Why do you run for?

TITLE SUPPOSED TO BE : Who do you run for 

As a recent convert to running, Im still going through the experience of learning which I expect everyone does to some degree, so please excuse me if I have the wrong end of the stick so to speak.
I started running to better my health, however it has become something I enjoy greatly.

Im starting to enter events and have a couple later this year, however I constantly get asked "who am I running for?" apparently answering "me" is not something which some people find acceptable as this is usually followed by the suggestion to run for the favorite charity of the person who asked the question

Im not against people who choose to run for a good cause, however the fact that running reduces the chance of myself becoming a burden on the national health service and provides greater heath and enjoyment for me does not seem worth the same.

I curious if experienced runners feel the pressure to run 'for someone' or 'for a cause' ?

Im not a professional, im slow, but Is it inappropiate for me to enter events just for fun?


  • WilkieWilkie ✭✭✭

    Squeakz, it's perfectly OK to run for yourself.

    To a lot of people, running races = raising money for charity.  It was not always thus - races used to be for people to see how fast they could run a given distance.

    They still can be!  It is perfectly acceptable to take part in events for your own enjoyment.  I do it all the time, and so do thousands of other people.

    Next time someone suggests you raise money, say "You're right - gis a fiver and I'll send it in!"

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    My two favourite hobbies are running and drinking beer.

    Should I set up a justgiving page every time I go to the pub?

  • Sqeakz, I started running for hopefully a better standard of life for me and mine.

    If I ever get the chance to do London though I'll do it for charity.
  • I get asked that too squeakz. Usually followed by, 'you dont look like a runner, runners are small and thin'. 

    I run because I can. 

    Just for me. Make no no apologies and do it for fun. If sponsorship occasionally fits thats OK too.

    PhilPub - thats a great Idea, people can sponsor me for beer money, I expect to achieve sub 4 minute miles on the way to the pub in about half an hour and sub 56m/m on the way home via persepolis kebab shop.


  • fair point phil.
    I ran my first marathon for charity, raising £1400, i'm training for my second now and keep getting asked who I'm running it for, I say just for the craic! They all look at me like I'm mad 'your running 26 miles for fun?' well yes and because the first marathon was so slow (5:03hrs - i had a knee injury) I'm certain of a pb this time round (as long as I'm injury free).
    For 10ks and HM's people dont ask, they know i enter these races regularly, again, just for the craic!
    soundz like your enjoying yourself squeaks, thats the main thing.
  • same as above, I run for me. Because I like it. I don't run for charity, partly beecause i'm a self centred f*ck*r and partly because I don't have a charity which is close to my heart. I enjoy running, I enjoy racing. You shouldn't feel bad about running for whatever reason you want to.
  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    To be fair, I only got into running to face the challenge of completing THE (London) Marathon, and ended up raising a fair wodge of cash for charity, just cos it was the done thing, it's what people expected so I thought I might as well.  But I must admit I was taken aback the first time I entered any old club-organised event and was asked "Who are you running for?"  Took me a second or two to work out what they were going on about.

    It's not just running.  I remember telling someone about my planned trek up to Everest base camp.  "Oh are you being sponsored?"  Er no, it's a holiday.  You can pay for it if you want to though!

  • BirchBirch ✭✭✭

    I've entered 23 marathons, finished 21, 1 DNF & 1 DNS, and none for charity. I ran one race (a half mara) where I asked for sponsorship towards a memorial tree to be planted when one of my son's teachers died.  I only asked people at the school. Before I took up running, I played football & cricket, and every time I had a game, no-one asked me what charity I was doing it for - as Phil says (Phil - I drink beer also) image - I don't expect to be sponsored to pursue my hobbies ! Also I feel carrying sponsorship hopes with me in a marathon would compromise my efforts- when you're racing, there's always a chance (however well prepared), that you could have a "crash and burn", so the temptation could be to take it too easy to ensure a finish for the sponsorship money.

    Having said all that, good on those who do raise lots of cash (and if asked, I usually give). 

  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

    I run for me. I would not want to run for charity. I hate asking people to sponsor me.

    I run for my club. It's a social thing so I show up at races in my club colours where appropriate. It's really good when a complete stranger recognises the colours and give you a cheer. image

    I actually dislike being asked to sponsor people to run. Like why?

  • Probably sounds like I'm being a bad mother, but I run to get half an hours peace away from my 2 kids! Not sure I'd stay sane if I didn't run!
  • a good runr is haveing speaedimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage

  • I run because I am terrible at team sports and dont like to rely on others for my success.

    Sorry Cantona but I just cant trust team mates not to fXXk up!


    It cheap. £50- £80 every 300-500 miles is better spent on running shoes that trips to the pub/kebab shop/widescreen tv/play station/xbox/whatever.....

    I makes me fit as a flea and feels great.

  •  sorry

    never turn your back on your kids 

     they may type all kind of things

  • Oh yeah blame the kids cos you went a bit mental!imageimage

  • bikermouse wrote (see)

    I run for me.

     I would not want to run for charity

    I run for my club. It's a social thing so I show up at races in my club colours where appropriate. It's really good when a complete stranger recognises the colours and give you a cheer. image

    1. I ran one event for a charity; my first half-marathon (& still the only one too - but that was because of where it was)

    I think my collegues only sponsored me just to see if I could make, or in the hope that I would be 'on the news' being dug out of the sand/dragged into a lifeboatimage

    It was the 'Cross-Bay Challenge' that went over the sands of Morecambe Bay

     2. I run for myself, or perhaps for the Club.

    I'm not in a running/athletics Club, but alway enter in the name of my cycling Club (& invariably in a Club jersey)

    Okay, I'll freely admit that it amuses me slightly to be asked after the event, if my shirt shows a new running club that they've not heard of.

    If I admit that it's a cycling Club, I always get asked if I'm a triathlete, as though that's a reason for the runningimage

    The main reason I started running was a 'cross-training' for my Cyclo-Cross racing, reasoning that if I could run a mile, I could run quickly up a 100yard muddy slope with the bike on my shoulder & not lose too much time

    My Club is...............


    I've even entered the few Fell-Races that I've done in the Club colours, & tend to see quite a few cross-riders (that I know) from other Clubs entered too

    Fell-Racing is very popular amongst Cyclo-Cross riders - we even have our own 'Three- Peaks' event


  • Mr BoatMr Boat ✭✭✭

    I was lucky last year to be given a club place for FLM (my first). I had no intentions of running for charity at all until workmates started asking me who I was running for. I had lost my younger sister aged 40 to cancer the year before and a local hospice had done so much for her I had an idea I should perhaps take advantage of my entry and raise them some money. They were well please; I raised just over £1000.

     I'm doing the same this year but I don't like asking people for sponsership so I'll do the same as last year and just leave the form on the desk in the office and see what happens. My mum and dad'll do the rest. It won't be as easy raising the same this year as everyone knows how much I run now so it's not such a big deal to finish.

     Club vest for me though; no charity tee-shirt or rhino suit!

  • MadameOMadameO ✭✭✭

    I always fundraise when I'm running the London marathon, because it's the one everyone's heard of and it's a good opportunity to raise money for a good cause. I don't do it with other events though, because I don't want to be harrassing people all year round - nor do I want the hassle myself. Running is one of the few things I do to wind down and keep me sane, and I also like the challenge of setting new PBs - adding the stress of collecting sponsorship for every race would defeat the object.

    But yes, I do always get asked the charity question... fair enough I suppose, but it irritates me when people imply that it's somehow wrong or selfish to not be fundraising. I always want to say 'well get off your @rse and run then, if it means that much to you'. It's quite sad really that exercise is considered so out of the ordinary by some people that they think every race warrants sponsorship... flattering in a way, but worrying if you get what I mean!

    Squeakz, don't let anyone guilt trip you - enjoy your running and your racing, and don't feel you have to justify it to anyone but yourself. Phil's bang on, I'm going to try that response next time! image

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭
    I'd enter the RW t-shirt slogan contest but it's a little over 22 characters.  image
  • I have never run for charity. I run to manage stress and keep my body healthy. I love very few things more than the feeling I have after coming back from a long training run, or finishing a race,

    I do find it quite strange when people think you have to run for charity. These mass charity runs have also managed to crowd out some smaller charities, in addition to creating a climate where someone has to do something 'crazy' like run a 5k (!) for people to donate to a good cause. Very sad in my view.  

    On the topic of charity excersise today I was asked to sponser someone to take part in a two minute 'hoopathon'. Seriously wtf?!

  • birkmyrebirkmyre ✭✭✭

    Been running since I was at school, early 1980s. It was the sport I was best at back then.

    Now I run through habit and the enjoyment of the sport.

    I just enjoy running.

    You run, then you have my respect. Simples

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭
    howlongisthishill wrote (see)

    On the topic of charity excersise today I was asked to sponser someone to take part in a two minute 'hoopathon'. Seriously wtf?!

    I would tell them that anything ending in '-athon' is supposed to be a feat of endurance, and to come back with their sponsorship form when they've been doing whatever it is they're doing with their poxy hoops for two days, not two minutes.

    If it's a charity close to their heart, they'll understand.  image

  • JWrunJWrun ✭✭✭
    I always run for me but at one event a yr i will ask people to sponsor me for a charity that is not well known, doesn't ask you to raise extortionate amounts of money and is very close to my familes heart. If people are willing to sponsor me then great cos its all for an excellent cause. It doesn't put any further pressure on me, i do that myself, i will finish no matter what and the charity ebefits and I get another medal under my belt, everyoen wins, if you don't want to sponsor me then don't. As that feckin stupid meerkat says - simples
  • Like many people on this thread, I run for myself.

    When I was younger (10-12) I used to have "friends" in my school who basically gave me an inferiority complex - the "you can't do it" kind of mentality. Any achievement I did was played down because "anyone could do that".

    So when I started running, and I really enjoyed it, I found something I was good at and something I could do on my own without having to tell anyone about. Running makes me feel free - I could go out the door right now and run to the train station if I wanted to. It makes me feel better about myself. Gives me a sense of achievement.
  • I never run for a charity.  I don't mind if the entry fee forms part of a charitable donation but I don't go asking people for money so I can run in an event.  I run to keep fit and to challenge myself, not to be stressed out by having to meet a certain sponsorship money target.

  • MACbMACb ✭✭✭
    I run to keep fit and to enjoy the beautiful scenery where I live (or on holiday), it is good for my body and mind and I feel better for it. I enter races to help give more something to work towards during my fairly un-structured training, and it works. I am doing the London marathon for charity even though i got a place by luck, I thought of all the races this is one people might sponsor me to run. I hate asking for sponsorship, i'd rather people said no rather than try and avoid the subject - I will only ask again! I think this is worse than the running to be honest! I feel that running for charity can give you more pressure, but it can also help motivate you (not that i really need it).
  • I'm happy to ask for sponsorship when I put in a lot of effort to do something that's a real achievement for me.

    Generally though, running isn't a lot of hard work and it's something I do anyway, so I don't feel that I can harrass friends and family for money on a continuous basis!

  • well, it may be worth mentioning to your badminton/ squash/ 5-a-side/ hockey/ rugby/ cyclist/ netball etc etc friends that no-one pesters them to see if they are being sponsored to do their sportimage

  • Ditto lots of the above,,,if people ask if I am being sponsored I say no but suggest they use  my run as a trigger to donate to a charity of their choice if they want to.....I wonder how many do ??
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