves running in races all all over the world with the LIFE Runner shirt. LIFE Runners encourages their members to reach out to everyone.
* Do we have to run a marathon to be a LIFE Runner? No, the annual fall race includes 1K/5K/half/full Marathon. Something for all ages and abilities.
* Can I be a walker? Yes, the longer you are on the course the more people see the shirt.
LIFE Runners Fundraising
* Where do funds go that are raised from the membership? The funds go directly to the designated beneficiaries. Each LIFE Runner is responsible for their own expenses.
* How much money do I have to raise to be a LIFE Runners? Each adult LIFE Runner needs to raise/contribute at least $262 each year for Pro-Life beneficiaries designated by team, with option to select your own Pro-Life beneficiary (at least $100 for team beneficiaries). Our 2013 team beneficiaries are Vitae Foundation (national Pro-Life media), Rapid City Care Net (ultrasound), Sioux Falls Alpha Center (mobile medical center). Goal is $100,000. All three are non-profit (tax deductible).
* How much money has LIFE Runners raised to date for beneficiaries? LIFE Runners since 2008 have raised $100,000 (over 5 year period). LIFE Runners is so large now that the goal for 2013 is the same as the total raised to date – $100,000.
* Does any money go to the LIFE Runners organization? No, all funds raised by the membership goes directly to the beneficiaries. LIFE Runners rely on a minimal amount of printed materials to keep costs down. Those are covered by the funds raised at the annual pre-race banquet. Oct 2012 was the first time LIFE Runner leadership asked for donations. Those funds will be used to cover printing of cards, signs and other materials used as well as website maintenance, etc. Earlier in the year the National LIFE Runners received funds from the Joseph Castle Memorial Fund. They were used to cover the administrative costs incurred for application with the IRS for the 501C3 tax exempt designation as well as other related expenses. Prior to the Memorial gifts, the organizations individual leaders/members covered all administrative costs themselves. Due to the rapid and sizeable growth of the organization other funds were needed to keep up with the global expansion of the organization.
LIFE Runners Prayer and Reflections
* What are LIFE Group Devotions? The LIFE Group Devotions are a Christian Pro-Life reflection on a verse from the Catholic daily Mass readings. Members receive these through email each morning.
* How do the LIFE Group Devotions relate to the LIFE Runners? The LIFE Group Devotions are the feeding arm of the LIFE Group while the LIFE Runners is the action arm. Any good runner must have the proper fuel to complete and compete in any race. The devotions provide this fuel for the LIFE Runners. The devotions work hand in hand to drive the mission of the LIFE Group which includes under its mantle the LIFE Group Devotions and the LIFE Runners.
* Who writes the Devotions and who receives them? The devotions are written by six primary authors and are also supplemented by 2 guest authors each week. There have been over 100 guest authors from all walks of life and backgrounds sharing their faith and pro-life message. LIFE Runners receive the devotions each day along with many other regular subscribers to the devotions.
* Why is prayer so much a part of the LIFE Runners way? The LIFE Runners is anchored in prayer and devotion to our Lord. We run as a prayer but also offer our training and races as a sacrifice as well. LIFE Runners are also encouraged to pray as they run. The LIFE Runners has their own creed that was written by Dr. Rich Reich who helped found the National LIFE Runners. Before every run all members are encouraged to say the creed: http://liferunners.org/life-runners-creed.
LIFE Runners Raising Awareness
* Why does “REMEMBER The Unborn” appear so prominently on the LIFE Runners Gear? Part of the LIFE Runners mission is to raise awareness. Wearing the LIFE Runner shirt is vital to carrying out that important piece of the LIFE Runner mission. Whether running in a race or training, when people see that it causes them to think about the unborn – to keep it top of mind – before us and others always. We are remembering the over 50 million that have died since 1973. We also want to speak to mothers considering abortion, to remember the unborn. To fathers, brothers, sisters, and friends who know someone who is pregnant or may get pregnant in the future…remember the unborn, always.
* Why do we need to raise awareness? To keep the issue in the forefront of the minds of everyone. That it never becomes ingrained and accepted as part of our culture. That is part of the battle – to keep it from becoming part of the fabric of our lives as an accepted practice. The normalization of the sin of abortion for the convenience of others is why this silent holocaust has been perpetuated for 40 years. Never forget and always remember the unborn. LIFE Runners are part of an over-arching strategy of the pro life movement to eventually make abortion…unthinkable.
LIFE Runners Training
* Do I have to be a fast runner? No, the longer you are on the course the more people see your shirt. We like to say that the best LIFE Runners are the ones that carry the message in the race the longest!
* Where do I find information about proper training? The LIFE Runner website has a vast amount of information about training and other things. http://liferunners.org/references/
* Are there any coaches in the organization? Yes, there are several. Ask questions through contact@LIFErunners.org. The leaders will gladly offer a lot of tips and training info and can help you with your training questions/needs, etc. We have many members in our network that are also knowledgeable and willing to share their experiences with running and training.