Running for Charity
Charity Runs have had a powerful effect on non-profit fundraising efforts for a myriad of organizations nationwide. Not only do the fun and competitive runs have health benefits, but they can be a uniting force socially, while generating cash for great causes! Thinking of taking part in one yourself? Here are four unique national charity opportunities to get you started. What are you waiting for? Being an outlier means pushing past what you thought you were capable of. If this includes a fitness goal to overcome these may just be the way to get your feet wet (or muddy)!
How lacing up can raise funds:
Here’s how fun runs work. Participants pay a registration fee that ranges in cost depending on the organization’s needs. Participants can pay themselves or seek out sponsors who also contribute in place of or in addition to the runners paid amount. This can be for a flat amount or a pledged dollar amount for every mile that the participant completes. According to Running USA, participants in United States road races, from 5K to the marathon runners, raised an estimated $1 billion in 2009. Imagine how that number has grown as these races have become increasingly powerful in the last 5 years!
The Color Run
Difficulty level: beginner
The Color Run is a 5-kilometer un-timed race that leaves its participants spanning from their teen years to adulthood brightly colored from head to toe. Participants start the race in an all white shirt and finish it covered in splattered paint! The Color Run started in January of 2012 and grew from over 50 events and 600,000 participants in 2012, to over 100 events and over a million participants in 2013. This event travels to 100 different cities in the US and several in different countries. The Color Run does not focus on how fast the race is completed. The race is more about having a good time and promoting healthy living, which makes this event perfect for first time event runners.
Who do they donate to?: The Color Run chooses a different local charity to donate to for each city that it is held in.
Cost: $50 for each individual runner and $45 for each team runner
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon
Difficulty level: moderate to advanced
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon a series that is well known for it’s live bands, cheerleaders, and post finish line concert. Unlike the Color Run this event requires training and preparation. Participants can choose to run either a full (26.2 kilometer) or half marathon (13.1 kilometer) run. This event is a great way to get in shape, have a lot of fun, and raise money for various charities. The Rock’n’Roll Marathon is held at 26 U.S locations and 7 locations in different countries.
Who do they donate to: The Rock’n’Roll Marathon proceeds are divided amongst their 25 official sponsored charities, which include the Chase Kowaiski Memorial Fund and the St.Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Cost: For a half marathon the prices rangebetween early registration at $85 to late at $125. Full marathons range from $95 early registration to $140 late.
The Bakers Dozen ½ Marathon Series
Difficulty level- beginner to advanced
The Bakers Dozen is a unique 13-mile 1/2 marathon series, with additional fun run, 5k and full marathon opportunities. Each event is held at different locations. What makes the Bakers Dozen unique is that participants are given an opportunity to combine friends, running and sugar all in one. Runners are allowed and encouraged to interact with other participants throughout the race. Additionally,after the completion of each 3.25 mile loop, participants pass by the “Sugar Shack” where they are offered a variation of tasty treats. So pick up a maple bar and start training in order to support a great cause.
Who do they donate to?: The Bakers Dozen ½ Marathon Series supports the local communities in each of its’ locations in numerous ways. This includes supporting local charities, children’s programs, high school sports programs, as well as health and fitness initiatives across the United States Northwest.
Cost: Registration fees range anywhere from $35 for 5k runners and $65 for full marathon runners. Prices vary between each different event that you choose to sign up for.
The Tough Mudder
Difficulty level: advanced
If you feel like channeling your inner warrior, the Tough Mudder might be the run for you. This run is a physically demanding 10 to 12 mile challenge that features 20 military-style obstacles that challenge runners’ physical strength, endurance, and mental stamina. The real twist is that many of the obstacles can’t be conquered alone. Competitors must rely on each other for an occasional boost and much needed encouragement. It’s not all grit and grime; once the finish line is reached participants are equipped with a celebratory beer and live music.
Who do they donate to?The Tough Mudder participants raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project. Participants have already raised more than $3 million for the cause.
What are you waiting for? You can jam out at the Rock’n’Roll marathon, get covered head to toe in a blast of color at the Color Run, get down with your sweet tooth at the Bakers Dozen ½ Marathon Series, or mentally and physically challenge your strength at the Tough Mudder. Get into your best physical shape and help support a great cause all while having a great time!