I do a fair amount of running. That’s my “extra curricular” activity. My high school gym teacher would be so proud. And when I run I get a lot of thinking done, which I think is true of a lot of runners. You run (excuse the pun) through your to-do list, rethink that home renovation, ponder the meaning of the universe… or what to snack on when you get done with your run. And while running is good for me and not exactly indulgent, it is a selfish thing, to go running. Because 90 minutes on the treadmill doesn’t exactly save the world in any way. But if you run for charity, that same 90 minutes can raise money that will actually save a life.
Summertime is when a lot of charity runs happen, and they’re a great way to make your running count. By signing up for a charity run you’re pledging to raise money and awareness for a cause, money that is often raised in tandem with the amount of miles or time you run for. The more you run, the more money you raise. And to supplement funds raised, these charity runs often sweeten the deal by throwing in giveaways like awareness ribbons, t-shirts or finishers medals. Runners get the high of completing a difficult physical feat, their chosen charity benefits in the way of funds and awareness raised, and those who donate but don’t run get a token of appreciation in the form of swag.
And for those out there who don’t run (believe me, there are days I’m totally with you) and perhaps don’t have a lot of extra money to donate, then volunteer. These charity races require a lot of manpower to keep moving. From working a water station, taking registration papers, cleanup afterwards or handing out the swag when all is said and done, volunteers are what makes the whole idea a reality. And having worked as both a runner and a volunteer, I know that regardless, you tend to get a lot of goodies (who doesn’t want awareness ribbons with little shoes attached?)
No matter how you contribute, it’s important to do so. Charity runs are a blast for all involved, and it puts something that can sometimes feel a little bit selfish into perspective. Time to get off the treadmill, onto the streets, and do some good. Happy trails!