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.

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).

“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

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:
Highlights of Team Asha Full/Half Marathon Training:
  • 14-28 Week Training Program for walkers, casual joggers, and serious runners
  • Multiple locations : South Austin, Downtown, Round Rock & Cedar Park
  • 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 (moisture wicking)
Locations
  • South Austin
  • Central Austin
  • Round Rock
  • Cedar Park
Start Date / Kickoff Run & Walk
Cost:
  • $50 : New Runners
  • $50 : Returning Runners
Austin Race Calendar (Fall)
Run Free Texas 8kOctober 8, 2017
Run for Water10 milesNovember 5, 2017
Decker Half Marathon 13.1 milesDecember 10‚ 2017Session I Target Race
3M Half-Marathon13.1 milesJanuary 21, 2018
Austin Marathon13.1 miles

26.2 miles

February 18, 2018Session II Target Race
We run so they can read

Team Asha runners raise funds for Asha for Education, Austin chapter, which helps support education initiatives for underprivileged children in India. Since 2005, Team Asha has raised over $400,000. 100% of funds raised are sent to projects in India.

Fundraising Goal

Fundraising goal for all Team Asha runners is $50/mile, i.e $650 for half-marathon $1300 for full-marathon.

The deadline to raise funds is Dec 31, 2017 for runners who wish to run a target race in Season 1,
and February 28, 2018 for runners who wish to run a target race in Season 2.

Fundraising

As with training to run a Half or Full Marathon, fundraising can be learned. Most runners in past years have raised more than the minimum required amount, and Team Asha will help you succeed in your fundraising too!

Coordination Team
2017 Team : Subra Nathan, Mohit Sood, Arun Krishnaswamy, & Saurabh Dixit

The Coordination team 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 Asha coaches, mentors 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.

Coaches & Mentors
Location
Coaches
Mentors
South AustinBharath ThandriRanga Srinivasan
DowntownGaurav AgarwalGayatri Rao
Round RockSubra NathanVishal Aslot
Cedar Park Arvind VishwanathMohit Sood

Team Asha Coaches have multiple years of endurance running experience and a long association with Team Asha as Coaches and past-Mentors. Most of our Coaches have run multiple marathons, while some have run Ultra marathons up to 100 miles as well. They play a key role in design our training program and tailor it for the runners when needed. Coach will lead all the training runs and workouts.

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 liaison 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 many miles is a marathon and 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 program is designed to get all levels of runners and walker to cross the finish line. 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 experienced coaches and supported by experienced mentors.
  • Schedules for weekly 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Round Rock/Cedar Park, do I have to go to Austin to run with the team for training?

Weekday runs & workouts are available in Round Rock, Cedar Park, South Austin & Downtown. Our weekend long run will be at one location, which will be announced weekly.

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 us. 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 target 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 14 weeks for Half-marathon OR 28 weeks for Full-marathon.
  • 1 weekend long run/walk, 1 weekday workout, plus 2-3 easy short run/walks.
  • Fundraise $650 (half-marathon) or $1300 (full-marathon) by your target race to support the cause of basic education of underprivileged children in India.

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

The training program begins in August 26, 2017.

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

Team Asha-Austin mainly trains for half/full marathons in Austin. Session 1 target race is Decker half marathon. Session 2 target race is Austin full marathon or half marathon. 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.

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

No. All races except target race are 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 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!


  • Team AshaTeam Asha 2008-09
  • Team AshaTeam Asha 2017
  • Team AshaTeam Asha 2009-10
  • Team Asha 2011-12Team Asha 2011-12
  • Team Asha 2010-11Team Asha 2010-11

Strides of Hope : 2017 Long Runs

LocationTime & DateMileage
Murchison Middle School (Tracks)7:00 am, Sep 30th (Sat)6 miles