BY NICKI CONROY, A 2016 ASHEVILLE MARATHON AMBASSADOR
The Asheville Marathon and Half at Biltmore Estate partners with different local charities each year. These charities have runners who, on top of training for the race, also raise funds for the charities. This is the third in a series profiling some of the charity runners in this year’s Asheville Marathon and Half at Biltmore Estate.
Megan May has been apprehensive since beginning her training for her first ever half marathon to take place at the Asheville Marathon and Half at Biltmore Estate. The apprehension has never crossed into her passion for the Young Life, the charity for which she is running and raising funds.
Megan readily says that her training has had ups and downs. The recent winter weather and applying to nursing school have been bumps in her training road. She had just finished the Whole30 challenge when she decided to run her first half marathon for Young Life. She decided if she could volunteer to be the wait staff at a weekend retreat and have to see food she loved but not be able to eat it, she could train and run a half.
May’s biggest insecurity in this journey has been her pace. As with a lot of new runners, she has compared herself to others and almost always qualifies her “I’m running a half marathon” with “but I’m slow.” She would advise runners, especially after her own journey, that there should be no negative self-talk. You’re doing it. Negative self-talk simply inhibits your potential.
Megan was really amped about her fundraising to start and then there was a slight lull but she is positive she is going to reach her goal. She used word of mouth to get the word out about her running this half marathon and raising funds for Young Life. She has also used Instagram, Facebook, and email. The majority of her fundraising has come online.
As Megan told me about her lifelong association with Young Life, she realized Young Life has never not been a part of her life. While she was not personally involved until she was in high school, her parents were involved. Her mom told stories to her of being a Young Life leader. As a child, she got to go to Camp Saranac. Like most little girls, she wanted to be like her mom so she joined Young Life when she started high school. Her very first meeting she felt so welcomed and loved. As a high school junior, Megan began leading Wild Life which is for middle school students. She continued with Young Life in college but felt, in hindsight, she might have been doing so out of obligation and might have been better to step back a bit. Upon moving back to Asheville, she knew she wanted to get involved again.
Megan is out to show Young Life 13.1 miles worth of appreciation for the impact it has had on her life. You can contribute to Megan’s fundraising at https://giving.younglife.org/Views/evt/dsp_ParticipantPage.cfm?idEvent=371&idUser=87686.