Charity Running

Charity running has made its mark on running and racing over the past 20 years. Some charities form their own “teams in training” for fundraising as they train and participate in a targeted race. Some non-profits organize races that are designed to fund raise for their cause.

Clearly, charity running has accomplished three major goals.

  1. It has become a boon to running by providing explosive growth to races and race sizes.
  2. It has been a mechanism to generate millions of dollars for charities that never would have been collected otherwise.
  3. It has been the catalyst for many former sedentary individuals to become avid walkers and runners with healthier lifestyle.
  4. It has given greater purpose to many runners.

The reasons individuals participate in a charity running organization are as many as there are people. Most often I would guess that it is because that “issue” directly impacted their life, a family member’s or friend’s life. Though I know of a few runners who do so because the cause pulled at there heart and soul to take some action.

A few recent examples: My cohort, Coach Joe English heads up the Flex Virtual training program for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. This organization may have the largest of all “Teams in Training” programs.

Michelle Hamilton runs for education of children. Different from other many charities this one has a specific child (Antony) who gets the direct benefit.

Jason Kramer has run for the Alzheimer’s Association.

(PS – I don’t mean to slight anyone. These are just a few examples. Please comment below on your running cause.)

There are many of the causes that have touched my life. It would be hard to prioritize which one carries more weight. My family and very close friends have been touched by cancer of various forms, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and more. And once upon a time I worked as a nurse in oncology. I love education and learning and have been an educator for more than 25 years.

I am approached by many runners and organizations to contribute to support both their causes as well as that runner in pursuit of their fundraising and physical goals. Aside from the practical aspect of limited finances (I’m not independently wealthy yet.) it is also a matter of fairness in how I personally view these worthy causes. If I support one, why not another… right?

But, social networking is alive and well and so, I do believe in spreading the word in hopes that individually we can do what we can and collectively we can make a difference – for someone somewhere less fortunate than ourselves. If you are looking for something different for your running; some new motivation; new experiences; some travel to a new race – then check out charity running!

And oh ya by the way – we stay get in shape, or stay in shape, meet great people and use our too often self-absorbed running for something greater than ourselves.

Upward and onward!


About Dean Hebert

I’m a mental game coach, author and speaker. I work with individual athletes, parents, coaches, and teams on sports performance enhancement. Beyond my academic post-graduate work in sports psychology - the psychology behind athlete performance – I am a certified Mental Games Coaching Professional (MGCP) and certified hypnotherapist. I’ve authored several books and hundreds of articles. “Coach, I didn’t run because…” (2008) is a seriously light-hearted look at making excuses not to workout and how to overcome them. “Focus for Fitness” (2009) and “Screw the Goals Give me the Donut” (2010) are two of my eBooks on mental game approaches for the everyday athlete. I wrote these because I believe that everyone can benefit from the powerful mental techniques that the world’s best athletes use. I have been cited in Runners World, Best Health magazine (CN), SWEAT Magazine, and the Washington Examiner amongst many other publications. I have been a featured mental games coach in Runner’s World and for the internationally acclaimed trail running resource - I also regularly appear on sports and fitness talk shows such as LTKFitness, Runnersroundtable and for more than three years I have co-hosted a weekly video series with Coach Joe English for I specialize in mental toughness training. My clients include tennis, synchronized swimming, golf, race-kart, soccer, motocross, volleyball, MMA, cycling (road, off-road, time-trialist), running, duathlon and triathlon, basketball, football and baseball athletes. I have coached world-class athletes and athletes internationally. I have a passion for working with youth athletes and helping them apply mental game skills and techniques to all areas of life. Most importantly, my aim is to have people enjoy sports and life to their fullest through peak performances.
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One Response to Charity Running

  1. Ok, I’m running every 26.2 mile marathon in Ireland this year for the Inspire Foundation (Reach Out) Great post, looking forward to following your blog

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