Running season is upon us!
I’m not sure if you’ve been to your local park recently, but along with the gentle fall of May blossoms and the long-anticipated bursts of spring colour returning to flower beds, still brighter colours can be found whizzing around the peripheries. I am, of course, talking about the ubiquitous neon runners in their sportswear emerging like clockwork with the better weather. Being something of a fairweather runner myself, I’m so grateful for the longer, dryer days, as it signals an opportunity to really relish running again after a long and deliciously lazy winter.
Along with staying happier and healthier, running is also great excuse to raise funds for your favourite charity and we at Action on Poverty are so thankful to all the runners who choose to fundraise for us. This year, we’re targeting the Wye Valley Tunnel Run which takes place on the 16th July and hoping to get as many people signed up to run for us as possible.
Why run the Wye? For the unique route and breath-taking views, of course! Not convinced? Here are five reasons to run for charity.
1. Building a Sense of Purpose
Participating in a charity run can give you a sense of purpose and motivation, as you are working towards a meaningful goal that supports a worthy cause. This can provide a boost to your mental health, as well as inspire you to stick to an exercise routine that will improve your physical health.
2. Boosting Self-Esteem
Completing a charity run is an incredible accomplishment that can give you a major boost in confidence and self-esteem. It’s no small feat to train for a race and push yourself to the finish line, and the sense of achievement you feel upon completion can be incredibly empowering.
In fact, it’s often said that running a marathon or completing a long-distance race is a transformative experience. It can make you feel like you’re capable of anything you set your mind to – not just in running, but in all aspects of your life.
3. Making a Positive Impact.
By completing a charity run, you are making a tangible, positive impact on a cause or community that you care about. You may feel apprehensive about asking for funds at first, but you’d be surprised at people’s kindness and generosity. And those few pounds here and there will soon add up to an amount that wouldn’t have been possible without your hard work.
If you choose to run for Action on Poverty, all your hard work will help women like Yatta.
Yatta leads a group of vegetable farmers as part of our Women Changemakers project. As a widow, she is forced to take on the double burden of both earning money and raising her four children. In a country whose male life expectancy is just 59 years old, such a situation is unfortunately common. However, Yatta is undaunted by the challenges she faces. She was inspired to become a leader because of the way people now see her ‘commitment to the community. They know she is someone to depend on and take her seriously.’
Reducing poverty is not just about saving lives, it is about restoring dignity.
4. Improving Physical Health and Well-being.
As you may already know, regular exercise is really good for your physical health. Shocking, right? But get this: even a little bit of running can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease and some types of cancer. And what’s more, running is also associated with a strengthened immune system and running is also a great way to strengthen muscles and bones, building density and mitigating against conditions like osteoporosis. Additionally, running can improve flexibility and range of motion, helping to keep your joints healthy and preventing injury. So, just keep that in mind, when you’re hobbling through those achey-leg day-afters!
5. Connecting with Others
There is nothing like the feeling before a run, looking around at all the causes people are fundraising for, the losses which have inspired them to get to this place. It can be quite a genuinely moving moment. And then the race starts and you’re surrounded by people you don’t even know all cheering you on and lifting you up. It might sound cheesy, but that kind of interconnectedness is extremely valuable. Or maybe you’re running with friends—imagine how good it will feel crossing that finishing line together.
Did I mention that if you choose to run the Wye Valley Tunnel Run on the 16th July 2023, Action on Poverty will have a group of people cheering you (yes, you!) on specifically? Did I also mention that we’ll go to the pub afterwards?
If you’ve got another run in mind, that’s great! We might not be able to make it to the finish line to cheer you on (depending on where it is), but we’ll certainly be there in spirit! Make sure you let us know and we’ll still get those prizes to you. You’ve got this!