Cause for Running
Whitney Derks ’11, Denton, Mont., started jogging to prove to her former track coach she could stay in shape without the structure of organized sports. What she found was clarity.
“There have been so many instances in my life that have left me bitter, hurt, confused, anxious, depressed, excited and overjoyed,” Derks says. “When I run, the world is put in perspective again.”
Derks shared her runner’s passion and outlook by interning with the American Cancer Society and assisting DetermiNation, one of the 30 charities involved with Go Far Charity, an affiliate of the Fargo Marathon.
DetermiNation’s mantra “Every Mile is Meaningful” caught Derks' attention at a marathon in Denver.
“I firmly believe every single runner has a mission, a purpose to accomplish,” Derks says.
For Derks, running has carried her across the miles, some of which she will never forget. She ran during an internship in Washington, D.C., and around Lake Geneva in Switzerland during a May Seminar. She also ran after finding out she was elected vice president during last year’s Student Government Association elections.
As an intern with the American Cancer Society, Derks used social media to recruit runners who also believe in running for a reason. Most of the DetermiNation runners have been directly impacted by cancer and run as a way of fighting back.
Some of those runners hit the streets during the Fargo Marathon. Derks worked at the DetermiNation water station (Mile 23) and cheered on her mother.
Derks doesn't plan to give up running anytime soon.
“As long as I have [a good reason to run], a good pair of shoes and a course to explore, the rest will come naturally,” she says.