Today we celebrated in our city’s traditional Sunday before St. Patrick’s Day with thousands running a 5K for charity, later celebrating with a parade and bar hopping, decked out in festive attire and drinking plenty of green beer. While the day might focus on those dressed in green and packing the local bars and restaurants, the real highlight of the day is giving back, reaching almost 8,000 running the 3.1 miles to provide funds for the local senior center and fight to literacy. Now I am not much of a runner myself, so I like to think that the money I poured into the bars and restaurants today will support local business, but I really need to make sure I sign up next year as a participant.
My wife works at a local hospital and I sign up for their run each year, with 100% of the contributions going to fight cancer, something I make sure I am involved with, as specifically my grandmother passed away from a few years ago, at which I entered my first race. It was pretty tough, especially considering I attended a wedding the night before, so having many beers the night before, while joking with everyone I was “carbing up”, not focusing too much on the next morning’s race. I did make it on time, struggled through, and finished a little over a half hour, a decent time starting out. The next year I did a little better on my time, and each year since, as each time I try and get little more sleep and not drinking the night before, so I was happy with myself. This is not something I plan on doing more of, I personally hate running, but I am ok with participating in a race or two each year for a good cause. I have a friend that is obsessed with running, does half and full marathons, giving up months of his life to train, something that does not seem to fun to me. I will run to get into shape, but definitely do not want it to be part of my life.
There seems to be different runs every week, anything from standard runs to more gimmick runs where you can go through mud or obstacle courses, but if you are doing for charity, I would beware of those, as much of entry fee does not go to charity and helps with the cost to put on the run, not to mention making a profit. Doing a 5K is definitely a way to stay healthy, not having to run and excess of miles, but if you can spare a half hour on a weekend, donating a few bucks, you can get a t-shirt for participating in the race and knowing you gave back to charity.