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Marathoner Helps Children for the Long Run

Sloan Alexander at the NYRR Marathon being cheered on by his family.

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Ending school shootings requires the dedication of running a marathon. There are sprints of progress. But a lasting culture change for violence prevention takes time and dedication. And our guest blogger, elite runner Sloan Alexander, has been with us every step of the way. Here he shares the story of his path to help protect our kids.

It was only a few days after the Sandy Hook tragedy when my three-year-old daughter leaned in close: “Daddy, I’m scared someone is going to shoot me,” she said. That’s when I knew I needed to do something.

That moment has always stuck with me. I start to tear up when I think about it.

I’ve felt a profound connection to Sandy Hook Promise, and have been working to support the organization ever since. Besides holding a charity concert to raise money for the organization, I’ve participated in the New York City Marathon. Join me in helping Sandy Hook Promise make a difference.

I am running the 2021 Chicago Marathon on October 10th! You can also follow me during the race with the 2021 Bank of American Chicago Marathon mobile app. (*The mobile app will be available soon).  

Teenage Dreams Aren’t What They Used to Be

I also had the honor helping create a new public service campaign for Sandy Hook Promise this year. It’s an arrangement of Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream sung and performed by teenagers who also were victims of gun violence. It is an emotional and important message. Being a part of this campaign has been an experience that has further moved me to do what I can to make a difference. Please take a few minutes to watch and share.

26 Miles Have So Much Meaning

At each of the 26 miles of the race, I thought about the victims from Sandy Hook. I hit a wall towards the end of the first marathon and I was in a lot of pain. But I thought about the pain these families must have felt and it carried me through the last four miles. Running is a unique sport that can transform a tragedy into something positive. Releasing your emotional pain through running is cathartic for the soul.

Running the NYC Marathon in 2018 for Sandy Hook Promise was such an amazing experience.  After it was over, I wanted to continue giving back. So I ran the NYC Marathon again with the SHP team again in 2019. Then 2020 and COVID-19 came along and our lives turned upside-down. The NYC Marathon was cancelled, but I knew I still had to do something to keep my promise to protect children. That’s why I decided to run my own marathon.

I ran a solo marathon in 2020 and we raised over $2,000 dollars. It was an amazing show of support from friends, family and everyone at Sandy Hook Promise. Now I am running 2021 Chicago Marathon on October 10th. Please help me in honoring all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation by following the donation links below. 

How You Can Help 

Give generously to Sandy Hook Promise through Sloan’s fundraiser to help end school shootings and prevent violence.

Support Dylan’s Wings of Change to help counter the epidemic of social isolation and exclusion in honor of Dylan Hockley.