With endurance events canceled due to COVID-19, Life Time, which owns and produces more than thirty marathons, triathlons and cycling races, worked with athletes to create philanthropic opportunities to benefit kids and their families in need — to date totaling more than $320,000 — which will be provided to seven school districts in the U.S. through its Life Time Foundation.

Athletes from nine of Life Time’s signature events were given the option to donate their already-paid entry fees to the Life Time Foundation to provide immediate assistance for school food programs, PPE and funding for the new school year.

“Our Life Time team recognized that our school partners were facing unprecedented and urgent challenges and needed our immediate support to safely continue serving kids and families, and it so happens that we have the most generous athletes,” said Kimo Seymour, President of Events and Media at Life Time and Executive Director of the Life Time Foundation. “As we notified them of our race cancellations, we provided options for handling their race fees, which is something that many other races are unable to do. While we weren’t sure how many people would opt for donating their entry fees, we have been blown away by the overwhelming kindness of thousands.”

Participants from the Life Time-produced canceled races include those originally registered for the 2020 Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon and 10K, Hoka One One Chicago Half Marathon and 5K, cbdMD Chicago Triathlon, Verizon New York City Triathlon, Minneapolis Triathlon, Crusher in the Tushar, Garmin DK, and Leadville Race Series, among others.

In addition to registration fee donations, Life Time also created the Leadville 100,000-Foot Challenge, a virtual event to take the place of the marquee Leadville Race Series 100-mile Run and Bike races originally scheduled in mid-August. More than 2,060 athletes participated in the challenge, and 100 percent of the proceeds were also donated to the Life Time Foundation.

Between both initiatives, a current total of $320,036 has been donated to the Life Time Foundation by more than 4,000 athletes as of September 1. With this money, the Life Time Foundation has provided immediate COVID-19 assistance grants to school districts in the markets that the races were to take place in. They include:

  • Lake County School District – Leadville, CO
  • New York City Department of Education – New York, NY
  • Minneapolis Public Schools – Minneapolis, MN
  • Beaver County Schools – Beaver, UT
  • Piute County Schools – Junction, UT
  • Chicago Public Schools – Chicago, IL 
  • Emporia Public Schools – Emporia, KS

Seymour added, “These grants are the result of athletes across the country making individual decisions that collectively create a significant impact. It’s because of them that this is possible. We are also incredibly thankful to the school meal professionals who are working tirelessly to safely deliver food to children during this crisis.”

As of August 2020, the Life Time Foundation partners with 25 school districts across the country representing 242 million meals served to 1.5 million students per year.