Charity runs have seen a tremendous rise in popularity over the last several years.  It seems like every weekend there is a 5k or marathon that is raising money to help cure a disease or to fund a program.  Preparing for a run that benefits a charitable organization requires a lot of hard work and discipline, but when the big day arrives you will be very happy that you put forth the effort.  You will go home knowing that you have helped a great cause and kept your body in shape in the process.  If you are considering participating in a charitable marathon or--if you aren't a crazy person--a run of a shorter distance, here are 5 reasons to be a part of charity runs.

Charity Runs Bring Awareness To A Great Cause

Many people begin their participation in charitable events once they or someone they know is diagnosed with a condition or disease.  That is what happened with my family.  When my son became a Type 1 Diabetic we quickly became heavily invested in the Walk to Cure Diabetes in our hometown.  When you make your commitment to participate and start your training, it is natural that you will share your experience with family, friends, and coworkers.  During the course of conversation, the cause and aid organization for which you are running will be brought up.  This will help educate others and perhaps spur them on to take part in the charity run as well.

Charity Runs Raise Money For A Cause

Charity RunsCredit: Stuart GroutThis is hopefully the next step to bringing awareness to a cause.  The reason that charity runs exist is to raise money for a disease such as cancer or diabetes, or it may be to raise money for a new church building or firehouse.  Since a runner usually has a personal connection with the foundation in question, it can be quite easy to raise a lot of money.  Never underestimate the generosity of other people when it comes to raising money for a good cause.  When you decide to run in a charity race, you open up the possibility to not only tell others about the race, but you also introduce an opportunity to ask for donations.  These donations will go toward helping the cause for which you are running.

Charity Runs Show Support To Someone You Know

When you decide to give of your time, energy, and effort for a cause that means so much to someone else, it makes you feel good, and it makes them feel special.  Many times, people and families that live with a disease feel as if other people do not care as much about the daily battle as they would like.  It is usually an incorrect perception, but by participating in a charity run, you will show your family and friends that you are willing to give of yourself to hopefully make their life a little easier.  That goes a long way for all involved.

Charity Runs Keep You Healthy And In Good Shape

Besides the benefits of helping another person or organization, participating in a charitable run will keep you in great shape too.  All the hours spent training and eating healthy will of course do wonders for your own body.  Everyone knows the physical benefits of exercise, but you almost have to go through an actual training regimen to understand the mental and emotional benefits that running provides.  Running is a great way to sort out the day's events in your mind.  If you run in the morning, you can think about what you have to do that day.  If you run in the evening, you can reflect back on and decompress from the day.  Running can be physically exhausting, but the boost to your psyche can overcome all of the pain and sweat, especially when it is for a good cause.

Charity Run Are Simply A Lot Of Fun

When you get to race day, you will find that the charity run is a whole heckuva lot of fun.  There are usually live bands, free food, prizes, and of course a lively atmosphere.  There is good camaraderie throughout the entire area since everyone is running or walking for the same purpose.  Naturally you will be around people you know, and it is good to catch up with them, but there are great opportunities to meet new people who are also looking to raise money and awareness for a great cause.  There is a lot of planning and training that goes into a charity run, but when the day is over, the excitement and energy lingers on for a while.  The simple fun of an event like this is what keeps many people coming back year after year.

Do Not Let The Chance Pass You Up

So if you have been given the opportunity to participate in a run to benefit a worthy cause, definitely take the chance.  You will get yourself in great shape, meet new people, have a lot of fun, and most importantly, raise awareness and money for something that means so much to the people around you.  Charity runs are a great way to spend your time.