For Fitness & Fundraising

For Fitness & Fundraising

Around 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 22, thousands of dedicated runners will assemble at William Allen High School to participate in the St. Luke’s Half Marathon and 5K – the oldest such race in the Lehigh Valley.

Among the entrants will be Frank Ford, the network’s recently appointed Chief Integration Officer. An avid runner for most of his adult life, Frank’s been involved in the race – corporately and personally – for many years.

“I arranged for our presenting sponsorship in 2010,” he says, and worked closely with the Lehigh Valley Road Runners. “The race fits well into our mission of health, wellness and promoting an active lifestyle.” He’s also taken part in the race every year since then.

And this year will be no different – with one exception. “This is my first time in the 65-69 age category, and I hope to win that category,” he says. “My goal is to come in around an hour and 50 minutes. It really gets me motivated on cold mornings.”

How does he manage to fit race training into his busy schedule? “You have to make it a priority, a discipline,” he says. “It becomes the way you start your day.”

Although he routinely runs about 30 miles per week, he gets serious about the race in January. In addition to his usual mileage, Frank pushes harder on weekends. “I add a mile each week to those sessions,” he says. “By the time the half-marathon comes around, I’ll be able to go even further than the 13.1-mile course requires.”

But he’s not the only one from St. Luke’s to participate. “We promote the race throughout the network,” he says, “and we get great participation. Between volunteers and runners, there are usually about 250 St. Luke’s employees involved.”

And the race offers a benefit beyond fitness and enjoying outdoor activities. Funds raised by the St. Luke’s Half Marathon and 5k support the Lehigh Valley Road Runners Kids Races, scholarship programs for education and equipment, and expanded communication with parents.

For more information about the race, visit stlukeshalfmarathon.com.

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