Several OCR companies and road running events have presented virtual challenges to help keep racers motivated in the offseason. Some are fans, some like me are skeptics. I have done a few virtual races for friends and race directors when people are raising money. However, I was not a fan in general of the idea. I did not like the idea of not having a structure. I liked the idea of having a place to be, people to motivate me.
Until I heard about Random Tuesday's Hogwarts Running Club.
And took part in my first race.
I heard about Random Tuesday and the Hogwarts Running Club through a fellow Harry Potter fan. Random Tuesday's mission is to harnesses the power of fandom to inspire people to live a healthier lifestyle while raising funds for deserving charities.
The HRC hosts 6 events a year. Each race is 25.00 dollars. 21 of the 25 dollars is a tax-deductible donation to the featured charity of the race. Each race focuses on a different distance and theme. If you complete 3 of the 6 events in the year, you qualify for a special medal. And if you complete 6 plus your challenge medal you qualify for the Perfect Prefect badge for free. (It is a special lapel pin.)
Random Tuesday has raised closed to 1.9 million for the charities they support.
These charities vary from veterans organizations, health, education and homeless affairs.
What sets HRC (and for that matter the entire Random Tuesday family) apart is the family atmosphere. In social media, there is an undertone of negativity. The HRC Great Hall is a Facebook group of over fifteen thousand members worldwide who encourage, motivate and want to help you. The focus is all about doing helping spark change in the world. The atmosphere here helped me get over a huge running funk I was stuck in and always has motivated me to see where I can do so much good.
Training for a marathon and don't know where to start? Check the common room.
Don't know what to pack for a race? Check the common room.
Want friends to tackle an OCR with you? Check the common room.
Having a rough time outside the course and need an ear? Check the common room.
Each Hogwarts house is represented by the own common room on Facebook. Common rooms spend the year partaking in special competitions and Direct Impact Projects leading towards the awarding of the House Cup. Part of this competition is logging miles through the Charity Miles App. Not a competitive type? There is a faculty lounge that participants in all the projects without the competitive edge.
There are also regional groups that meet up for group runs, after race parties, training and group photo ops.
After going through a huge funk with my running; running was not fun. I dreaded running in general. HRC helped me re-spark my love for running. It also helped me focus on giving back. I am also a virtual running convert. I will be joining the Mud Queens for their event in February and am aiming for a second year as a Perfect Prefect.
Don't discount the value of community that virtual racing provides and you could quite possibly do #somuchgood.
Disclaimer: The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints and official policies of Mud Run Guide LLC, or their staff. The comments posted on this Website are solely the opinions of the posters.