On The Run

Some Ways I’d Like to Give Back to Running in 2023

Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking about my running goals for the New Year. I’m trying to keep things simple as I have a tendency to go overboard! But something I feel has been missing from previous years’ goals is a way to give back to running. As a runner blogger, I know I do contribute to the running community, especially in Botswana, by sharing my running adventures, my experiences of different races, as well as general running tips for those who are starting out. But I’ve been thinking of other ways I can contribute to the sport I love…

These Are Some of My Thoughts

Support Runners on their Long Runs. A few weeks ago, my friend Tshire was doing a 56km run (yes, she is crazy like that! Remember she ran Comrades?!) To support her, my kids and I organised some water, juice, fruit and chocolate at a stop near our house. The kids were so excited when they saw her running towards us, and quickly offered her everything on our tray. This was the first time I had done this, and something I’d love to do more of in the new year.

Volunteer at a Race. As you all know too well, I’ve participated in several races, but never once volunteered at one! Chasing bling always seems more important to me. And it is for this reason that I’d like to challenge myself to spend time behind the scenes, and experience what it’s like on the other side. I know many of my blogger friends have done this and felt so fulfilled afterwards.

Sponsor a Girl Runner. This is something that has been on my mind for years, but I’ve never sat down and ironed out all the details. But there are so many talented runners, particularly in High Schools, who just don’t have the means to participate in races – from the shoes to the outfit, to the race entry. So, if I could find a way to sponsor even one such girl, I’d be so happy.

Pace Another Runner. Ditiro has selflessly paced me in several races – I say “selflessly” because each time he does so, he sets aside his own personal goals – that’s huge and something I’ve never thought to do myself. So, in the new year, I’d love to do that for a friend looking to achieve a certain goal during a race. I’ve always said I’m a good pace setter – time to put that to practice!

Create a Botswana Race Calendar. Nothing like this seems to exist and a lot of the messages I respond to on social media are from people asking me what races are taking place! As I’m always hunting for information on races, I do have my finger on the pulse when it comes to this. So, maybe I should work out how to formalise this in an official racing calendar. I think this may also help race organisers avoid some unnecessary clashes (i.e., no races for weeks and then two races planned for the same day!). These clashes can be so frustrating for runners.

If you have any suggestion on how I can make these ideas work, please do let me know – I’d love to hear them! What ways have you volunteered or given back to running?

I’m so excited to be linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With AttitudeRun Laugh Eat PieRuns with Pugs, and Zenaida for Fit Five Friday

7 thoughts on “Some Ways I’d Like to Give Back to Running in 2023

  1. As a runner, this is so important! We all need to do more… these are great ideas.

    I always try to volunteers at races… I also run with slower runners as long as it helps them… I don’t care at this point about my race pace. as well as helping friends complete their long runs.

    I organize our weekly runs and race-cations. And encourage my friends to enter local races.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great ideas, Shathiso! We don’t have much for local races, so I drove to Des Moines (an hour away) and volunteered at the packet pick-up for their turkey trot (right before Thanksgiving). It does feel great to give back!! I also bring along a trash bag and pick up wayward garbage and litter on an occasional run.

    Like

  3. these are AWESOME ways to give back to running! One of the reasons I jumped on the opportunity to do parkrun is purely for the community! obviously not just runners but it is certainly a way to give back. And I love it, even on days like today where we held it during a downpour. We started with about 10 volunteers in our volunteer pool and we now have over 50, because people understand that, sure it’s nice to participate, but giving back is golden! Volunteering at a race is fun too, and sponsoring a young runner could also be very rewarding!

    I wonder if you could start a calendar website where people could submit races via a form, then you could add it to the calendar. We have a dutch calendar ( https://hardloopkalender.nl/) where organisations can add their events. I think they have sponsors who basically help pay for the site.

    I’m sure you will figure it out!! Happy new year!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love how you started parkrun, and with all the challenges you got it done! That, plus your continued participation in it, is HUGE! Giving back is golden – my parents did/do so much of that – my mum did so much charity through Inner Wheel, and my dad still does a lot of community work through Rotary. It really gives him so much joy especially with mum gone.

      Thanks so much for the calendar tip! I’ll start investigating so I get it up this January! At least a rudimentary version of it!

      Like

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