A great way to stay fit and involved is to find some road races/5k’s that donate to your favorite cause. So many people are intimidated by the term “race”, but I’ve done a couple of these and trust me, you don’t notice that part of it. The only thing you’ll be paying attention to for the first 10 minutes is the humbling sound of thousands of sneakers hitting the ground around you. Atleast, that’s what I was doing.
There are thousands of races that donate to some wonderful causes, my favorite being the military because of the amazing programs and services they provide for our heroes and veterans. The community of people who participate in these fundraisers are unlike any other, and it’s a very fun and exciting environment to be involved in. I believe that there’s a race for everyone, and I have included some that are soldiers only as well.
RUN FOR THE WARRIORS
The Run For The Warriors is a series of races at different locations across the U.S. The run is put on by Hope For The Warriors, an organization that strives to restore confidence and aid rehabilitation in veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s a race in celebration of what they have overcome, and the strength of the families who have lost their loved ones in battle.
The race is completely wheel chair accessible, and you can even participate in a virtual run if there isn’t a race near you! Proceeds from Hope For The Warriors are used for many different events including the Drive For Hope, as well as the monuments they have gifted to Camp Lejeune and Camp Pendleton. Hope For The Warriors has gone above and beyond in creating this race for our heros, and they continue to gain more participants, sealing the bond that they aim to develop between our warriors, families of warriors, and civilians. To see the upcoming run dates and sign up, go here!
Get ready for some intensity with this one! Full of obstacles, mud, electric jolts, and miles of terrain, this is certainly a run you’ll never forget. But best of all, Tough Mudder has raised 8.5 million dollars so far for Wounded Warrior Project, which has turned those funds into multiple life-saving programs for our military personnel. Tough Mudder travels widely across the U.S., making it easy for everyone to find a run near them. To watch videos of the action and see if this is the runs for you, go here!
CARRY THE FALLEN
This is a ruck march style hike for active duty soldiers, created by the organization Active Heroes, to promote suicide prevention awareness. Currently, 22 soldiers commit suicide each day. We have made great strides in lessening those numbers, but there is always more to be done. These are people who fought for us, and their families, and protected the freedom and integrity of our United States. Now, it’s our turn to protect them.
The way the march works is that each soldier carries a heavy weight in their Rick sack for a select amount of time. This weight is meant to symbolize the weight of PTSD, depression, anxiety, and other disorders that our warriors come back with. The march is meant to create a bond between these soldiers and the families of the fallen, but also an opportunity for veterans to offer insight to the active duty soldiers as well.
They also focus on teaching techniques in talking to suicidal veterans and how to offer assistance in the right ways. Their ultimate goal is to create Military Family Retreat Locations so that veterans can release some negative thoughts and feelings through recreational activities. If you know of a soldier who would like to participate, or a veteran who could benefit from these programs, follow this link.
Don’t let the term “marathon” scare you away. This race offers 5 different distance options, including one for kids! This is a race that’s close to my heart, because it’s hosted at the Infantry Museum in Columbus, GA by Fort Benning. You have the choice to run for a Fallen Hero; someone who has given the ultimate sacrifice. You will get a list of Fallen Heroes, or you can choose one hero and run with their name on your bib.
The 2014 Soldier Marathon donated $30,000 to military beneficiaries by giving $10,000 each to the National Infantry Museum, the House of Heroes and the Ft. Benning Moral, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) to support soldiers and their families. Since its founding in 2010 the Soldier Marathon has donated over $110,000 to military beneficiaries, and with the support of its runners we will continue that support.
To find out more about this wonderful organization, go here.
I hope that you consider participating in some runs to end the year, and fill next year with some of these great opportunities. If you love running, channel that love into doing it for someone else. Whether you’re running for someone who can’t, or running for a whole family, any donation or gesture is so appreciated.
What runs have you participated in this year? Do you know of any other fun runs to add to the list?