Sponsorship - to do or not to do?

I woudl like to know how many of you run races for yourself or if everybody runs to raise money? After having been unwell last year I challenged myself to a marathon to get myselft out of a rut. I did not run for sponsorship. Lots of my family and friends were surprised at that. Is it normal to run for your own achievement or is it expected that you try to raise money every time?


  • Sponsorship free zone here.  It's a hobby for me and I don't consider what I'm doing is exceptional.  I was brought up in a 'anti-sponsorship' household though.
  • I run for myself - but I have run for charity as the occasional by-product of that....

  • I raised money for a friend's charity when I ran my first marathon, but haven't done so since.  I'm not the type of person who's comfortable with pestering people for money.

     I've always thought if I ever get into the London marathon through the ballot that I would run for a charity though.

  • TheraThera ✭✭✭
    Thanks for that. It's a hobby for me as well, but I almost felt like a bit of a fraud when I did my marathon in spring. I'm glad there are a few of us out there that do not run for sponsorship.
  • i have been running for 30 years & have run 600 racers & i have run 595 of the my self
  • I got sponsorship for my first race because I was excited about it and thought it was a long way (only 3.5 miles but that was a long way for me then) and because as it was a charity race, thought I had to raise sponsorship.  I haven't asked for sponsorship since and wouldn't in the future, as like others have said, I run for me and it's just a hobby.
  • I tend to run for sponsorship if it's a new challange, 1st 10K, 1st half marathon - I'd say etc. but I've no intention of doing a full marathon! and I've got sponsorship when running as a team from work.


  • The great majority of runners don't run races for charity. I've done it twice -- once because it was the only chance of taking part in the race. The other time I did it was voluntary, which I much preferred as there was no target to reach.

    I will no doubt run for charity again at some point, and I applaud all runners who do it, but no need to feel guilty about not doing so.
  • As above did the 1st three for charity and then haven't done so since.

    I just feel that you cant keep asking your friends / work coll for money all the time.

    Do what you want its up to you - you have paid to run the race ! 

  • Thera, I wouldn't feel bad for not running for charity plenty of people don't. 

    I often get asked "what charity are you running for" and I am afraid to say that thus far I have run for myself. I started running to lose weight and to get healthy and as I said to some friends recently "would you really want me asking you for sponsor money every other weekend."

    If I get into the VLM I will probably sort out a charity to run for then all the people who keep asking me can pay up, cause there is only one marathon image

  • Did sport relief once, but I run for me, if I want to give to charity, I will, but I don't feel the need to run for charity.
  • Run for myself, but having said that I am only running my first race this week.  Unless it was a marathon I'd be a bit embarrassed to ask for sponsorship. I don't think I should be paid to haul my fat arse around 6 or so miles.
  • I ran a HM last year organised for a local hospice so I raised money, if I get a VLM ballot place then I am thinking of doing it for charity. I've never signed up for a charity place as I don't want the pressure of having to raise £2500 which they ask for the VLM.

  • TheraThera ✭✭✭

    Thanks everyone!! image I'm glad I am not the only one. You are right, I should not see it as pressure when people ask me what charity I am running for and I am only running for myself ( or should I tell them I am the charity????...maybe too cheeky...image)

    danowat - you're right about giving to charity when you want rather than having to just to do your hobby.

  • I run for myself and times also - its good when some of the money goes to charity - sometrimes I enter a race instead of a Sunday run, and if that raises money then thats good.

    I just keep them seperate...I got nobbled by the Red cross for £10 a month as it is!!

  • I run for myself.  I did the FLM for charity but that is the only time I am going to do it.

    I do so many races and if I got sponsorship for every race I did, I would have no friends.  image

    I think the London marathon etc makes most people think that all races are charity events.

  • Yup.

    Me - I am running a half marathon at the weekend

    Them - Which charity are you doing that for?

    Me - I am not doing it for charity

    Stunned look of disbelief and confusion....

    Them - really?, why on earth would you run a half marathon for nothing?

    "They" just don't get it do they image

  • I ran a marathon a few months back.  Everyone at work asked me - "What charity are you running for ?" and when I answered I wasn't the reaction was an indignant "WHY NOT??" like I was some sort of selfish arsehole.

    I don't ask people what charity they are playing Sunday Leaugue 5 a side for, do I? Or what charity they are going fishing for over the weekend?  Why should my hobby be any different?

  • Because it's there and it's fun!!!

    Good luck Dano

  • Should have pre-faced it with, "this was a few weeks ago"!!!, but I'll take the good luck as a belated good luck,
  • On the one occasion I have run a marathon for charity, I found collecting the sponsorship money harder than doing the damn event !
  • Yes, that's another thing.  Collecting the money.  When I did my first run (for Crisis), I didn't manage to collect most of the money pledged by people who didn't want to pay by the Just Giving website.
  • Yeah, true that, I remember giving up collecting the money for my sport relief run, and just paying it myself, it was much easier, and much more painless.
  • When I do it I try and use just giving as you don't have that hassle although I do worry if I was unlucky enough to get a last minute injury and pulled out everyone would have paid.

  • I have done FLM for charity twice but not bothered for any other marathon or race - FLM is a bit different cos it's the only race most 'normal' folks know about and if you are doing london - the support the charities give you is exceptional and can really help make the day extra special. IMHO

    Would prob always do london for charity - but only if i get through ballot (which i have twice now image ) as the amount the charities need you to raise is quite high these days. Peeps get fed up being asked even if it's years apart.
  • TheraThera ✭✭✭

    Doing London for a charity makes sense (it's the only way). Next time I get asked 'which charity' I will ask them how many times a year I can come round for sponsorship money!

  • GymAddict I wouldn't be adverse to doing London for a charity but I think the minimum sponsorship you have to commit to is prohibitively high. I realise they have to do that to screen out the huge number of people that apply, but I don't fancy the stress of trying to raise £2,000 and I know I would annoy people in trying to do so, given the number of sponsorship requests I received ahead of this year's race. There's real sponsorship fatigue out there, and I speak as someone who works for a charity.
  • hi hope you dont mind me joining in here...did race for life last year & of course everyone else was doing it! limit to how many times people want to sponser someone to do same race, if i ever get to gnr then would try for charity tho otherwise just do it for ME!!!

  • Dave The Ex- Spartan wrote (see)
    On the one occasion I have run a marathon for charity, I found collecting the sponsorship money harder than doing the damn event !
    Me too Dave. In fact, I need to leave now or I'll get angry......image
  • Wobbled - that's why i said i only raise money for a charity if I get through on the ballot - then there is no amount you HAVE to raise - i.e you have paid for your own place and the charities are delighted with ANYTHING you raise.

    I did once do NY marathon - on an NSPCC place - tying to raise the 2k required was very very difficult indeed and required much help from my husband and his colleagues as well as my own work mates.
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