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Samantha MacIlwaine

Samantha MacIlwaine
San Ramon, CA United States
Stuff About Me:

My name is Samantha, and I'm a 20-year-old endurance athlete and second-year Columbia student. This November, I will be running the TCS New York City Marathon on behalf of the Marine Corps - Law Enforcement Foundation. My goal is to raise $2500 by November to help support the Foundation's mission to provide a $30,000 college scholarship for any child that loses a parent to service in the Marines or a Federal Law Enforcement Agency - and to do this, I need your help.

My story of becoming an endurance athlete began in 2016, when I moved from the Bay Area to New York. I wanted an outlet for the intense academic pressure at Columbia, so I spent my first semester of freshman year training for a winter summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire. As part of my (self-guided) training, I had to significantly increase my cardio endurance and started doing longer runs. After Mount Washington, I decided I wanted to attempt something bigger, something that would define whether or not I would be the kind of person who could struggle to achieve nearly impossible goals: a full marathon. 

The next several months saw me struggle to build up from quick 3- and 5-mile runs to the grueling 18- and 20-mile runs required for marathon prep. I ran almost every day in the summer, sometimes with friends but mostly alone, and often failed to make my goal times. One of my biggest struggles was following a nutrition plan, which would determine whether I would pass out after 22 miles or have the strength to keep going. I'm usually an all-day snacker, so it was really hard for me to make myself carbo load before the long runs where I needed the energy. Even the night before the race, I wasn't sure if I would make it to the finish. But finally, on July 23rd, 2017, I completed the San Francisco Marathon, with all my friends and family there to cheer me on. It was one of the best days of my life. Since then, I have been obsessively training for my next marathon so I can experience that priceless finish-line feeling again.

For this year's TCS New York City Marathon, I want to run for more than just myself. Endurance sports, as opposed to other sports, are extremely symbolic because you put yourself through a lot of suffering for an extended period. I truly want my sacrifice to mean something, and I could find no better organization to partner with than the Marine Corps - Law Enforcement Foundation. The Foundation combines my enormous respect for those who serve our country with my steadfast belief in the importance of college scholarships. I have close family members who are police officers, former Navy sailors, and Valley Forge graduates. Together with your help, I am committed to raising a minimum of $2500, about $100 per mile that I will run, to help send our brave servicemen and servicewomen's children to college.

Please take the time to donate $20 or more to my cause. For a donation of $100 or more, I will dedicate one of the 26 miles to you and invite you to a special post-race dinner after the marathon. 

Like, share, and email to your friends who want to support the Marines and Law Enforcement officers! Thank you!



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Total Impact Points

Samantha MacIlwaine's Fundraisers

Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation NYC 2018

Marine Corps-Law Enforcement…

Amount Raised:



18% Raised of $5,000 Goal