We all love to run. We get so much out of it–fitness, camaraderie, physical/mental challenge, therapy, and a huge dose of fun. So in this season of giving, take a minute to think about how you might give back to the sport you love. A few ideas:
- Volunteer at a race–If you’ve run a race this year, I’m sure you can appreciate all that goes into pulling it off. Or maybe you can’t if you’ve never been on the other side of it. Races are always in need of volunteers, so find a local one and see where you can pitch in. You’ll be surprised at how much fun you have.
- Get a shoe drive going–There are several organizations that collect gently used running shoes and send them to third world countries. Soles4Souls, and PPPAfrica are just two that come to mind. Collecting shoes can be quick and easy to do–most runners have several old pairs sitting around and are happy to unload them!
- Turn someone on to running–Most of us have friends who don’t “get” the whole running thing, yet regularly go to the gym to stay fit in some other fashion. Take them by the hand and get them out the door for a short, easy run. It just may stick.
- Get involved in a youth running program–Girls on the Run, a nationwide program for girls in 3rd through 8th grades, is always looking for volunteer coaches and “buddy runners” at their 5k races. There are other programs like it as well–check around to see where you can fit in.
- Check in with your local running club–most have plenty of volunteer opportunities and welcome the help!
- I’m sure I’m just scratching the surface here, but hopefully it will get your mind turning for ways to combine your love of sport with a little giving back. Happy holidays!