Running for charity is an amazing experience. You’ll be improving your health and fitness while raising money for some truly amazing causes. But what do you get in return for your efforts other than the knowledge that you’re making a difference to those who need it? Although every organisation is different, here is what you can generally expect when you run for a charity.
Let’s face it; fundraising can be tough. But it’s also hugely rewarding. Charities know their stuff when it comes to raising funds, and they’ll be able to share all of their tips with you when you join their team. This could be anything from general advice, to helping you hold charity fundraising events such as quizzes, bake sales or auctions. With your charity behind you, your fundraising goals will be reached in no time, and you’ll probably even beat them.
When you’re training for a race it’s hugely important that you have the right kit to run in. Most charities will provide you with customised charity running tops or vests, which can be personalised with your name so everyone can cheer you on on race day. Don’t worry about the quality of this kit – charities want you to wear it to raise awareness of their cause, so they’ll make sure any gear they give you is of the highest quality.
The life of a runner can be a lonely one – endless miles with nobody for company can start to get a bit boring no matter how much you love the sport. That’s why it’s a great idea to run with other people, and charity training days give you the chance to do that. Take the opportunity to chat with your fellow charity runners, and share training and fundraising tips. Some charities might even arrange a professional coach to run the sessions, who will be able to answer any niggling questions you have about the race or your preparations.
Race day will come around faster than you think, and before you know it you’ll be crossing that start line. If you’re struggling with the distance you’ll find that a bit of support can make all the difference. Charities know this better than anyone, and that’s why they operate cheering stations along the race route. Cheering stations are full of charity volunteers who are ready to raise the roof whenever they see someone who is running for them. They’ll cheer your name, clap you on, and generally make you feel like a running superstar who can’t be stopped.
Stress-free race days
The last thing you want to worry about on race day is having to plan your schedule with military precision. If your charity fundraising package includes a hotel for the night before the race, then your charity might provide a shuttle bus service to get you to the start line on time and help you find the correct starting zone. That means one less stress to worry about, allowing you to focus all of your energy on running the race of your life.
If you want to race well, you need to make sure that you’ve got enough energy. Pasta has long been a favourite amongst runners, which has led to the emergence of pre-race ‘pasta parties’. Charities often hold these parties on the morning of the race to give their fundraisers the chance to fuel up for the running ahead of them. This is also a great time to quell some of those pre-race nerves by chatting with your fellow fundraisers.
Celebrity running partners
Ever fancied brushing shoulders with the rich and famous while you run? If you run for a charity you just might be able to. Charities always do their best to get celebrities on board to raise the profile of their team, and most celebs are more than happy to interact with their fellow team members. Not only does this mean you’ll have a famous running buddy, it’ll also bring more attention to the cause and make your fundraising that little bit easier.
The moment you finally cross the finish line will be a mixture of elation, relief, and sheer exhaustion. To make sure you recover properly, it’s important that you take positive steps as soon as possible. A sports massage is the perfect antidote for your tired body, and lots of charities arrange them for free as part of your fundraising package. All you need to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy a hard-earned massage as soon as you’ve finished racing.
The after party
You’ve raised the money and covered the miles, so now it’s time to let your hair down and have fun. Post-race charity parties are an amazing opportunity to celebrate your running and fundraising successes with the charity staff and fundraisers. Some charities will even take things a step further by organising prizes to auction off, or inviting a celebrity guest, so these parties really are the perfect way to round off your amazing fundraising journey.
As an experienced fundraising runner, you’ll be first on the list when a charity is filling up the places for any future events. This puts you in a great position for hugely popular events like the London Marathon, where competition for places is fierce to say the least. The doors that charity running opens up aren’t to be underestimated, so take the plunge, run a race for charity, and watch your running career soar to all new heights.