• How many miles is a marathon? A half marathon? What about a relay?
    A marathon is 26.2 miles; a half marathon is 13.1 miles. Typical relay races have distances from 4 miles through full marathon distances. A maximum of 5 people and a minimum of 2 people can run a relay race and complete a full marathon distance.
  • Is there a minimum fitness-level requirement?
    There isn’t a minimum fitness level to join the training program. However, it is recommended that you consult your doctor before beginning physical training.
    In order to complete a marathon or half marathon, you should be able to run/jog continuously at any pace for 30 minutes. Your goal may be more vigorous depending on the type of distance/time you plan to run (such as an under-4-hour marathon). Or your goal may be less; note that it is not required that you RUN the entire distance–some people choose to walk parts of the race. You should discuss your individual fitness level and marathon goals directly with your coach. During past marathon programs (organized by various Asha chapters), people from all fitness levels completed their target races. The keys to your success will be discipline and commitment to the training program.
  • Is there a minimum age requirement?
    Yes. The minimum age requirement is 12. For kids below 12 years, we encourage 5K or 3.1 mile runs.
  • What is Asha?
    Asha for Education is volunteer run, non-overhead, non-profit organization dedicated to bringing socio-economic change in India through education of underprivileged children. To read more about Asha’s charter and projects please visit Asha Dallas’s website.
  • What is Strides of Hope?
    Strides of Hope (SOH) is the flagship fundraiser for Asha-Dallas, and is the half/full/relay marathon program organized by the Dallas chapter of Asha for Education. This program encourages new as well as experienced runners to make a physical and fiscal commitment to help provide a better future for underprivileged children in India.
  • What does the Strides of Hope training program provide?
    • An opportunity to get fit and raise funds for a fantastic cause
    • Work in partnership with the Dallas Running Club, and train with experienced coaches in a planned, comprehensive training program
    • Fundraising workshops to help runners meet their fundraising goals
    • Weekday runs in various locations: Plano/Allen/Irving/Richardson
    • The opportunity to draw from the experience of coaches and past runners (mentors).
    • Networking with past marathoners and fellow runners in the local community.
    • The opportunity to discuss ideas with past participants and people who have raised funds.
    • Guidance on running techniques, nutrition, injury prevention etc.
  • I do not live in Dallas. Can I still train remotely and still be part of Team Asha Dallas?
    Yes, you can train on your own and still fundraise for Team Asha Dallas. Please get in touch with us and we will tell you more about how to do this.


  • What race does the program target?
    The program and the training targets the White Rock marathon that is held the second Sunday of December every year in Dallas. There are many race options to choose from. Please read below or visit Races.


  • Do I need to run the White Rock Marathon as my target race?
    No, you can run any marathon or half marathon of your choice as your target race. It does not have to be in Dallas. However, Asha will not cover transport or registration costs for these races, or be able to provide logistical support.
  • I live in Irving/Allen/Plano/Richardson, do I have to go to Dallas to run with the team for training?
    Currently, the training workouts are conducted only in Dallas. For the shorter weekday workouts, there are many DFW locations which follow the same schedule. For the longer workouts on the weekends, there is only one location in Dallas. Please subscribe to asha-dallas-runners@yahoogroups.com to get updates about running schedules.
  • Will I still get access to all the benefits if I do not train with Team Asha’s partner?
    The benefits are available to all Team Asha runners. However, if you live in or around Dallas, we recommend that you train with the DRC. If you are unable to do so, please contact one of the SOH coordinators to discuss this, and we will assist you in arriving at a solution that best fits your needs.
  • Will being part of Team Asha guarantee me a spot at my target race?
    No. We strongly recommend registering for the race early to guarantee a place.
  • Will Asha cover my registration fee for the race that I decide to run (target race)?
    No. Runners will have to cover registration fees on their own.
  • What kind of commitment is expected from the runners?
    • Train for 4-5 months (train with the team twice a week).
    • Have a weekly training schedule.
    • Pledge to raise $100 per mile in your target race to support the cause of basic education of underprivileged children in India. This means that your goal will be to raise $2,620 for a full marathon, $1,310 for a half marathon.
    • Your commitment will be to raise 1000$ per runner if you are running the half or full marathon and 250$ per runner if you are running the relay race. Discounts apply for returning runners and couples. Please check the fundraising page for more details.
    • For runners below 18 years, we do not have any commitments. However we encourage them to make pledges.
  • I have never raised money for a cause. How do I raise 1,000+ dollars?
    The backbone of the fund raising campaign is the participants’ efforts to reach out to their family, friends, and colleagues, asking them to donate to the cause. This can be done through various channels such as writing emails or letter, or simply making a phone call. People will be glad to support you in the cause. Many people find that donating money is an easy alternative to committing time.
    Other fundraising strategies will be shared during the course of the program. In 2008, one of our Team Asha runners raised $4000 on her own. Fundraising is highly doable and it’s a fun experience, too!
  • Where do the funds I raise go?
    The funds raised will go towards some selected projects. You will have the opportunity to learn about the projects for which you’ll be helping to raise money, and become involved with them if you wish to do so. You can also choose to support a specific project that interests you.
  • How much money actually goes towards the cause?
    All the money raised by you will go towards projects. We do not have any overhead costs in organizing this program, nor does Asha have overheads since we are a fully volunteer driven organization.
  • What is the fundraising deadline? What happens if I do not meet my fundraising commitment?
    The fundraising deadline is December 31st of each year. We will work with you to help you meet your fundraising commitment. If you are not able to meet the commitment due to unforeseen circumstances, it will be at the discretion of the program organizers to release you from the commitment.
  • My friends/family in India want to contribute towards my goal. How do they do it?
    Your family/friends in India can either hand you a check or cash in Indian rupees. You would need to do two things in order to account for it towards your goal. 1. Send the check or cash converted to a money order payable to ‘Asha’ (NOT ‘Asha for Education’) and send to the treasurer’s address in India. The address is given below. 2. You would also need to notify the Dallas chapter treasurer or the SOH program coordinators so that it can be accounted as towards your goal.

Address for treasurer in India: (Checks/MO/DD in Rupees payable to ‘Asha’)

Asha Trust

c/o Vallabhacharya Pandey
Bhandahan Kala, Post Kaithi
Kaithi, Varanasi District
India. Tel: 91 542 2618201

  • What if I get injured during the program? Do I still have to complete the fundraising?
    If you are injured or have medical reasons that prevent you from completing the training or race, you will have to provide a certificate from a physician to be released from your commitment.
  • When does the program begin? Is there a last date to join?
    DRC’s training program for the full-marathon and half marathon program begins July 1st week every year. It is recommended that you attend the first day of training. We recommend relay runners to train as a team at least two months before the race. We will help schedule these runs. If you have further questions regarding the training, please contact us. The deadline for registering the relay team would be in October for the WhiteRock Race in December.
  • When and where is the marathon I’ll be training for?
    Team Asha Dallas trains mainly for the Whiterock full marathon and half marathon (Second Sunday in December), and the DRC Half Marathon (First Sunday in November) as the main target races; However, it is entirely up to the individual runners to decide which races they are targeting–after consulting with their coaches. If you can’t make it to these races you can choose to do the Austin marathon (second Sunday in February) or other marathons elsewhere. Please check with us for other possible marathons.
  • I see several races on the Calendar. Do I have to run all of them?
    No. Each race is optional. It is entirely up to the runner to decide which race(s) he/she wants to run other than the target race. It is highly recommended to do a couple of shorter races (i.e., those with distances less than what the runner is aiming for in the target race) before the main target race so that the runner gets a feel for what it’s like to run in a race atmosphere.
  • I might be interested but I’m just not sure.
    Feel free to contact any of the program coordinators or mentors to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.
  • I’m in. Where do I go from here?
    Signup for the program. We will email you the commitment form and have you on your way to your training!!