They were great sports to go out with The Husband in support of a friend who was behind a run called Pound the Pavement for Peter. The Run was started in honor of Peter Hopkins, who at age four, lost his life to Peroxisomal Disorder. He spent his life with numerous disabilities and the race is intended to bring awareness to this disorder. I can attest to the race being successful insofar as teaching me something. I am embarrassed to say that I had not heard of Peroxisomal Disorder and did not know the extent and devastating effects until The Husband mentioned wanting to run to support this cause.
Fitness-themed fundraising events have been popular for quite some time but are continuing to grow. There are so many groups that hold specific runs or races in order to recruit participants to help raise money and awareness for their cause. It’s a great trade-off because, in return, the charity often provides participants with the tools they need to achieve their goals. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training is a great example of this. Once a participant signs up for a Team in Training Race the Race provides training tools, training run/walks/rides and a coach. If a participant is a beginner, getting back into exercise or just needs some guidance and encouragement it is all built in. There is so much to be gained from both sides in these type of events.
I have participated in my fair share of fundraising runs, walks and events. I’ve done a few 5Ks in support of cancer research, the 3 Day walk for breast cancer, an American Heart Association Run, school Fun Runs, Alzheimer’s 5K and other events like the Atlanta Publix Half Marathon which engages Charity Affiliates with the race.
If you haven’t done a charity race or are thinking that finding a cause might be just the motivation you need to train for a fitness event here’s how it works:
*A charity group identifies an event, such as a half or full marathon, 5K or 10K run/walk, bike tour, or triathlon.
*The charity recruits participants who agree to raise money for the charity and personally participate in the race itself.
*Participants pay a race entry fee (which can range from $10 to $40 on average). The money usually goes to the charity, and reserves a participant’s spot in the race.
*In the months or weeks leading up to the event, participants are asked to raise funds, and are often encouraged to meet a minimum fundraising goal, as set by the charity. Participants will ask friends, family, and other to donate money.
*The charitable organization may provides support, coaching and training to help participants reach not only their fundraising goals, but also their fitness goal to participate in the race.
Fundraising runs have also gotten pretty creative in the past few years. They have gotten pretty good at making some races so much fun you might forget it’s exercise.
Some examples of some fun charity runs out there are The Color Run which is a 5K that raises money for various charities depending on the location. Runners get covered in colored paint at each kilometer. This has been called the happiest 5K on the planet. The Hot Chocolate 5K is a road race supporting Ronald McDonald House where runners get hot chocolate and other chocolate at the end of the race. The Jingle Bell Run is another road race that takes place in various locations across the country and benefits the Arthritis Foundation. This one is fun because participants are encouraged to wear holiday costumes and wear bells on their shoes to race. A Turkey Trot has become a tradition in many places for folks to have a run/race/walk in anticipation of Thanksgiving. Dirty Girl is a female only mud and obstacle run to benefit breast cancer charity organizations. While I have done a Mud Run with my family, this is one I think would be really fun. Most Mud Run and Obstacle type races do not support charities, so this one stands out. I think I’d love to see all the women running around in pink tutus in the mud!
These are just a few of the charity races out there. There are lots more out there and new ones forming all the time. There are also lots of local races that raise money for organizations in the community, individuals, and charitable causes. With all of the different causes, types of races, walks, bike rides, various distances, and race themes there’s got to be something out there for all of us. There’s so much more to it than writing a check and getting a T-shirt. It’s another way to get out there, get moving and have some fun.
By the way, the stomach bug reared its ugly head again today. Please keep this bug away from your house! Tonight was the perfect comfort food. Chicken and Dumplings. If you want the recipe its from an earlier post here.