February 13, 2018 by Let Me Run National
Left: Grant Armistead (far right) with the first Let Me Run team
Right: Grant after the 2017 TCS NYC Marathon with his mother & LMR Founder Ashely Armistead
Grant Armistead was one of the original fourteen boys on the pilot Let Me Run team in 2009. Eight years later, he ran the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon as a Charity Runner to give back to the program that helped shape him as a boy.
Growing up playing sports, Grant always wondered what it would be like to run a marathon, so when the opportunity to join Let Me Run’s New York City Marathon Charity Runner team came across his path, he applied.
Grant said he decided to apply because, “Let Me Run has given so much to me. Being one of the first LMR boys is more than an honor. I learned so much from participating for two years, including how to be a leader, work on a team, be encouraging, and build long-lasting, healthy relationships. I hope running the NYC marathon and fundraising for LMR put a dent into the debt I feel that I owe to the program.”
Out of all of Let Me Run’s Charity Runner applicants, Grant had the highest personal fundraising goal of $10,000. This was no small task for Grant, who had never run a marathon or fundraised before.
Grant was nervous, but said, “I wanted to really challenge myself and put myself out there into the ‘fire’, so to speak. I learned many things as a LMR boy, but one of the lessons that stuck with me was the ability to push myself. Whether it was fundraising or through training for the marathon, I always had the drive and motivation to push myself to limits I never thought possible because Let Me Run taught me how to reach beyond my comfort level. Throughout all the training and fundraising, I got comfortable being outside my comfort level.“
“These values that I learned as a LMR boy, helped me through miles 15-23 of the marathon, the hardest thing I have ever done. Crossing the finish line and achieving my goal was one of the most satisfying things I have ever felt in my whole entire life. I cannot describe the feeling that went throughout my body when I crossed the finish line. It was a once-in-a-lifetime thing that I will never forget.”
Not only did Grant finish the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon in 3 hours and 58 minutes, he raised $11,050 for the Let Me Run program.
Thanks to his fundraising, at least 100 more boys will be able to grow in the Let Me Run program, like Grant did. “Let Me Run has taught me an array of things, but the most important thing I learned is to be encouraging, not discouraging, and to lift others up. In our world today, there is a lot of hate and discouraging things happening. So staying positive, being encouraging, and lifting others up goes a long way.”
To anyone considering becoming a LMR Charity Runner, Grant will tell you, “DO IT, have fun with it, don’t stress over it, embrace it, push yourself out of your comfort level, and it will be the best, most satisfying thing you have done in a while.”