Running with Purpose…

Year-end of most years allows me to do a bit more reflective thought than I typically get to do during the course of the year.  For some reason I tend to execute more when I have time off of work and procrastinate or think about and subsequently forget about stuff when I am caught up working with no breaks beyond normal weekends.  I like the clarity that comes with this time of year.  Amongst my latest thoughts (i.e. conserve more/want less, build more/buy less, be thoughtful of others/make people feel special, be deliberate, define my passion, capture my New Year’s Resolutions, understand how someone like Jim DeMint gets elected, and so on…) I have found myself landing on the topic of Charity and Giving most of all.  A buddy of mine at work put together a coat drive on his own before the holiday break.  His efforts amounted to 2 car trunk fulls of coat/blankets to provide warmth to those in need.  Maybe 50-75 people are warmer right now as a result of his thoughtfulness.  And execution.  Good example of doing good. I think me and a different buddy (John T) have come up with an equally good idea.

The Idea: Run for Charity.  Simple, right?  I like to run.  I want to give.  Like the old Reese’s Commercial we just marry the two together.  My buddy John T. and I discussed the desire to both want to make our running more meaningful.  I’ve run 30 or so marathons, tens of thousands of miles and aside from entry fees and the cause the races may (or may not) support, I’ve done it all for nothing more than some data in a spreadsheet, a medal in a box, and the good feeling of accomplishment for myself.  Not selfless.  Actually a bit selfish.  Globally, maybe I am also doing a very small part to reduce overall health care expenses.  But far from selfless.  John T. and I both agree our plan needs to start out simple and see where it takes us from there.

The Plan:

  1. Define the charity or charities you will be running for in 2010 – maximize the share by engaging corporate matching programs (BAC matches up to $5,000 for most 503c organizations.
  2. Pledge a monetary amount per mile run in 2010 (to be tracked by the individual runner, not the group – for pressure-free engagement).
  3. Track miles run on an official shareable device (e.g. Garmin via GarminConnect, Nike Plus, MapMyRun.com, the Daily Mile, etc.) and share publicly.
  4. Calculate total mileage and dollars given (with matches) to see collective group impact.
  5. Figure out how to improve at year-end (and along the way).
  6. Spread the word to other interested runners.

The Community:  Open to all runners.  Giving is contagious.  Let’s run on purpose with purpose.

I’ll keep regular posts on our progress here on my blog (ideally).  Over the year we hope to engage the community of pledged runners in monthly challenges (e.g. Most miles run off-road, most days run, etc.).  We will look to engage via an easy media means (e.g. Facebook Fan Page, WordPress Blog, etc.) in the coming weeks.  I might even use few parentheticals (no guarantees). Run on with purpose…

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