By Linda DuShane White
Lorin Sharp (BSD) (Photo
by Diana Rogers)
Lorin Sharp (BSD) knows people who have run marathons for
many different causes, and she always thought she would like trying one.
Then one day last spring, she saw a poster for the AIDS Honolulu Marathon
(6 Months Training–You Can Do It) and felt it was perfect, offering
excellent training and benefiting a cause she believed in.
This was not, however, a snap decision. "I did the
reading, consulted with my husband and thought about the time commitment,"
said Sharp. "Everyone around you really has to be into it. My husband is a
On December 14, Sharp will run in the Honolulu Marathon.
She started her 6-month training and fundraising program at the beginning
of June, training on her own for 60 miles a week and meeting with a group
of runners on Sundays. There are several such groups in the Bay Area, and
many more across the country.
The marathon will raise money and awareness for the San
Francisco and National AIDS Foundations. Sharp is one of 75 people in her
group, which is broken down into pace groups (smaller training and support
groups) by ability and experience level. All ability levels are
represented, from marathoners and full-time athletes to people who have
never run a step in their lives.
Men and women from their teens to senior years, from all
walks of life, form the groups. The majority of participants have never
done anything like this before, yet ninety-eight percent of them will
complete the 26.2 mile marathon.
The training program combines running and walking to
increase endurance and strength with low risk of injury. "Every week we go
another mile," said Sharp. "You are always succeeding, getting a sense of
accomplishment. I feel good."
Sharp is still amazed at how well this huge challenge is
working for her. Her pace group is now running 10.25 miles, where just a
short time ago five miles seemed an impossible goal. They are training to
run in the sun to prepare for warm Honolulu weather. And before the actual
marathon, all participants will have run the full 26.2 mile distance.
All money raised is donated directly to the AIDS cause for
research, vaccines, food, housing and medical services. Both financial
contributions and volunteering are helpful. "Support of any kind is
welcome," says Sharp. "We rely on volunteers to be sure we’re on track and
to give us water (water stations are every mile or so)." Volunteers are
being sought in all parts of the Bay Area.
For more information see: