CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. - Despite having no competitive running experience, Horace Greeley High School graduate Hannah Beck only had to ask herself one question before deciding to enter New York City's annual half marathon.
"If I can help a couple more children, then why not?" said Beck.
Beck will be lining up alongside world-class runners in New York City on March 18 to compete in the 13.1 mile race for the Fresh Air Fund, a non-profit organization that provides free summer experiences for inner-city children.
"I think it's an amazing cause and I love running to begin with, so I felt that this was the perfect opportunity to give something back and put my running to really good use," said Beck.
Beck attended Douglas G. Grafflin Elementary School and Robert E. Bell Middle School before graduating from Horace Greeley High School in 2005. She began running at 15 years old as a way of staying in shape while competing for Greeley's volleyball team.
Leading up to the race, Beck is hoping to raise $1,000 in donations. The money Beck raises would provide bus rides for 50 children to and from Fresh Air Fund programs. She has currently raised $320 and will continue to take donations until April 2.
According to Beck, the non-profit organization helped nearly 4,000 children visit volunteer host families in suburbs and small town communities across 13 states in 2011.
You can spend up to two weeks with host families, just taking in country life or the suburban life. Just enjoying those areas, said Beck. There are programs in Vermont, Virginia, Maine, New Hampshire, Chappaqua even.
With the half-marathon less than two months away, Beck has ramped up her training . Her goal is to finish the 13.1-mile race in under two-and-a-half hours.
The way I've been running, I think I'll be fine, she said.
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