Carroll Coach Runs for St. Jude Heroes Program
On January 7, 2023, Lynx Cross Country and Track & Field head coach Justin Metzger participated in the 30th Walt Disney World Half Marathon on behalf of the St. Jude Heroes Program.
The St. Jude Heroes Program is a nationwide initiative to battle childhood cancer, encouraging runners to collect donations while training for the event. “I found the program while looking for a charity run to get involved in and it was perfect for me,” said Justin. “I have made donations to St. Jude in the past, so it just made sense. Running in the Walt Disney World Half Marathon was another easy decision as I travel down there all the time to visit Disney. I have season passes so the trip was easy to set up.”
Once Justin was registered for the race, he took to social media to start his fundraising. He made posts highlighting his training efforts, some of which featured a red St. Jude Hero singlet that he would wear in the half marathon.
It was humbling to run for something bigger than yourself. I would encourage anyone who runs to try something similar at least once. You would be surprised how much you can achieve!
“I started my campaign back around Thanksgiving and people were very generous,” Justin explained. By the end of the year, he had raised over $2,300. By the day of the marathon, there was more than $2,500 donated by Justin’s supporters for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“I have made a lot of connections during my time coaching and training in Carroll County,” Justin said, “so it was cool to see all those different people come together to help me in this cause.”
After most of the fundraising was done, Justin traveled down to Orlando, Florida to complete the half marathon at Walt Disney World. “The run itself was an amazing experience and different than any I have ever been to. Instead of people pushing for times and trying to outclass each other, everyone ran for their own causes and reasons. The results did not matter; what was collectively achieved was most important.”
Overall, $105,000 was raised between all St. Jude Heroes in attendance. “The whole event gave me a new perspective on running,” Justin said. “It was humbling to run for something bigger than yourself. I would encourage anyone who runs to try something similar at least once. You would be surprised how much you can achieve!”
Justin’s training ended just in time for Carroll athletes to gear up for the College’s third Track & Field season. While the marathon may be over, you can still donate to Justin’s cause here.
To learn more about how to get involved and become a St. Jude Hero, follow this link.