Strides of Hope 2017-18


Since 2000 individuals of all ages have discovered the great benefits of physical activities like running and biking, including but not limited to an active and healthy lifestyle as part of Team Asha. All that while helping raise funds for projects supported by Asha in India. Strides of Hope is the half-marathon and full-marathon program organized by the Asha for Education and is one of its core fundraising avenues. Here’s more motivation on why you should run!

Asha Austin started the SOH program in 2005 and over $400,000 has been raised by more than 150 runners in the span of 12 years. We welcome both experienced and novice runners to train and run a marathon or half-marathon. Each mile you run and each dollar you raise will help provide a better future for underprivileged children in India.

Runners can train locally in Austin or remotely from another city. You can also run any race of your choice. Please see our Races page for a listing of races across the country that our runners have participated in. We are also open to our runners targeting different race distances.

Runners can fundraise for the general Asha pool or choose to support one or more projects of their choice. If the latter option is chosen, the money they raise will directly go to the specified project(s).

LocationDateTime
Austin Public Library – Milwood Branch

12500 Amherst Dr, Austin, TX 78727

Saturday, Aug 12th 201710:30 am – 12:30 pm
Ronald McDonald House of Charities

Community Room, 4th Floor
1315 Barbara Jordan Blvd, Austin, TX 78723

Saturday, Aug 12th 2017 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Austin Public Library – Austin History Center

810 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78701

Sunday, Aug 13th 20173:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Austin Public Library – Hampton Branch

5125 Convict Hill Road, Austin, TX 78749

Saturday, Aug 19th 20173:30 pm – 5:00 pm

We offer training programs for runners and walkers, designed with the goal of completing a full marathon or half marathon!

Two training sessions for long distance races in Fall/Winter:

Here are the highlights of Team Asha Full/Half Marathon Training:

  • 14-28 Week Training Program for walkers, casual joggers, and serious runners
  • Two locations : Austin & Round Rock
  • Meet Saturday mornings for the long run/walk
  • 3 weekday training runs including track and hill workouts
  • Experienced and dedicated coaches and mentors
  • Weekly newsletter, seminars on important training/racing information, informal social breakfast and weekday runs with the group, group forum to stay connected, and other social events
  • Technical training shirt

Start Date/Location

  • Austin: Saturday, August 26th at 7:00 a.m. Location : TBD
  • Round Rock: August 26th at 7:00 a.m. Location : TBD

Cost:

  • $TBD : New Runners
  • $TBD : Returning Runners

Target races for our Fall training program targets is:

Dec 10‚ 2017: Decker Half Marathon
More details on how to register here.

February 18, 2018: Austin Marathon. Runners can choose either Full marathon or Half marathon.
More details on how to register here.

 

Austin Distance Challenge
Run Free Texas 8kOctober
Run for Water10 milesNovember
Decker Half Marathon 13.1 milesDecemberSession I Target Race
3M Half-Marathon13.1 milesJanuary
Austin Marathon13.1 miles

26.2 miles

FebruarySession II Target Race

The SOH crew is the team that puts together the program each year for our runners. Though some of the crew members have defined responsibilities, the whole team comes together to make the program a success. The SOH crew is also supported by many more Asha runners and volunteers without whom it would be impossible for us to organize the program. While it would be hard to list all those names here, we want to take this opportunity to thank them for their efforts and enthusiasm.

Coordinators: Subra Nathan & Mohit Sood

Crew: Arun Krishnaswamy & Saurabh Dixit

Coaches :  Subra Nathan, Mohit Sood, Gaurav Agrawal, Arvind Vishwanath, Bharath Thandri & Div Agrawal

Mentors : Alisha Pandhi, Ranga Srinivasan, Vishal Aslot

Who is a mentor?

A mentor is a Team Asha alumni who has successfully trained and completed the Strides of Hope program and met or exceeded their fundraising goals. Mentors motivate and initiate newbies into the sport of running and the challenge of fundraising. From a training perspective, the mentor is a liasion between the coach and the runner. Mentors will help coaches identify the runners who need their immediate attention, while keeping track of each of their mentees’ training schedules and running paces. From a fundraising perspective, mentors will provide support and fundraising resources to their mentees. Hence the mentor acts as the first point of contact for the runner.

How does a mentor benefit?

A mentor gets an insight into the art of motivation and teaching. As many previous mentors will testify, it is fun to introduce a person to running and help him or her avoid the pitfalls that a beginner typically faces. But the ultimate joy and satisfaction is in seeing all their mentees complete their own marathons while at the same time raising funds for a great cause. In fact, mentors can make a huge difference; they get the double opportunity of helping newbies raise funds as well as raising funds themselves. Each mentor will go through a training session which focuses on effective mentoring.

How do I become a mentor?

If you’re interested in becoming a mentor, send an email to austin.marathon@ashanet.org. There will be a selection process right before the start of the training program. Once selected, you will need to attend a mandatory orientation session.

“The greatest reward of an effort is not what you get from it, but what you become by it.”

Many people start running for health and fitness reasons. Others start off running because they have family history of heart disease or obesity and choose to combat these risks with exercise. Still others run for charity, and still more run just because running is fun and it makes them feel good. Stress relief, strength, and weight loss are all reasons why people run. Irrespective of why a person takes up the sport of running, he or she undoubtedly enjoys the following benefits:

  • Health
  • Fitness
  • Maintain the right weight
  • Longevity
  • Undisturbed sleep
  • Stress-free life

Running aside, why would anybody want to run a marathon? It obviously involves a lot of time and effort. However, the glamour and tradition of the classic distance (26.2 miles) captures the imagination and presents the ultimate fitness challenge. It is like climbing the highest mountain. As the longest, most grueling, and most unpredictable of mainstream endurance running events, it symbolizes fitness and performance. It is agony and it is ecstasy.

With Strides of Hope, in addition to the above benefits, you get to make a difference in the lives of thousands of underprivileged children in India. By running and raising funds for Asha, you will undergo an experience that you will cherish for a lifetime. So come improve your running ability and give the underprivileged children of India the gift of education. So what is your excuse? Let’s get running!!

“I always loved running. It was something you could do by yourself and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow, as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.”

– Jesse Owens

  1. How many miles is a marathon? A half marathon?
  2. Is there a minimum fitness-level requirement?
  3. What is Asha?
  4. What is Strides of Hope?
  5. What does the Strides of Hope training program provide?
  6. I do not live in Austin. Can I still train remotely and still be part of Team Asha Austin?
  7. I live in San Antonio/Round Rock/Cedar Park, do I have to go to Austin to run with the team for training?
  8. Will I still get access to all the benefits if I do not train with Team Asha’s partner?
  9. Will being part of Team Asha guarantee me a spot at my target race?
  10. Will Asha cover my registration fee for my target race?
  11. What kind of commitment is expected from the runners?
  12. When does the program begin? Is there a last date to join?
  13. When and where is the marathon I’ll be training for?
  14. I see several marathons on the Calendar. Do I have to run all of them?
  15. Can I choose a non-Austin marathon as my target race?
  16. I might be interested but I’m just not sure.
  17. I’m in. Where do I go from here?

How many miles is a marathon? A half marathon?

A marathon is 26.2 miles; a half marathon is 13.1 miles.

Is there a minimum fitness-level requirement?

There isn’t a minimum fitness level to join the training program. However, as with any exercise program, it is recommended that you consult your doctor before beginning physical training.

In order to complete a marathon or half marathon, it is recommended that you should be able to run 2 miles continuously at any speed or 30 minutes continuously. Team Asha’s ramp-up program (scheduled in August) leading to the actual training schedule (beginning in September/October) is designed to get all levels of runners up to this stage of running so they can transition smoothly into the regular schedule. Your goal may be more vigorous depending on the type of distance/time you plan to run (such as an under-4-hour marathon). Or your goal may be less; note that it is not required that you RUN the entire distance–some people choose to walk parts of the race. You can and should discuss your individual fitness level and marathon goals directly with your coach. During past marathon programs (organized by various Asha chapters), people from all fitness levels completed their target races. The keys to your success will be discipline and commitment to the training program.

What is Asha?

Asha for Education is a non-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to bringing socio-economic change in India using primarily the medium of education. To read more about Asha’s charter and projects please visit Asha Austin’s website.

What is Strides of Hope?

Strides of Hope (SOH.) is the half-marathon- and full-marathon-training program organized by the Austin chapter of Asha for Education and is one of its core fundraising avenues.
Through this program, we hope to encourage people who are brand new to the world of endurance running as well as those who are experienced runners to make a physical and fiscal commitment to help provide a better future for underprivileged children in India and contribute towards development work.

What does the Strides of Hope training program provide?

  • A comprehensive marathon-training package (for full and half marathons) conducted by professional coaches from a Professional Training Organization and supported by experienced runners.
  • Schedules for everyday training. This will be a well-paced training program consisting of hard-training days, easy-training days, rest days, suggestions for cross-training, and more.
  • The opportunity to draw from the experience of coaches and past runners (mentors).
  • The opportunity to network with past marathoners and fellow runners in the local community.
  • The opportunity to discuss ideas with past participants and people who have raised funds.
  • Buddy runs.
  • Clinics on running techniques, injury prevention and diagnosis, gear selection, etc.
  • Nutrition clinics (how to train your body to burn energy over sustained periods of time).

I do not live in Austin. Can I still train remotely and still be part of Team Asha Austin?

Yes, you can train on your own and still fundraise for Team Asha Austin. Please get in touch with us and we will tell you more about how to do this.

I live in San Antonio/Round Rock/Cedar Park, do I have to go to Austin to run with the team for training?

At this point of time, the training workouts are conducted only in Austin.

Will I still get access to all the benefits if I do not train with Team Asha’s partner?

The benefits are available to all Team Asha runners. However, if you live in Austin, we recommend that you train with our recommended training partner, which will be announced soon. If you are unable to do so, please contact one of the SOH coordinators to discuss this, and we will assist you in arriving at a solution that best fits your needs.

Will being part of Team Asha guarantee me a spot at my target race?

No. We recommend registering for the race early to guarantee a place for yourself.

Will Asha cover my registration fee for the race that I decide to run (target race)?

No. Runners will have to cover registration fees on their own.

What kind of commitment is expected from the runners?

  • Train for 4-5 months (train with the team twice a week).
  • Have a weekly training schedule.
  • Choose a minimum of $750 or $1000 or $1500 in your target race to support the cause of basic education of underprivileged children in India. This amount is not linked to the distance you run. You can choose any of the above amounts and your goal would be to raise the selected minimum amount.

When does the program begin? Is there a last date to join?

The training program begins in September 2011. More details about the dates and locations will be announced soon. It is recommended that you attend the first day of training. If you have further questions regarding the deadline, please contact us.

When and where is the marathon I’ll be training for?

Team Asha trains mainly for the Austin full marathon and half marathon, and the 3M Half Marathon/Relay for the half-marathon program as the main target races; these are on February 20, 2011, and January 30, 2011 respectively. However, it is entirely up to the individual runners to decide which races they are targeting–after consulting with their coaches. Each runner’s training schedule will vary accordingly to satisfy this goal. (Race calendar)

I see several marathons on the Calendar. Do I have to run all of them?

No. Each race is optional. It is entirely up to the runner to decide which race(s) he/she wants to run other than the target race. It is highly recommended to do a couple of shorter races (i.e., those with distances less than what the runner is aiming for in the target race) in the run up to the main target races so that the runner gets a feel for what it’s like to run in a race atmosphere.

Can I choose a non-Austin marathon as my target race?

Yes. You will have to take care of your own airfare, accommodation and other race-related expenses, as these will not be covered by Asha.

I might be interested but I’m just not sure.

Feel free to contact any of the program coordinators or mentors to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.

I’m in. Where do I go from here?

Register for the program. We will email you the commitment form and have you on your way to your training!