Every year people (Heroes) volunteer to run the Chicago Marathon representing Mercy Home. These Heroes help Mercy Home reach their fundraising goals that keep the home open in order to help young men and women through difficult situations, whether it be poverty, abuse or neglect. Mile sixteen of marathon passes by Mercy Home and is known as the Mercy Mile, where supporters, young and old, gather to cheer on not only the Mercy Heroes, but all of the runners.
In 2017, over 220 Heroes ran the Chicago Marathon for Mercy Home. This year, over 330 teams and individuals have signed up to run as Heroes with the goal of raising $600,000 to continue providing residence, mentorships and skill development to hundreds of children in the Chicago area.
The Heroes who run have different backgrounds yet they bond over their shared mission: helping the kids of Chicago. Danette Cristel ran her first Chicago Marathon the day after her mother passed away. Despite the loss of her beloved mom, she chose to run the race, drawing strength from her fellow Heroes and the children she knew she was helping. Danette said her mother was competitive and someone who followed through on her promises and that she would understand her decision to run.
“She was the type of person [who said] you paid for that, you better go do that,” Danette said. “And she was a competitor. If you said you were going to do something, you did it.”
Year after year, Kara Myers returns to run the Chicago Marathon for Mercy Home. The first year she ran the marathon, she ran it by herself and recalls how difficult it was to maintain motivation. But now that she runs for Mercy Home, she feels support and that her run makes a difference. Listen to Kara discuss why she runs every year here.
While there isn’t time to train or run the Chicago Marathon this year, if you’re interested in running as a Mercy Hero next year, here are some of the best reasons to run as part of this team.
To support the Heroes, visit Mercy Home’s fundraising page.