Each year thousands of runners celebrate the joys of running and charitable giving on what has become known as World Run Day.
But what exactly is World Run Day, and how can you get involved? Here's the straight scoop on how World Run Day works and what you can do to show your love of running on this special day.
More: History of World Run Day
What is World Run Day?
In short, World Run Day is a global celebration of running! Celebrated on the Sunday closest to November 8th each year, runners from all over the world come together to promote the health benefits of running, while encouraging social responsibility through donations to local charities.
According to World Run Day's website, its programs and activities are guided by several goals: to promote running and charitable giving, mobilize the running community, create tools for those looking to hold World Run Day events, inspire and engage young people to become running leaders, and support World Run Day with running celebrations around the world.
How Did World Run Day Begin?
The concept of World Run Day came about in 1999 when Bill McDermott, a runner from Long Island, New York, asked himself, "What would be the ultimate running event?"
His response became the catalyst for what would become a worldwide partnership with other runners. In its first year, World Run Day claimed 100 participants scattered throughout the world. Since 1999, over 10,000 runners have participated in World Run Day events.
Where Does World Run Day Take Place?
Events in honor of World Run Day take place all over the world because runners can participate from anywhere. Designed in the spirit of celebrations like New Year's Day and Earth Day, runners are encouraged to celebrate the occasion however they like.
From organized races to training runs on local courses, around the track, or on the treadmill, participants need only fulfill one requirement: run.
In the past, World Run Day events have been held as far away as London, Sydney, Sao Paolo, and even Afghanistan.
How Far Do World Run Day Participants Need to Run?
Runners who take part in World Run Day may choose any distance to run during this special day.
Which Charities Benefit From World Run Day?
In addition to touting the mental and physical benefits of running, World Run Day organizers are committed to helping those who are less fortunate through their partnerships and contributions to local charities.
Event participants are encouraged to make a donation directly to a local charity of their choosing. Through direct donations, participants are able to support the causes that are most important to them.
While financial contributions are encouraged, volunteer work is equally appreciated, and donations are not required to join World Run Day celebrations.
How Can I Get Involved?
To learn more about World Run Day, interested runners can visit its website at RunDay.com, where they can find out how to volunteer for the cause, connect with other runners, learn how to host World Run Day events, and find virtual runs taking place year-around.
You can also find pre-arranged events in your area, right here on Active.com. If a nearby event is not listed, runners are encouraged to start their own. Races and other structured events are great, but they require a lot of preparation to host and are not necessary for those looking to participate.
Other options include hosting running parties, teaming up with local running groups, or organizing jog-a-thons or other fundraisers at local schools. Once a runner has signed on, he/she is asked to help spread the word about the excitement of World Run Day through local and social media.
So what are you waiting for? Start planning your World Run Day festivities today!event to add to your calendar and celebrate your love of running.