Running for a Cause: Meet TEAM ALL HEART
October 7, 2016
On December 11, tens of thousands of runners will gather in the heart of Big D for the 46th annual BMW Dallas Marathon. Twenty-three NM associates will be in the mix (including yours truly), while two associates from NM’s Hawaii store put themselves to the test at the Honolulu Marathon, nearly 4,000 miles away.
Personal goals vary. Some are running the half marathon; some the full. Some just hope to finish; others aspire to set a PR. But every single member of Team All Heart has one thing in common: They’re running for a cause.
Helmed by Kevin Hurst, director of charitable giving, All Heart continues the Neiman Marcus tradition of philanthropy by encouraging associates to become engaged in volunteerism and give back to their communities. Each member of Team All Heart has pledged to fundraise on behalf of the nonprofit of their choice and NM’s All Heart Fund, which supports domestic and international disaster relief and hardship assistance for fellow NM Associates.
Runners hail from coast to coast and the causes they’re fundraising for differ as much as they do. David S. is running for the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation because “it pains me to see little ones suffer,” he says. A rescue-dog owner, Alex U. chose to run for Dallas Pets Alive, a nonprofit that rescues at-risk pets from euthanasia. I’m running on behalf of The Down Syndrome Partnership of North Texas, an organization close to my heart because of the work it does to support individuals with Down syndrome and their families. In college, I was a nanny for a little boy with Down syndrome and remain close friends with the family to this day. You can read everyone’s stories on crowdrise.com/teamallheart2016.
As fundraising kicks off, so does training. I’m not brave enough to tackle the full 26.2 miles (maybe next year?), so I’ve opted to run the half. It’s my second half marathon—my first was on a bitterly cold, rainy December day in 2011. Here’s hoping for better weather the second time around—and better time. In my first race, I clocked two hours and 18 minutes. But considering less than a decade ago I couldn’t run a mile—I credit the Couch to 5K® program with turning me into a runner—I feel a sense of accomplishment merely from participating. Doing so while raising money for charity? It’s the icing on the cake (which, by the way, I fully plan to indulge in after I cross that finish line).
Check back next month to see if I’m surviving training.
This is the third year for Team All Heart to participate. Last year, with NMG CEO Karen Katz on the team, associates raised a staggering $170,000.
Short on motivation? New workout gear always does the trick for me. The essentials I’m wearing on my thrice-weekly runs: A moisture-wicking sports bra and tank, ultra-comfortable leggings—also great for hot yoga classes on rest days—and adidas by Stella McCartney sneakers.