Star Athletes Join in “Happy Running”
Every year for the past 11 years on the third Sunday in December, Fubon has invited the best long-distance runners in the world and the general public to gather in the plaza outside Taipei City Hall and participate in Taiwan’s premier marathon. During its decade-long run, the Taipei Fubon Marathon has blossomed into the country’s most iconic international sports event and catalyzed Taiwan’s running culture, and is now the “can’t miss” race for Taiwan’s most avid runners.
The theme of the 2014 Taipei Fubon Marathon -- “Happy Running”– encouraged participants to appreciate the “healthy and happy” essence of the sport and enjoy their run while at the same time contributing to charity.In 2013, the event pioneered the use of the runners’ racing chips for charity and raised more than NT$1.2 million from over 12,000 runners. Participation was even more enthusiastic in 2014, with about 16,000 runners (or nearly 40 percent of all participants) contributing a total of NT$1.6 million that went to five social welfare groups. Having runners donate their NT$100 chip deposits to charity has turned the timing devices into social welfare milestones.
Fubon also turned the distance every marathon participant ran into “social welfare love funds” by contributing NT$1 per kilometer run. The funds were then donated to charity on behalf of the 5,000 people who helped put the marathon together. All told, a total of NT$22 million was raised.
A month before the Taipei Fubon Marathon, Fubon Life created a “Cloud Marathon” online workout for the first time and linked it to charity. Participants simply had to upload screenshots of their mobile phones showing the distance that they ran, and if they accumulated 30,000 kilometers, Fubon would donate NT$1 million to the “Cloud Marathon” charity fund. Participating runners hit the target in just one week, with the NT$1 million donated by Fubon going to the National Volunteer Firefighter Association to help fire departments in remote areas update their protective gear.
‘Marathon Dream Project’
Rean initially saw running as simply a way to get exercise, but as she ran more she tried to appreciate what other runners were saying, that running “is a conversation with yourself” and that “it helps me relax.” But all she felt, unfortunately, was agony. “All I want to is get to the finish line, lie down, drink a lot of water and have this end.” It wasn’t until the second half-marathon of her life that she pushed through despite being on the verge of collapse and ended up winning prize money for finishing fourth in the women’s division. She was ecstatic and suddenly had an idea: to donate her winnings to the Stray Cats Protection Association.
Having a tangible objective gave running new meaning for Rean and provided motivation for her to train harder. Her generosity in donating her prize money to help neuter stray animals also inspired other runners around her.