For the Running for Charity Club, running isn’t just a hobby or a sport. It’s a highly effective and creative way to raise money to local organizations.
When the club first began in 2019, there were exciting plans for hosting in-person races, club pasta dinners and public events.
However, the pandemic took these opportunities away, and club members had to rapidly shift gears. The mission of the club is to raise money for a selected organization, currently the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network.
Club president Hanna Masri selected this organization, citing that she, “fell in love with their cause of rehabilitating and returning animals to the wild. [The Wildlife Care Network] helps recover sick, injured, orphaned, or oil-impaired wild birds, reptiles, and small mammals in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. We also wanted to partner with them because their mission aligned with our ideas of sustainability and being eco-friendly.”
Members are committed to keeping the club alive even through the pandemic by putting all of their time into the virtual spring race, Mayflowers 5k.
The intention of the race is to get the community moving and involved in a safe way. Through an online app, ‘Open Race,’ individual runners will be able to compete with other runners through tracking their times and distances.
Members are coming up with ways to make the race more inclusive and fun for all ages through different prizes such as ‘Best Costume,’ ‘Best Dog-runner Duo’ and ‘Youngest Runner.’
The club hopes that with the myriad of categories and brackets that people will be more inclined to sign up for the race in hopes to win amazing prizes. Every participant will receive a bag of sponsored merchandise and the top 3 winners receive special prizes such as local restaurant gift cards, running shoes and hoodies.
Junior Sofia Anderson is excited that this race is close to coming to fruition, saying, “It will be a great opportunity for people around the community to have something to look forward to since many events have been canceled or postponed within the past year.”
That’s why this race is already garnering attention around the running community as virtual races have been the new craze in the pandemic. Being able to get outside, virtually connect with fellow runners, and simultaneously give back to a local organization is just what the community needs.
WHERE: Wherever you’d like! (Mountain trails, beach, or on the track)
WHEN: All Day, May 1
PRIZES: Athletic shoes, restaurant gift cards, water bottles, clothing.
HOW: Using the app ‘Open Race’
DISTANCE: 5 kilometers (3.1 miles)
PARTNERED ORGANIZATION: Santa Barbara Wildlife Organization