Since 1980, thousands of runners have lined up every October to complete the impressive feat of running 26.2 miles through Dublin. This Sunday at 9:00 the gun goes off, and 19,500 participants will take to the streets for the historic SSE Dublin Marathon.
People choose to run a marathon for a number of reasons. Some are running to place and receive a prize. Some have trained for weeks, months, years with plans to complete their first marathon and prove to themselves that they are capable. Some have run marathons for decades. Surely at least one poor soul is running because of some bet he lost in a pub months ago. And then there are some running for something bigger than them- Some are running for charity.
Fundraising for charities through races has become wildly popular. Participants can run to support a charity, and family and friends can sponsor them, raising money for the cause. Often race organisers will reserve entries for participants supporting charities. Often charities will give out matching t-shirts or headbands to identify its supporters. It is a fantastic way to spread awareness about an issue and to raise money for the cause. For a lot of race participants, the benefit to completing the marathon is two-fold, first is the personal triumph, and also the knowledge that they were able to help a cause as well.
This Sunday hundreds of participants will be fundraising for Irish charities. The Dublin Marathon has partnered with EveryDayHero, which is a website designed to assist people in raising funds for charities. Since 2007, the website has helped raise over €100 million for nonprofits around the world. Their website can be found here.
There will be dozens of charities represented at the event this year. Barnardos Children’s Charity, Concern Ireland and the St. James’s Hospital Foundation are three charities that fundraise through the marathon.
Often called the “friendly marathon,” the race is known to have an excellent turnout of spectators and supporters lining the course. If you get the chance it’s a brilliant event to attend. It’s a high energy atmosphere with people cheering all around. Remember to look for the runners representing a charity and be sure to cheer just a little louder.