On Nov. 5, Lindsay Locasto will run through bustling streets in the TCS New York City Marathon. This will be her sixth marathon, but her goal goes beyond personal achievement. She’s running for the Herren Project, a charity that aims to provide resources for and reduce stigma around addiction, recovery, and overdoses.
This cause is close to Locasto’s heart, as her brother, Sam, died from a drug overdose in 2017. She says that running with a charity empowers her to share information about resources the community has to support people with addictions.
“No one is immune from addiction, it can happen to everyone from every socioeconomic background,” says Locasto, president of the Chamber of Commerce in Henderson, Kentucky. “But it’s still something people may have shame or embarrassment talking about, and my hope is to break down barriers and help others have those conversations to feel comfortable saying ‘I need help,’ or ‘someone close to me needs help.’”
Locasto also co-founded the local organization 7 Sisters to educate local communities about addiction issues. The marathon in New York City is Locasto’s third for a charity, and she says raising money through running is a motivating reason to lace up.
Locasto’s aspirations extend beyond this marathon; her long-term goal is to run all of the World Major Marathons by the time she turns 45 in seven years. After the New York City marathon, she will be halfway there, as she has completed the Chicago and Boston marathons.
To prepare, she originally had a 16-week training plan, but she’s battled an injury along the way while trying to run 3-4 days a week. Locasto says her goal for the upcoming race is to just have fun and enjoy New York City.
While she also loves running for the mental and physical health benefits, Locasto says running to raise awareness and funds for a charity gives her a purpose and helps keep her accountable.
“It reminds me that I’m not just running for me, I’m running in the memory and honor of my brother,” she says. “While he isn’t here anymore, maybe I can help another family who is going through what my family went through.”