5 Things I Loved About Running For Charity

To wrap up my Chicago Marathon recap, I have to devote a post to the awesomeness that was running for Team Ronald McDonald House Charities.

1. Training Support Group

One of the reasons I started blogging was because I saw the opportunity to connect with like-minded people, learn from them, get and give encouragement, and share experiences. With Team RMHC we had that on a smaller scale with people who were also raising money to run Chicago. On our Facebook group, we’d post pics of our runs, lament over bad ones, celebrate good ones, seek/offer advice, and most of all, remind each other what our purpose was–raising money while doing what we love.

The charity organizers also included fun contests to keep us motivated–like the Ronald McDonald Boot Run contest I participated (and shoulda won, dammit! LOL!)

A #TeamRMHC pic on McDonald Drive in front of a McDonald's :D

A #TeamRMHC pic on McDonald Drive in front of a McDonald’s during my Ronald McDonald boot run πŸ˜€

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The big red boot.

In addition to the online forum, we received weekly e-mails from a certified coach (who provided us with a free training plan) with tips for our training–loved him! In addition, Team RMHC provided a motivational coach who would also send us weekly e-mails encouraging us to give our best, smartly. I always looked forward to these e-mails.

2. The Challenge and Appreciation for Fundraising

I was worried I wouldn’t be able to meet the fundraising amount but boy, I was completely overwhelmed by the graciousness of my friends, family, and YOU. Blown. Away.

There are so many people that have a connection to the RMH and when they would tell me their stories, it would just add to the meaning and importance of this race. I’m in a local running group and when I posted a link to my charity site in our group’s Facebook page, a woman who wasn’t active but mostly just lurked commented to say thank you to me and donated. She and her family had stayed in an Ronald McDonald House when her child had an extended hospital stay.

My mom, who is fantastic cook, and my husband helped me with a burrito sale I put on one weekend. It meant waking up at 4 in the morning to make chorizo and roll into tortillas, wrap, load, and deliver. We made over 75 burritos and made over $400 that day!

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FundraisingΒ was hard, but it definitely allowed me to get out of my comfort zone–I’m still not all that comfortable asking people for money, lol, but I knew I was asking for a good cause and that everyone’s donation was going to positive place. I wish I cold donate to everyone who asks me, because I know the hard work it takes to raise money and know the passion people have when they’re raising money for a cause they care deeply about.

3. Crowd Support

Wow. So Chicago Marathon is already known for amazing crowd support but it seemed that there were people affiliated with or supporters of RMHC the. entire. way. People would see my shirt and point, “Yeahhhh!!! Go Team RMHC!!” No need for me to write my name on my bib–I had cheerleaders throughout the whole race.

4. Race Day Amenities

I had no idea all the benefits I’d get from running with Team RMHC. I found out that it’s one of the biggest charities involved with the Chicago Marathon and being a part of the team meant I’d get some extra perks.

Before the race, we were provided with a HUGE tent to hang out and keep warm in. There was a DJ; private gear check; a breakfast buffet with coffee, orange juice, gatorade, water; race day miscellaneous like vaseline, tampons, hair ties and bobby pins; and perhaps best of all, private port-a-potties–they seriously thought of everything.

Pre-race

Pre-race

After the race, when you arrived back to the tent, you had to enter walking the red carpet with Ronald McDonald himself congratulating you. Along the velvet ropes were volunteers cheering you as you walked inside

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and once you were in, you were immediately given some bubbly.

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And then you saw food. Lots and lots of food.

I thought I was too tired (and in pain) to eat, but I ended up scarfing down a bit of everything.Β A DJ played music and everyone just hung out and celebrated. It was one big post race party.

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5. More Than a Medal

Team RMHC Chicago Marathon raised over ONE MILLION DOLLARS. And somehow, knowing the amount of people who will benefit from me deciding to run for this charity means more than the medal I wore for only a few hours.

I Run 4 Graisyn

I Run 4 Graisyn

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Thank you guys again for all of your support as I trained for Chicago and thank you to those who donated to The Ronald McDonald House. If you’re even considering running for charity, just do it!!! ❀ , helly

Shout out to the DC Trifecta–Cynthia, Mar, and Courtney for hosting The Friday Five!!!

 

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22 responses

  1. Once again you’ve inspired me! Now when I look for races, I’m looking to see what the money goes to and check to see if I can run for charity. It make running more meaningful. I’m considering running as a St. Jude’s Hero for the Rock n Roll Half in January.

  2. I absolutely loved this post. Charity running is pretty special stuff and something I have come to dearly love with my time working with one. So glad you had a great experience! And thank you for sharing this.

  3. Asking for money is so hard but you know what I thought of when I was reading this? Have you ever read the book “The Art of Asking” by Amanda Palmer? It’s a life-changer. I think you’d love it, and it would really help you even more with the fundraising stuff. I love your heart.

  4. Yes, learning how to fundraising is extremely humbling. It is hard to become that person that you typically snub your nose at! But it teaches you an extreme amount of respect for those people as well.

    Charity running is incredibly close to my heart, as you know. Both as a runner and as a patient. Running for a charity will change your life and the way you see the world! So proud of you.

  5. I ran for team RMHC this year at Chicago too and it was truly an incredible experience. I can’t imagine not running for RMHC again!

    • Yay!!! fellow RMHC runner ❀ I so wish I could do it again–if only Chicago wasn't so far from me 😦 BUT, the Hot Chocolate race in December has RMHC as their charity and I"m considering running again for them πŸ™‚

  6. Wow! That sounds like such a cool experience!! I would love to run for a charity, but I’m afraid of the fundraising minimums and I hate asking people for money as well. Loved the creative ways you earned money though! The burrito sale was genius!! Some pretty awesome race perks too!! Great job! RMH is a great charity!

  7. Pingback: Hello. It’s Me. | hellyontherun

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