Here are the most commonly asked questions about Cottonwood Runners. Click a category below to find your answers.
What is Cottonwood Runners?
Cottonwood Runners is a group of runners, walkers, and cyclists of all skill levels who raise awareness and support for organizations that help those in need. We do this by raising funds and participating in the Long Beach Marathon as an official charity. This year, we are supporting and raising funds for Grateful Hearts, a non-profit agency that helps meet the basic physical needs of those who are hurting in our local community and abroad.
What is Grateful Hearts?
Grateful Hearts is a 501 C (3) Welfare Corporation, committed to hunger relief and extending a hand-up to those in need. Visit: www.gratefulhearts.org
What is involved in participating with Cottonwood Runners?
Cottonwood Runners register to run, walk, or bike the Long Beach Marathon and raise funds through family, friends and co-workers, to support Grateful Hearts. An optional fifteen week group training program is available to our participants. We encourage Cottonwood Runners to join a group of form a group for fellowship, support and accountability with training and fundraising.
Do I have to raise money?
Yes, one of the main objectives of Cottonwood Runners’ participation in the Long Beach Marathon is to fundraise for organizations that help local and global communities. After submitting your registration fee, there is a minimum fundraising requirement of $300 per person to participate in Cottonwood Runners. Cottonwood Runners have until October 31, 2018 to raise the $300 minimum.
What if I don’t fundraise the $300 minimum?
We encourage you to begin fundraising early, and to seek the help of Cottonwood Runners leaders and fellow runners. We also encourage you to click on the “Fundraising” tab on our webpage, for fundraising tips and ideas. Alternatively, you can make up the difference by donating to your own fundraising page. You can donate to your fundraiser by placing a check or cash in a Cottonwood Church giving envelope and placing it in the offering buckets during service, or the offering slot at the Welcome Center. You MUST include a “RUNNERS DONATION FORM” with any checks or cash. The form can be downloaded here or obtained from Cottonwood Runners leaders or Cottonwood Outreach staff.
Will my cash/check donations show up on my Grassrootz page?
Yes, as long as the cash/check donation is turned in with the Runners Donation Form.
Will my donors who give me a small cash donation receive a receipt?
Yes, submit your Runners Donation Form (completed) and a receipt will be mailed out.
What if I can’t make it to Saturday training?
We encourage you to come to training regularly for the support, accountability, and fellowship, but we understand if you can’t make every Saturday. We encourage you to train on your own if you can’t join us, so you’re physically prepared for race day. If you happen to skip several trainings, we encourage you to come to Saturday training and talk to one of our Cottonwood Runners leaders so they can help you plan how to get back on track with training.
Can I train with the team on Saturdays with a stroller?
The JetBlue Long Beach Marathon will allow you to run the race with a stroller. However, we do not allow strollers during Cottonwood Runners trainings.
Do we train if it rains?
We will train rain or shine! Any changes or cancellations to our Saturday training at the Cottonwood Church campus will be communicated via email or social media.
What are Cottonwood Runners Groups about?
Cottonwood Runners groups are designed to provide support and accountability during the week. Groups will be led by experienced Cottonwood Runners who will provide support and accountability with training, fundraising, etc.
How do I join a group?
After you complete your registration, you may request to join a group by clicking the “Groups” tab on the cottonwood.org/runners website. Click on the group to read the group’s description and make sure that the time and location work for you before you request to join. Your request to join will be approved after we confirm that you have registered with Cottonwood Runners and Active. We ask that you only join ONE group, to give other Cottonwood Runners the opportunity to participate.
What if I want to train with others more than once during the week?
We encourage you to join one group and connect with group members to make arrangements to train outside of scheduled training meetings.
Do I have to join a group?
You don’t have to join a group, but we highly encourage you to; community support and accountability are very important in the training process!
What group should I join?
Use your best judgement when selecting a group to join. The categories for the groups will vary by skill level and race type, i.e. beginner – walk, intermediate – run/walk, advanced — run, intermediate – bike, etc. If you’ve never participated in a race and/or you’re not an experienced runner, we recommend a beginner group. If you’ve participated in races before and/or you have some walking/running experience, we recommend an intermediate group. If you’ve participated in races before and/or you run at a fast pace and/or run for time, we recommend an advanced group. If you need help selecting a group, or you need to be placed in a different group, please email email@example.com for assistance.
What if none of the groups work with my schedule or location?
If none of the groups work with your schedule or location, we encourage you to form a group with fellow Cottonwood Runners. Come to Saturday training to connect with fellow Cottonwood Runners who may become your training buddies during the week!