Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What do you think about charity races?

Lindsey Gibbons, Grainne McManomon and Tara Dillon at Colour Dash 2014, Dublin
Sometimes a serious day out fundraising for charity can just be about having fun with your trainers on. These three women were among thousands running a brisk 5km in Dublin at the weekend for the Irish Cancer Society. Every kilometre saw them covered in coloured power-paint representing different cancers. 

The first runners home were mostly teenagers - something which warmed my cynical heart. You hear so much about kids and TV or X-box, it made for an inspiring start to the morning to see these kids sprinting for the finish. 

Sixteen year old Lauren Fowler came in joint third and wasn't even out of puff.  Hands on multi-coloured hips, she said: 'I'm here for the fun, it was a great race. Fun you know.' And only when asked, she added: 'My granddad had cancer before, he's recovered now though, he's doing good.' 

I've posted before about how many women seem to need the push of a charity fundraiser to get out and run. It's a curious phenonomen, somehow I'm sure linked to how women are pushed away from sport, made to feel it's not their space but it's OK if there is a nurturing element to it? Maybe I'm over-thinking?

Maybe it doesn't matter as long as you're running? Or walking, a few hundred people at the back walked the whole route, getting out there the best they could. You never know, this could be the first step of their healthy running journey; one family had been training with their kids using the Couch to 5km app, and are planning to run the whole thing next year.

It seemed as if more than half of the runners were female. I spotted quite a few young Dads on the sidelines with their kids while their wife or girlfriend ran the race. 

At least with this race the organisers pledged 100% of the entry fee goes to charity, everything including the paint was donated. And if that's what it takes to get people off the couch, that's what it takes? 

What about you? Do you need to fund-raise, does it make a difference to your training?

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