Today we ran in a road race that raised money for Juvenile Diabetes research. My running partner and I did the grueling 8 mile hills, my hubby, eldest son, nephew, and sisters did the 5k. Our two smallest kiddos ran the 2.4k kids’ run.
What was great about this? Well, for one thing, the money went to an excellent cause and it was gorgeously scenic. Next year, you should go, too. The 8 mile run goes up Gaspereau Avenue and then down, down, down into the Gaspereau Valley, and then up, up, up again. It was filled with apple blossoms, bursting-with-aroma lilacs, fresh shining leaves and gloriously happy cows and horses. It was almost distracting enough to make aching muscles take second place.
But why does a scenic run have a place here on 5Down? I’m glad you asked! Instead of spending $ on t-shirts and medals, the organizers made the smart decision to funnel that money toward a cause (and prize money, to attract some extra hardcore runners). It was not an expensive run, but it was great to know that we could get all the fun without collecting any of the clutter!
Don’t get me wrong, I love getting medals and I love (many of) my run shirts…but once you run a few races, you get an extensive collection. I will never need to run without a shirt. Ever. What really shocked me was hearing that more than one participant asked for his or her money back because there were no shirts or medals! Imagine – someone would ask to have a donation refunded because of the lack of geegaws to go with it? Mind-boggling.
I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that more race organizers would do a lot better to give out things like hats, or buffs, or … nothing … but the photo-ops, the chip time results, and the personal satisfaction that comes from meeting and beating a challenge. The real benefit comes when the run, well, benefits someone. And by “someone” I mean someone who needs it more than you, the person who is lucky enough to be strong and healthy enough to actually run (or walk) any distance at all. Someone who isn’t waiting for the results of research that could make all the difference in how the next few years (or many, many years) of their life turn out. Wouldn’t that be a greater result than another medal to hang on the wall or shove in a box?
Day 212 scorecard: 1060 down, 765 to go