The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is one of the most prestigious races as one of six Abbott World Marathons. Running among athletes from around the world throughout the landscape of the City of Chicago, being cheered on every step of the way, is a feeling like no other.

Erika’s Lighthouse is now accepting applications for the 2021 Chicago Marathon. To inspire you, we have compiled a list of reasons you should join our team and race to Get Depression Out of the Dark.

1. Together, we can end the stigma

Erika’s Lighthouse offers all of our resources at absolutely no cost ever, including over 100 evidence-informed, depression awareness resources for educators, parents, and teens. Your fund-raising efforts help to ensure educators across the world are equipped with effective tools to talk with teens about mental health. Together, we can make sure no teen ever feels alone in their depression. 

2. Charity Running Provides You With A Purpose

As part of Team Resilience, you are guaranteed entry into this prestigious race and you are part of a community motivated by helping teens with depression. There is a true sense of achievement you will feel training for a race and even more so making it to the finish line. When you are running for a reason, you will feel an even stronger purpose. Not only do you have the goal of finishing the race, but the fundraising goals you set motivate you to push even harder. You really are making a difference and your fundraising thermometer is a great visual. Even if you aren’t the fastest runner, you may be the strongest fundraiser–and that is bragging rights too!

3. Motivation To Train

We all know how hard it can be to stay motivated to run and train. Sore legs, blisters on your feet, weather that isn’t cooperating are easy excuses to stop or even give up. However, knowing that Erika’s Lighthouse is counting on you will help you to stay focused. Knowing that you are truly making a difference is so important. We also have one of the best trainers around, Coach Mark Buciak, who has run 64 career Marathons and has over 45 years of running/coaching experience.

4. Personal Reasons

You may have your own personal reasons for wanting to support our mission to end the stigma and Get Depression Out of the Dark. Chances are, you know someone who has or loves someone suffering from depression. Depression is the most common mental health disorder. And each year, 1 in 8 teens experience depression. If you are comfortable, share this with your friends and family when fundraising. We have seen great success with stories.

5. Support Surrounding The Event

Erika’s Lighthouse provides plenty of support for Team Resilience; before, during and after the event. Our coach, Mark Busicak provides training plans, even for our out of state/country runners. We also provide you with fundraising tips and all the support and encouragement you could ever ask for.

6. You’re Part Of A Team

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon draws in runners from all over the world. Running in this race is one of the most fulfilling events a runner can experience. There is a sense of camaraderie among all of these runners who are driving to the finish line together. Team Resilience runners also train together and are cheering each other on every step of the way. You start off as teammates, you end up as friends.

7. Race Day

Erika’s Lighthouse makes the day of the race foolproof for you, ensuring you have everything you need, including race swag, cheerleaders, stations along the way and a personal race suite to meet your family and friends afterward. We also have professional trainers there to help you stretch out at the end. Our cheering stations will keep you motivated and let you know, you really matter to us.

8. Matching Donations

If you work for an organization that matches donations, you have the opportunity to easily double your fundraising by taking advantage of your company’s matching funds. This is yet another great opportunity to support our mission.


9. Helping Raise Awareness

By running for Team Resilience, you will be wearing our logo and promoting our mission throughout the 26.2 miles you are racing. When you are fundraising, you are also sharing our mission and may even open up avenues to talk about depression which is one step to helping end the stigma.

10. Running Gets You Fit

For those of you who are starting out in running, training for a race can be challenging but also very rewarding. Coach Mark will set up a training plan for you to make sure you are successful and reach your goals. Not only does he offer running tips, he helps you with nutrition tips as well so that you are fueling your body effectively. You may just end up in the best shape of your life.

By deciding to run for Team Resilience, you are contributing to our mission with your fundraising. Even more exciting, is the fact that you are also investing in your physical health and well-being. So, you are helping teens across the globe, while taking care of yourself. What can be better than taking care of yourself while helping others? 

Get Depression Out of the Dark