Run to change a life

Registration for Chai Lifeline’s charity marathon-running training program, Teen Lifeline, has opened, and a group is training in Los Angeles for the first time since the program started in 2006.

Every participating runner must raise $3,600, with all the proceeds benefitting Camp Simcha and Camp Simcha Special, Chai Lifeline’s medically supervised summer camps in New York for children with life-threatening illnesses.

“This is a local training team, so California people can get together, have camaraderie and prepare for the race together,” said Moshe Turk, national race director for Team Lifeline. “There have always been participants from L.A., but never before a structured” group that trains together.

Those who join Team Lifeline can choose to run in either the Rock ’n’ Roll Las Vegas marathon and half marathon, taking place this December, or the ING Miami marathon or half marathon in January 2012.

Chai Lifeline pays for each runner’s round-trip airfare to either Miami or Las Vegas, three nights in a hotel, transportation to and from the marathons, optional Shabbat dinners and lunches, and pre-race pasta parties (provided he or she has met the minimum fundraising requirement).

Turk said that Team Lifeline raised $1.6 million last year, with almost 400 participants from 26 cities. Proceeds from Team Lifeline help Chai Lifeline keep the summer camps free to families with children suffering from pediatric diseases, including cancer, blood disorders and other chronic illnesses.

Local Team Lifeline runners, in addition to having the benefit of a group to run and train with, will receive a detailed training schedule that says exactly how much they should be running each week and online coaching.

“The majority [of runners] have no running experience,” Turk said. This is for everyone — “from the couch potato to the marathoner.”