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Monday, June 05, 2023

There are an infinite number of nonprofit organizations, and many of them host 5Ks or walks and other events that rely on the goodwill of others to participate and raise awareness for their cause. Because you are already exercising anyway, why not lend a hand? Most of the time, the events do not require a large fee to participate, and the money is being used for a good cause. You will also be surrounded by a diverse group of people in different stages of health, who are working for the same thing you are. The process of preparing and participating is a simple one, and I’m here to walk you through it.

Finding an event

Many times, events will be posted in a local newspaper under the entertainment section if the organization is well known. Both the Relay for Life and the Susan G. Komen Foundation are huge organizations that are very well known, and so are able to get more attention for their activities. However searching online for events like these in your area may also alert you to more opportunities. You might be surprised at the number of events hosted around your city that require a form of exercise and support a good cause.


Once you know what event you want to attend, know what is expected of you. If you signed up for a 5K, do not expect to be ready in a few weeks by walking three miles a day. A lot of events do allow walking, including runs. But in the interest of increasing endurance and maintaining a healthy heart, train for the run. This way the event is benefitting both you and the cause. Little by little, you can move from 5Ks to half marathons and so on. If you are going to take the time, do it right!


Sometimes, especially if you are just starting out, it is nice to have friends train with you. They can encourage you both throughout the preparation and the actual run, and it’s nice to have someone next to you who will understand the burn you feel in your legs or help you push through the cramp in your side. Some organizations allow you to create teams of several people; you can get a large group of friends together, convince family to join you, or make it a corporate bonding experience. If it motivates you, go for it.

The day of the run

On the day of the run, wake up prepared. A lot of longer events start in the morning, so have everything you need laid out the night before so you do not end up scrambling last minute. Having a small backpack for keys and a wallet is a good idea, because most runs do not start and stop in the same place and you will have nowhere to leave your things. If you want to eat breakfast, wake up early enough to let your food digest before the run. If not, eat something small, like a handful of nuts or a banana. At a lot of events, they have water throughout the course and a small meal with fruits and bread at the end to give the runners some energy. If not, make a plan with some friends to meet somewhere for a meal and treat yourself. The most important thing to remember is to have fun and think about how hard you worked for that moment!


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