RUN FOR INDIA (RFI) is a program that helps train amateur runners for marathons, while raising funds for grassroot projects in India. It is executed on a rolling basis at our chapter. During this major fundraiser, our existing volunteers become ‘runners’ and interested ANYONE turn into runners and into ‘fundraising volunteers’ by training for typically, half- (13.1 miles) or full- (26.2) marathons..
RFI is a ‘two-way’ street. The runners enjoy the overall benefits of running including physical health benefits, boost in confidence and productivity, and not just the physical glow, but the inner glow from contributing to a cause. In turn, RFI helps raise funds and awareness for AID, as well as promoting a feeling of community and support within AID - East Bay. Check out BEAMers (AID East Bay Marathoners') training updates and pictures here.
The beginnings of my ‘running journey’ were humble and filled with skepticism about whether the 13.1 mile (~21.1 km) half-marathon feat was even possible. However, I am living proof that with some motivation, inspiration and training, any novice runner can train to be a half-marathon finisher in a span of 16 weeks. I am a proud ‘finisher’, and this served as personal achievement, and helped raise funds for good causes for the East Bay Chapter of Association for India’s Development (AID). I am proud, overwhelmed and humbled by the generosity of my family and friends who donated to my RFI fundraiser in 2014!
If I can do it, anybody can. Go for it! Just run!
Participating in Run for India was a great experience. RFI is a great cause that I wanted to learn more about, and in the process, I gave myself time to relax and enjoy my physical abilities and the natural beauty of the Bay Area. I learned a lot and strengthened myself physically and mentally. Thank you for the opportunity and the endless support!
My experience with RFI: “When I became a better runner”
I first saw the post on social media about AID - East Bay chapter’s informational event for the "Run for India" (RFI) program. I enrolled with two goals – first to raise money for the Tribal Children's’ Education project, and second to train to complete the run without sustaining any permanent injuries.
I am glad I joined the RFI program for many reasons. I went from being a ‘bad’ runner to ‘good’ runner in 4 short months. Thanks to RFI I was able to run 13.1 miles in San Francisco and am proud to say that our entire group successfully finished the half/ full marathon at San Francisco. We had best of times training for the run, and raised around $7400 for a great cause. I met the beautiful people behind this chapter: Ravi, Sangeetha, Krishna and Tim. They planned and organized all 16 weeks of practice sessions. Tim, a volunteer running coach provided us with all the information we needed. The "Run for India" program has been positively life-changing!
I am a proud finisher of San Francisco half-marathon, 2016. I couldn't have done it without Association of India’s development (AID) - East Bay's support. I feel like I have accomplished much more than just a feeling of finishing half-marathon. With the help of generous donations by friends and family, we raised funds for great projects and good causes supported by AID.
I never ran more than five miles and was able to run half marathon with few months of training. I would not have run, but for the team put together by East Bay’s AID. One gets fit by doing good and it is amazing that running in a group makes it possible to run distances that otherwise seem daunting. The coach and organizers are absolute professionals, caring and top notch.
I ran my first half marathon (and my first race ever) at the San Francisco Marathon 2017. I cannot begin to explain the incredible experience training and finishing the race. My impetus to join the Run for India (RFI) program stemmed from a personal commitment to raise funds for a healthcare project that I help coordinate in Odisha, India. This project is a joint collaboration between AID East Bay Chapter and Swasthya Swaraj, an NGO founded in 2014 by Dr. Aquinas Edassery whose vision is to create a network of health care services and efforts at community empowerment in remote locations with no public healthcare or schools. Specifically, we are working with Dr. Aquinas and her team in to support their efforts in running sustainable healthcare clinics and community programs to tackle severe acute malnutrition (SAM), maternal mortality and malaria in tribal villages. While it was clear to me that a fundraiser was crucial to coordinate this project, I would never have realized that I would be able to raise over $2000 by undertaking this half marathon (yes, people were in disbelief :). This seemingly overwhelming goal would have remained impossible for me without the camaraderie, meticulous training, the generous encouragement we received as part of the RFI program. My big thank you to coach Tim, and organizers!
‘Running’ and ‘I’ were not the words that would fit in one sentence in a positive way until I decided to join RFI training. It's amazing to rediscover yourself, I didn't know I was capable of running 13.1miles when I can't think of 1.3 miles. RFI training is perfect for novice and non-runners like me, completely stress free and super friendly. Made some amazing friends for life through this. I can't believe I am writing this, but after last year's SF Half Marathon, I am getting ready for the SF Full Marathon in 2018, all credit goes to the RFI team :)
Running without any injury and completing the goal of The San Francisco 1/2 Marathon has been such a big personal achievement for both me & Ashish. We owe this achievement to our excellent coach Tim Ketron and an amazing group of people who continued to motivate and inspire us through their own past Marathon run experiences and encouraged us to keep up the training continually through many obstacles that came our way. We are very happy to be a part of the AID East Bay group and happy to volunteer our time and raise awareness in our local community for funding many projects that are being actively undertaken by the AID East Bay volunteer group. We strongly support and believe in the guiding principles on which the three pillars of AID foundation is based on, which are ‘Sangharsh’, ‘Seva’ and ‘Nirman’ meaning courage, commitment and change.
I started running a year ago, a completely new experience for my lifestyle. After being a couch potato, started training for my half marathon. I love running because it makes me feel healthy and strong. Thanks to AID for their support, couldn't have done without them.
It was by pure coincidence that I came across the AID RFI session in East Bay and immediately decided to participate in RFI to run the SF Half Marathon in 2017. I had run a half marathon before but the idea of running across the Golden Gate Bridge, with a support group and contributing to a cause, was just too appealing to me. The experience was fantastic as we started training as a group under expert coaching of Tim, our running coach with the support from everyone in the group was amazing. We not only ran the SF Half Marathon but also raised close to $21000 for AID. Personally I was overwhelmed with the support that I received during fundraising for RFI and felt immensely satisfied with the small contribution that I could make towards the projects run by AID in India. After the marathon event, I decided to become more active with AID East Bay and volunteer with AID. My journey which began with RFI will surely continue as just like the run, life is a marathon and we are in this for a long haul to drive impact through AID in India for the underprivileged.