Saturday, December 17, 2011

Why Run for Roots? Part 1

Run for Roots is a new initiative that embodies the Roots of Hope mission by seeking to draw attention and collect funds in support of Cuban youth. The participants who will be running the Miami Half Marathon in January 2012 are motivated to do so by the desire to be agents of change and help empower youth on the island through innovative programs such Roots of Hope as Cells 4 Cuba and our Family Reunification Program. To learn more about Run for Roots, visit our website. To donate, visit our Crowdrise page.

Why I'm running

By Miraisy Rodriguez

In all honesty, I'm running because my fellow Roots won't let me quit. That's how I got started too.

Being as involved as I am with Roots of Hope, Inc., it was impossible for me to have missed the excited whispers of a Run for Roots initiative. Less than six months after I first heard the idea, it had become much more than a whisper, and before I knew it I was getting emails and Facebook posts about joining the group and training for the ING Half Marathon.

The I, N...what?! 13.1 miles?! The most I'd ever jogged in my life was 3 miles and that was over two years ago when I was a college student with time on my hands. Now I'm in law school and working and I have a dog and a baby niece!

To my great surprise when I mentioned the idea to my sister, someone who attends quite a bit of Miami Root events, she was ecstatic. Not only did she encourage me to do it, she started training with me! If a young woman with a new born baby could do it...I could too. She wasn't the only Root that jumped on the idea. Many more suddenly started emailing and texting me until I found myself emailing and texting yet more people, asking them to join us.

Sure, our core Miami team isn't as large as the day we first started, but no one has left without talking to someone else on the team and seriously considering whether they should stay. For me, that "should I leave?" talk happened very recently.

A couple of Roots were asking me to confirm the location of the weekly group practice when I decided to call one of them back (the running Guru of the Miami Roots) and tell her I was thinking of quitting. Her response: "No. Try something new... Gatorade instead of water to hydrate. You can't quit. Where's practice?"

So practice goes on, and I continue training, slowly but surely, because my Roots won't let me quit.

Because whether we're running to raise money for Roots of Hope, Inc. or because we're thinking of a friend on that island not so far way, or because we just like running and this is as good a cause as any, one thing's for sure: training together has brought us closer together.

And no one likes to see someone close to them leave.

Miraisy Rodriguez was born in Santa Clara, but raised in Miami. She is a second year law student who likes to blog on her free time and volunteers with the Miami Roots’ Network. Her personal blog may be found at

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