By Elliot Green
26 Apr 18
Dance through rainbows, game 'til you drop or become a beach hero with these all-inclusive fundraising events.
The rise of the MAMIL
(That stands for middle-aged man/maiden in lycra!)
For many people today, fundraising for a good cause means a pavement-pounding run that never seems to end, or an ultra-long distance cycle ride that would make even Bradley Wiggins think twice. Increasingly popular and more challenging mass-participation events are popping up all over the UK calendar. There was once a time where a 10k run was the standard, but today we see 200+ mile cycle-athons and 10k obstacle courses that resemble something out of a S.W.A.T training camp.
At the start lines of these events we see hundreds of serious amateur athletes, ready to take that personal record after months of “HIIT” workouts and “immersive spinning” classes (whatever those are). It’s often less smiley faces, more game faces - you’d be forgiven for being scared off!
We're not all cut out for it.
Some of us are made of different stuff. Maybe we’re quite content with our under-average fitness levels and put our focus and creativity into other areas of life. Perhaps we’ve a lack of confidence and seemingly simple things like a quick jog around the block pose a real challenge to us.
Of course, it really is brilliant to be passionate about health and fitness. After all, training hard for an event is such a fantastic way to show your determination and commitment to a cause - especially when you’re trying to raise money for charity. But there are other ways to challenge ourselves, and many of us aren’t blessed with a natural hunger for electrolyte drinks and protein shakes. We get tired running for the bus, let alone trying to run 10 thousand meters!
When it comes to fundraising, there are countless ways to show your determination and passion for your cause, and these don’t always have to involve blisters and muscle cramps. At the end of the day the most important thing is to raise awareness and support for the wonderful community projects and social/environmental campaigns we believe in. For those of us who just aren’t cut out for a marathon but have a real determination to make an impact, there are certainly less lung-busting ways to do it.
Take a look at some of these alternative fundraising events to spark your interest…
K9-friendly runs and walks
The UK is home to a number of brilliant dog-friendly runs and obstacle courses which are less about speed and more about giving your furry friend the best walk they've ever had. We often see family friendly fun-runs being organised up and down the country, but any event that allows you to bring your dog along really does include the whole family! These events are perfect for raising support for one of our fantastic dog rescue charities like Almost Home Dog Rescue.
For those of us who consider ‘leisure time’ to involve an arm chair and a Playstation 4 rather than a pair of running shoes, an increasingly popular fundraising event is the ‘gaming marathon’. Whatever kind of gaming you’re into, why not pledge to take part in a 24-hour gaming session on a specific date to raise support for your chosen charity? Gaming marathons can be live-streamed using Youtube for example and you can take part on your own or in a team with fellow gamers. Modern tools available over the internet allow your friends and family to keep up to date in real-time as you crunch through the gaming miles. Post your live-stream to your social media accounts so it gets in front of people.
Big Rock 5k, 10k and beer run
Who says beer and running can’t go together? Run Wales’s Big Rock run on the North coast invites you to get involved in laid-back reggae runs complete with reggae-reggae medals and even a beer run for grown-ups so they can get vital refreshment along a respectable 1 mile route. The event takes place as part of the Big Rock reggae festival and is the perfect family day out, but also the perfect running event for less serious or beginner runners.
Colour Run Hero Tour
Take part in the most colourful run of your life with Colour Run’s Hero Tour for 2018. As the self-proclaimed ‘happiest 5k on the planet’, Colour Runs have become hugely popular with runners of all abilities and the events welcome children of all ages too. It's the perfect day for families or groups of friends and a brilliant atmosphere can be found at every event. Runners pass through stations of eye-popping powdered colours that fill the air around them. Colour fights are an expected sight and the bonus is the slower you complete the course, the more colourful you get! There’s no pot of gold at the end of this rainbow of colour but you will get a lovely medal, running t-shirt, headband and lots of smiles and laughter.
Why not take part in a colour run whilst supporting an LGBT cause like LGBT History month - the rainbow theme is a perfect fit.
Race for Life
The Race for life has grown to be one of the biggest fundraising event series in the UK. Funds are raised for Cancer Research UK, and the 5k courses are a manageable distance for all abilities. You can take part by walking, jogging or running and you’ll be joined by thousands of other women who want to show support for beating cancer. These events are about women uniting for one cause and it really is the taking part that counts. There are a number of events through the year including hikes, ‘pretty muddy’ events and even half marathons. Whatever your ability, you’re sure to find an event that’s a perfect personal challenge.
Britain’s biggest beach clean
We’ve all heard about the sad reality of plastic pollution in our oceans. In today’s world it’s difficult to walk the length of a beach without finding some form of plastic pollution among the pebbles and seaweed. But in recent years we’ve seen a rise in ‘beach clean-up’ efforts by hundreds, sometimes thousands of volunteers. It’s something that anybody can take part in and it helps bring communities together.
Each year the Marine Conservation Society organises the largest beach clean in the UK. Almost 7000 people took part last year and they’re looking to make 2018 even bigger. Can you help beat last year's record? - 255,000 pieces of litter removed from 339 UK beaches!
Beer Mile World Classic
If you can you drink a pint of beer more quickly than Usain Bolt can hit 100 meters you might be in with a chance at the Beer Mile World Classic. This event sees competitors running a manageable distance of 1 mile around an athletics track, but with one catch - you’ll need to finish one can of beer before each lap. Not only does this event have a fantastic atmosphere and a large crowd of hysterical on-lookers, it’s one where fast drinkers often catch up with serious runners in a tortoise and the hare style come-back. There’s also an elite race where top athletes from around the world compete for world records in what could be considered as the world's most ridiculous proper running race. Entry tickets get you a tasting session of craft brews, entry to the unofficial race and a spectator's seat at the official championship race.
This year’s event takes place in the city of Burnaby, Canada, but each year a new city hosts the race. In 2016 London was the lucky city and a new world record of 4:34.35 was set by Canadian, Corey Bellemore.
Want to use the Wonderful Organisation for fundraising but can’t find your charity?
Get in touch with us and we’ll contact them on your behalf, and if you really want to convince them, you could contact them directly yourself too and explain that you’d love to fundraise for them without them losing any money to platforms fees or card processing! Fundraising with Wonderful means 100%, yes 100% of every donation reaches your cause (this includes every penny of Gift aid too). That’s why we’re Wonderful.