By Hannah Ayers

WITNESS is proud to be a charity partner of the TCS New York City Marathon. What does that mean? Each year, we have a team of folks who not only run 26.2 miles through the city — but they also raise funds for WITNESS’ human rights work! For this week’s Music Monday – Marathon for Human Rights Edition, we asked last year’s runners to pick songs that kept them going, as well as their perfect finish-line song. Be sure to add these tracks to your playlist next time you go for a run.

Have you always wanted to run the marathon? This could be your year: secure a highly-coveted spot (and make a difference) by joining Team WITNESS. We have just a couple of spots remaining on this year’s team. Email hannah [at] if interested.

Why run for WITNESS?

Running for WITNESS was, by far, one of the best and most rewarding experiences of my life. The accomplishment of not only physically and mentally training for months, coupled with raising money for such a prestigious organization makes every mile and second of this whole experience completely worth it. Upon crossing the finish line, you truly feel beyond euphoric and proud! ~ Olivia

Running for Team WITNESS was great. Finishing the marathon alone is an amazing feeling, and knowing that you raised money for a good cause just adds to it. Having the whole WITNESS crew waiting to cheer you on in Brooklyn was awesome, too. ~ Dan

I’m not sure if I would ever had run a marathon were it not for Team WITNESS. Running for a cause and with a team gave me the motivation to make such an ambitious commitment, because it was not just for myself, but for the great work that WITNESS does. It was an amazing experience, I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. ~ Madeleine

Running for something bigger than yourself is inspiring and helps you get through the challenge of those last few painful miles. ~ Daniel

Runners’ music picks

“The Bridge” by the Loved Ones. It’s a great punk rock song and the hook has the phrase ‘we build and burn’ in it, which reminds me that running is about building positive things – confidence, endurance – and burning away the negative. ~ Dan

“Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen. When I ran NY last year, some kids in Williamsburg were blasting it from their roof. It was perfect. ~ Dan

“Roar” and “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry keeps me going for miles! I start off my workout with ROAR and end with Dark Horse – the best beats to run to! ~ Olivia

For the marathon, I turned on “All These Things That I’ve Done” by The Killers at mile 25, and completely rocked out all the way to the finish line!! One of the best songs to listen to after accomplishing something so momentous! ~ Olivia

I run to a lot of Uproot Andy and Chief Boima – two Brooklyn-based DJ’s whose music spans the world and mixes fuel me with positive energy. ~ Madeleine

Miracle by Baaba Maal and The Very Best. From Baaba Maal’s vocals to The Very Best’s thumping beats, and the chorals, it’s just full of momentum, spirit, and celebration. ~ Madeleine

Hannah is our Creative Projects Associate. She doesn’t run marathons, but is in awe of people who do.

One thought on “Music Monday – Marathon for Human Rights Edition

  1. This is great. To join WITNESS, they also have the human rights work. By running for WITNESS is one of the best and most rewarding and memorable experience of ones life.

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