Why You Should Consider Running a Charity Race

Instead of running for your health or your own personal goals, have you considered running for someone, or something else?

Running USA estimates that $1.2 billion dollars were raised in 2012 by nonprofit organizations affiliated with a road race. That’s more than double  just 10 years ago. Whether that be a race exclusively dedicated to a specific charity, or charity teams at larger events, running for a cause is reaching an all time high.

According to Runners World, the New York City marathon has 37 charity organizations and non profits who use the race to raise funds and awareness. The Twin Cities Marathon has an awesome community and charity program. Although relatively new, they partner with dozens of local groups, many that were already doing fundraising.

Team World Vision is one of those groups. They run to bring clean water to communities in developing countries. What started with less than 100 runners in 2006, has grown 25% on average per year (both in funds and participation).

Raising More Than Money

When you sign up to run a charity road race, or for a charity at another event, you’re doing more than just raising money. You’re also raising awareness for the group or cause. Sometimes this can be more powerful than the money generated from your race entry. These charities have become a fundamental part of larger races, and often a central focus of smaller, community related events.

Local Charity Runs

This month, there are many opportunities to use one’s body and talent at charity races. In addition to the Miracle Treat kids triathlon, below are just three local health related charity runs we think you should checkout.

Update: check here for a more complete list of charity runs in the Twin Cities.

  1. The 29th Annual North Memorial Whiz Bang Race 10K, 5K and 1/2 miles runs will be held on July 13. Proceeds go to benefit the Humphrey Cancer Center, its patients, and their families. Last year, the race raised over $7,000.
  2. Also on on July 13, the 7th Annual Walk for Wishes® event benefits Make-A-Wish® Minnesota. This 2-mile Walk and 5K-Run raises funds to grant wishes for Minnesota children with life-threatening medical conditions. “This event provides great community awareness of our mission, in addition to raising important funds to grant more wishes,” says Jean Carlson Event and Constituent Coordinator for Make-A-Wish® in Minnesota. Their goal this year is to raise $110,000.
  3. On July 21, the Nick Reamer Osteosarcoma Foundation is hosting a 5k Walk/ Run. The money raised will go towards finding a cure for Childhood cancers. Osteosarcoma is a cancerous bone tumor that usually develops in teenagers. The foundation was formed by Nick Reamer’s parents shortly after he passed away from Osteosarcoma.

Whatever your next race is, consider running a race for a charity and make a difference in someones life. In addition to getting in shape and having fun with friends, you’ll have the added benefit of supporting a great cause.

What motivates you to run? Would you consider making your next race about something more important than your own PR?

Thanks to Lisa Fenske for contributing to this story. Photo by crossn81.
Nathan Freeburg
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Nathan Freeburg

Editor in Chief at Minneapolis Running
Nathan started running when he was 14. 20+ years later, he's still going. When he's not running, he enjoys exploring the city with his son, finding new restaurants with his wife, traveling, or backpacking. He loves dark beer, dark chocolate and dark coffee.

Nathan currently lives in Portland, but works in Minneapolis and runs wherever he is. Favorite Minnesota running route is anything that takes him along the Mississippi River.
Race Results.

Nathan's day job is as a senior consultant with Leadership Vision Consulting in Downtown Minneapolis.
Nathan Freeburg
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