I’ve made it pretty clear that I don’t like to fundraise for the races I run. It’s a personal choice that may change in the future but at this point I don’t feel the need to raise money for a given charity while running. That said I sponsor friends and family when they chose to take on a race for a cause and think in the end (like… errrr… everything) to each their own.
With that in mind I think that the “running to raise money for x charity” has taken over the conversation of how to use running to do good. There are so many other ways to run do good I want to share.
1 race : 1 volunteer for a race
This year I’ve made a goal to volunteer at more races than I run. Volunteering to organise, pace, marshall, or hand out water to sweaty runners helps the running community and allows other runners to reach their goals. A lot of smaller races depend on volunteers to survive so it’s a good way to donate your time (in a fluro vest) if you don’t have a lot of money.
Girls Gotta Run
Simon Lamb directed me to Girls Gotta Run when I was winging about the increasing cost of races. The fact that your entry money can go to this organisation rather than *ahem* a large organisation that already has a healthy profit, is a good thing and has made me think twice about what I spend on running. I look forward to be being beaten in a race one day by one of these amazing women.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year you know about GoodGym. They combine running and doing good in the community. It’s so simple it’s scary. You can join one of their evening runs where they run to a community project that needs some hands, does the project (usually involving lots of lifting and squatting and other good strength moves), and then runs home with some intervals usually thrown in for fun. You can also be paired with an isolated senior in your area to visit on your own training runs if you can’t make it to the group sessions.
I recently joined them for a run to Camley Street Nature Park near Kings Cross and we put out some wood chips, trimmed the bushes and moved a lot of heavy things from one end to the other (for storage). There is strength in numbers and GoodGym has runners in spades.
Start a running group
Gather some people in your office and put a weekly appointment in the calendar to run at lunch or find a few friends who would rather go for a run after work than to the pub (again). Encouraging others to run doesn’t have to be a formal running coach thing, but you can help the people around you enjoy running and the healthy benefits that follow.
*new* Donate your kit!
(thanks Stephanie @amagpieinthesky for the reminder!)
I can’t believe I forgot to mention the lovely charity A Mile in her Shoes. Their work speaks for themselves but it’s a great organisation to donate your unwanted running kit to and help others get running.
There are so many options to do more good with your running I’ve just touched on a few here. Any more suggestions? I’m all ears.