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Philanthropy & Fitness: Team Smith & Nephew


by Anna Langston, Fitness Specialist, Smith & Nephew


At Smith & Nephew, Fitness Specialists Anna Moore & Anna Langston (a.k.a. “The Anna’s”) help mix philanthropy & fitness by supporting the St. Jude Memphis Marathon, one of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s largest fundraising events.

St. Jude Hospital is known around the globe for its advances and treatment in childhood cancer. The hospital was opened in Memphis, Tennessee, by actor and founder, Danny Thomas in 1962. St. Jude operates on a budget of about $1 million per day. However, once a patient is admitted to St. Jude, they never see a bill. This unique and frankly, amazing, hospital policy is why the hospital relies heavily on fundraisers around the city and nation.

The St. Jude Memphis Marathon takes place on the first weekend of December. Participants can race various distances from the 1 mile family fun run to the full marathon. For the past 4 years, Team Smith & Nephew has laced up their tennis shoes and pounded the Memphis pavement in support of the amazing doctors, staff, researchers, and children of St. Jude. And while the races take place on one Saturday, the preparation, training, and fundraising begins long before that.

To help prepare Team Smith & Nephew runners for the race, the Anna’s offer a variety of supportive programming and resources. They create individual training plans specific to each runner’s needs and goals, offer weekly running conditioning classes, coordinate Saturday morning running groups, and host local running stores to discuss proper shoe fit and dressing for race day.

In addition to the hours of training, members of Team Smith & Nephew each pledged a monetary amount. In the months ahead, members will fundraise by sending emails, organizing yard sales, contributing to bake sales, and hosting Jeans Days in an effort to raise money for this worthy cause.

In a traditional marathon typically runners are focused on themselves, their training and their goal time, but St. Jude marathon participants are running for so much more. This unselfish purpose can help runners better adhere to their training, and keep a positive attitude and drive, especially on race day. This mixing of philanthropy and fitness has produced many wellness success stories within Smith & Nephew, like Greg who got hooked on running after participating in his first half marathon and his first St. Jude race in 2011. He has run 7 half marathons and numerous other races in the past four years. He has lost weight through the process, but most importantly he has stuck with it. He currently is beginning to train for his first full marathon!

Whatever the reason for participating in the Memphis Marathon races, whether it’s a personal connection to the hospital or a fitness goal, experiencing this philanthropy firsthand can contribute to the overall wellness of the employee, which is a valuable priority within Smith & Nephew.