It is a challenge all runners face: how to get motivated to get out and run. Races are one of the best ways to commit to a consistent running schedule while having fun. Virtual races have soared in popularity recently allowing you to run at your own pace, on your own time, and on your own route. Many of these races support charitable causes. There is nothing quite like running and knowing you are also giving back to a cause you believe in. You can pair these races with other ways to give back, such as environmentally friendly shoes. Having the motivation to get out the door for a run has never been easier when you know your miles will go towards something you believe in.
This post was sponsored by adidas, however all opinions are my own.
Benefits of a Virtual Race for Charity
Running for charity can contribute to the cause in a few ways. On many platforms, a portion of your registration fee will go towards the charity. Look to see how transparent the site or app is to determine how much is actually being donated. For many sign-ups, there is also the option to donate an additional amount directly to the charity.
In addition to providing financial support, you can also drive awareness for your cause. Post on social media and share with friends and family your upcoming race. For every person you reach, they will learn more about the cause and potentially donate (or join you in fundraising).
For some races, the sponsor might offer bibs that can be worn during your virtual run. This can be a fun way to get public support. You might be surprised to see people cheering you on during your run! This can also help drive more awareness to the cause.
With virtual races, the sky is the limit for how many you can do and for what causes you can support. There are so many different races and swag, including theme races. Here are some great resources on how you can start racing virtually for a cause.
Running Apps and Websites that Give Back
Virtual Strides is a virtual race website that clearly states a minimum that will be donated to charity for each race, which can sometimes be difficult to find on other sites. They are committed to giving at least $5 back to the event’s featured charity for each registration. Their races have some fun swag, from medals to t-shirts. They also have an app for both IOS and android.
I Run 4 Movement
I Run 4 Movement is a popular virtual race website that offers a ton of fun swag and themed virtual races. There is a race for everyone here. The range of themes goes from light-hearted “Pumpkin Spice Latte Run”, to a very relevant “I Support Frontline Heroes” race.
They also offer custom bibs, which can help drive awareness for the cause you are running for (or in other cases, the fun theme). On each race page they provide details about the charity that specific race is supporting. For many races this is an undisclosed donation on your behalf, although some races will specify the amount. They also offer cash and swag rewards if you refer friends or family to run with you.
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Charity Miles is a free app available on IOS and Android phones that allows you to support a charity through your running or walking activity. There is a list of over 40 charities to choose from. The app is fairly straightforward and allows activity tracking in app and also through partner apps (such as Strava).
There are a few ways to fundraise for your charity. There are corporate sponsors for certain charities, in addition to a corporate sponsorship fund. The app also makes it easy to raise pledges and donations from your friends and family, even giving you an estimator for how much you can raise based on your mileage goal and pledge amount per mile. If you are fortunate and your employer participates, there is also an Employee Empower Program. With so many ways to fundraise for charity, this app is worth looking into to see if there is a charity that resonates with you.
Give Back More: Run with Environmentally Friendly Running Shoes
It is an amazing feeling knowing your runs are supporting something you believe in. Although your charity of choice might not be for an environmental cause, you can feel like you are giving even more back by running in a pair of environmentally friendly running shoes.
Ultraboost 20 with Primeblue
Although everyone has their own preference for running shoes, there is an extremely versatile environmentally friendly shoe that is worth trying if you have not already. The adidas Ultraboost 20 is made with Primeblue, a performance fabric made up of recycled plastic material. This fabric consists of at least 75% Parley Ocean Plastic, or marine plastic waste collected from beaches and coastal regions. Without seeing the label on these shoes, I would have no idea the knitted upper used to be marine plastic waste. The fabric is extremely flexible, soft, and comfortable; it molds to your foot like a sock.
Running in these shoes is not only comfortable but actually feels easier. The fabric is super light and by conforming to your foot, makes it feel like the shoe is just an extension. The energy return from the boost midsole feels super responsive and overall makes the same strides feel like less effort.
Another plus: these shoes look great. There is a wide range of colors, whether you like subtle shoes or brighter (I opted for bright). On one of my trial runs I even had a friendly New York City stranger call out “Nice shoes!”. With great performance, looks, and knowing these shoes are environmentally friendly, I’ve found my new virtual race running shoe.
What Are You Waiting For? Get Running for a Cause Virtually
Giving back to your community or to a cause is one of the best feelings. Combine it with an environmentally friendly running shoe like the adidas Ultraboost 20 and you might find a new sense of joy and motivation to get out and run. If you are looking for other ways to stay motivated running, Bliss from Balance has a virtual running buddy program where you can connect with like-minded runners and run together virtually.
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Do you currently run for a charity virtually, or is it something you are willing to try? Let me know your thoughts on running for a cause and environmentally friendly running shoes.