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Oakland Marathon draws thousands, teams up with Steph, Ayesha Curry's foundation

An estimated 10,000 people started off their St. Patrick’s Day at the starting line of the Oakland Marathon Sunday morning.

The top runners hit the pavement for the marathon, with thousands more lacing up their running shoes for the shorter half-marathon, 10k and 5k events. 

It’s not all about the competition, though, with all of the proceeds from entry fees and other revenue going toward Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry and his wife Ayesha’s Eat. Learn. Play Foundation. 

“We’re working together to make this an increasingly great, world-class event in the years to come,” said the foundation’s CEO, Christ Helfrich. 

Helfrich actually ran the full marathon himself. The Currys, who personally paid all administrative costs of their foundation, sat down with NBC Bay Area for an exclusive interview Sunday about their mission. 

“People work hard,” Ayesha Curry said. “And it was important for us, for people to understand that every dollar they’re donating is going directly to the cause.”

“We try to show up in a meaningful way,” Steph Curry said. “And this is another opportunity to have the community support us as we support the community.”

The Currys started the foundation five years ago as a way to support the well-being of children in their adopted hometown of Oakland through nutritious meals, quality reading resources and physical activities in safe areas. 

“It’s evolved ever since. It’s to now where we’re doing our full-fledged approach and investment into the Oakland Unified School District,” Steph Curry said. 

“What’s really cool is anytime that somebody within the community comes and tells us how the work we have been doing has impacted them already,” Ayesha Curry said. “Because you can put in the work and be boots on the ground and still not know if it’s doing enough.” 

Runners and walkers understand what that work meant for their community and for the marathon. 

“The fact that the Currys are involved just makes it more likely that people are going to participate and have fun,” said East Bay resident Katie Fearon. “And the fact that it goes to a really good cause like that just makes us feel good.”

At racetime Sunday morning, organizers announced that they had raised more than $50,000 through entry fees in all the races.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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