Runner Rises to the Challenge
September 15, 2016 by Alissa Hazlett
This year marks the third time Matthew Fortney signed up to run in the FirstEnergy Marathon, Half Marathon & Team Relay. Competing in the half marathon puts him one step closer to his goal of completing a full marathon and qualifying to run in the Boston Marathon. In addition to running, he also took an extra step to become a Children’s Champion because of a personal connection to Akron Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
“My supervisor had a set of twins who were born prematurely and had to stay in the NICU at Akron Children’s,” Matthew said. “Unfortunately, after about 3 months, one of the babies passed away.”
The twins’ story impacted Matthew and he signed up as a Children’s Champion to raise money to make a difference for Akron Children’s patients.
“I would encourage runners to sign up as Children’s Champions because children can’t help themselves,” Matthew said. “Any amount, whether it’s one dollar, 10 dollars or one thousand dollars, will help these children.”
Matthew will be the first to admit that while he’s been running since high school and has ran in a lot of races, he doesn’t enjoy long-distance running.
“I do it because it’s a challenge for me, and I have an ambition to win,” Matthew said.
Matthew’s love of a challenge extended to his fundraising – after surpassing the $1,000 Children’s Champion fundraising goal, he raised his goal to $2,000.