American Stroke Association's 'Train to End Stroke' Offers a Unique Opportunity for Groups of Runners, Walkers

Ready to take on a new challenge for a good cause? The American Stroke Association's new Train to End Stroke program might be just what you're looking for.

Train To End Stroke (TTES) is a team endurance training and fundraising program benefiting the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association. The program provides a great opportunity to run or walk a full or half marathon in an exciting destination like San Diego or Hawaii while raising much-needed funds for stroke research, family services, education, and advocacy programs.

It's not necessary to be an accomplished runner to participate. Over 94 percent of participants have never completed a full or half marathon, and over 60 percent of participants walk instead of run. The program is designed for beginners who wish to get in the best shape of their lives.

Here's how it works: Every Saturday morning, teams of runners and walkers meet to train at Heather Farms in Walnut Creek, where they will receive personalized coaching as well as special clinics on subjects like nutrition, stretching, and injury prevention. The coaches, qualified in both running and walking, will also provide schedules to each participant for their weekday workouts. Each runner or walker is also paired with a mentor who has completed TTES in the past who will share their ideas for success from their own experience.

There's also a fundraising aspect to the program. Participants are provided with a personal fundraising web site and a TTES handbook filled with fundraising ideas and sample letters to assist them in reaching their fundraising goal, as well as promotional materials like posters and stationery.

Those who meet the minimum fundraising goals receive a host of benefits, including air transportation and hotel accommodations in either San Diego, site of the San Diego Rockin' Marathon, or Hawaii, where the Kunitake Farms Kona Marathon and Half-Marathon will be held this summer. Other benefits like the race entry fee and pre- and post-race parties are included.

The funds go to a good cause, with 70 percent of each donation going to the research and educational programs of the American Stroke Association, which spent more than $162 million on these programs in fiscal year 2004. The remaining 30 percent goes towards travel and administrative costs.

For additional information or to schedule a presentation on TTES for your company, contact Emily Dumphy of the American Heart Association at (510) 904-4013 or .

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