Posted by: getthenac | April 8, 2010

Running for a cause

by Rhonda Kelley

Anyone who works at Vanderbilt or its surrounding area can guess the Country Music Marathon is quickly approaching. Spring is upon us and runners fill the streets at all times of day and night, training for the big race or just enjoying a good run for exercise. Drivers in the area have to carefully watch for running pedestrians just in case they suddenly appear, gliding along the sidewalk or passing by at a stop light. It’s running season in Nashville and in a few weeks, over 30,000 runners and walkers from around the country will crowd West End to complete 13.1 or 26.2 miles.

I will be in the large crowd of participants at 6 a.m. on April 24, with nervous jitters in my stomach trying to prepare my body for the task ahead. I too am a runner. I glide the streets of the Vanderbilt area in the evenings training for my fourth half marathon.  I get a “runner’s high”, using my favorite form of exercise as a time for thinking and meditation on life. On the weekends, I partake in long runs with my mother, sister and my significant other.

Running has become a family affair. My family and I sign up for several short races each year and at least one half marathon. It’s our way of keeping in shape with a goal in mind, gathering together on the weekend for a fun race or a long run, and passing down the importance of exercising to our new generation.  The Country Music Marathon is a fun race that gives us a sense of accomplishment but our favorite races are the ones that raise money for a cause.  Your entry fee is donated to the organization in need and you participate in support of the cause. Vanderbilt is sponsoring and participating in several upcoming runs and walks to benefit different organizations.  So lets get out in this great Spring weather, hit the pavement and support a cause. I will be the one fist pumping to some great music on my iPod or chatting away with my mother and sister.

  • Saturday, April 10, 5k race with Rescue and Aid for the Dominican Republic (RADR) that benefits both Children of the Nations International (COTNI) and Partners in Health.

  • Sunday, April 18, March of Dimes March for Babies. Join the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt team at the link below.

  • Saturday, May 1, the second annual Shade Tree Trot to support the Shade Tree Clinic, a free health clinic run by Vanderbilt medical students.


  1. 1.

    Rhonda, I’m in awe. I’ll be in the waaaaaay back of the line with the walkers, participating in my third half marathon, this one with Gilda’s Gang, to raise awareness of and benefit Gilda’s Club Nashville.

    Check out our blog to learn more about Gilda’s and the Gang:

    And best of luck!!!

    PS — do you have any blister tips for me? I need some sage advice!

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