With so many races that sell out so quickly these days charity spots are a great way to get in. Some races have very high minimums of how much you have to raise for the charity (i.e. ING NYC Marathon was $3000-$4000 guaranteed minimum you had to raise to get a spot through charity). Most are not that high. The Disneyland Half Marathon is another race that sells out so quickly that many are left complaining about not being able to get in. Instead of complaining about how fast it sold out and not having a fair shot getting a spot, find a charity! Some of the charities pay for your entry into a race and some you have to pay the registration fee yourself, BUT you get guaranteed entry.
When picking you charity I recommend finding one that speaks to you. There is a charity for so many causes, but remember you have to ask friends and family to donate, so if you aren’t passionate about it they probably wont be either. You can look up charity ratings online. This information tells you how well the organization is run and how much money ACTUALLY goes to the cause instead of paying huge salaries to executives or marketing materials. I recommend taking this into consideration too.
There are many smaller charities that do amazing things with much smaller budgets. Don’t rule anyone out on the list of charities just because you haven’t heard of them. Look them up and read about them.
I try to run for charity one race a year. I find that more than this it gets hard to keep asking people for money. The next race I run will probably be for Inheritance of Hope. http://inheritanceofhope.org/ I have recently learned about them and it touches home with me. Inheritance of Hope sends families with a terminally ill parent on a vacation, for example to Disney World. The kids get a vacation with their father and mother because it may be to late. When I was 16 my father passed away from colon cancer. I can understand how amazing the memories of the vacation must be. With my mother and father facing huge medical bills and my mom was a stay at home mom and my dad was a high school principal we also faced the fact that we wouldn’t have my fathers full income either. A vacation was the last thing on my parents mind to spend money on. This charity takes that worry away and brings a ray of sunlight into a dark place. This is an example of a charity that I can feel passionate about.
When you run a race for charity you are running for something bigger than just yourself. It is a great feeling.
Do you have a charity that you run for or will in the future?