by Katie Caniglia Founder & Chairman
In December of 2009 I ran my first half marathon, Thunder Road, with my husband Kyle. That same day, while running with his wife Kristin in the Kiawah half marathon, my cousin Jonathan died suddenly at 37 years old. Jonathan was a man who knew what was important...his family was his priority and he loved to have a good time. His life and his death pushed me to figure out what I want to do with my own life to make it more meaningful. I was looking for a way to be healthy, be challenged & enjoy the precious time that we are given on this earth. I threw myself into triathlons knowing almost nothing. I was immediately hooked...on the challenge, the excitement, the people and the ability to dovetail this sport with the most important aspects of my life...my family, my friends & the non-profits that I work closely with. To say that triathlons are personal and emotional events is an understatement. They help me appreciate my own strengths and weaknesses and have acted as an incredible conduit for directing money and awareness to the non-profit organizations that I love.
ITRIFORGOOD began as a simple idea. I would learn the distances of triathlon and blog about my experiences training for and competing in events. I would ask my readers to make donations based on my performance, number of miles raced, creative blogging OR lack thereof in each of the aforementioned instances. After two short seasons of triathlon, I had completed all but one distance. A full Ironman was the only distance left on my to-do list.
In July of 2012 I completed Ironman Lake Placid and raised over $4000 for the non-profit organization Stop Hunger Now doing so. (For more information on my race experience read: IMLP Race Recap).
The experience of fundraising with a specific goal during my IM training brought clarity to me on the further growth and development of ITRIFORGOOD. I realized how much bigger than me this idea was.
For IMLP I had to rely on fundraising platforms that limited me in major ways – by the type and distance of the event, by the type of non-profit recipient, by the amount of information that I could share about my story, by the ability to connect with donors, other athletes, non-profits and the multi-layered community that I had become immersed in. The last big limitation…the fundraising platform I used took approximately 8-9% of what I raised, as most do. Though I was overjoyed about being able to raise $4000 + for Stop Hunger Now, I knew that it wasn’t GOOD enough!
My questions - Why can’t all endurance races and events be a fundraising opportunity? Why can’t people walking in their first 5k have the same chance as a pro triathlete racing an IM, to share their story & fundraise for their favorite non-profit? Why can’t 100% of what an athlete raises, be directed to their chosen non-profit? My answers: they can, they can, and they can!
Those answers helped solidify the direction of ITFG’s future. ITFG has grown and evolved in order to meet these higher standards of GOOD giving. We strive to make a positive impact in the world through the creation of an ever-growing community of people dedicated to being a force of GOOD…in their own lives and the lives of others.
ITFG can now facilitate fundraising & awareness for a number of non-profit organizations that is only limited by you…the future ITFG athlete. We offer the capability for you to share your story & connect with others through your passion to do something GOOD for others by participating in a GOOD challenge for yourself.