A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Running for a good cause

on October 22, 2013

This time of year, it seems like there’s a sign on every street  corner for a 5K or fun run. The weather is just perfect for running and there are ample opportunities to run for a good cause, as most of these (in my area at least) serve as fundraisers for various charities. If you’d like to put your effort towards a good cause, there are some virtual options for making an impact as well. I’ve tried out a couple of these in the last few weeks: Charity Miles and Run4Good.  *As always, not sponsored – just my personal experience with these.

image

Charity Miles:

This was the first of these apps that I personally was aware of and tried. This free app uses your smartphone’s GPS to track your miles as you walk, bike or run (available on Android or iPhone). For each mile you walk or run, 25 cents is donated to the charity of your choice (10 cents per mile biked). Charities involved include Stand Up to cancer, Feeding America, Autism Speeks, The Wounded Warrior Project and several others. It runs in the background (*if you make sure you’ve selected that in your phone’s settings) of music and other run tracker apps I use on the phone, which is nice. It doesn’t work for running on a treadmill, but otherwise has worked fairly well for me (on iOS 7 now). Initially, it would stop anytime my phone went to sleep, which was annoying but I finally figured out that I needed to enable to run in the background from the Settings menu on the phone and it works great after that.

image I particularly like that you look at either your time, miles or the impact you’re making (my selected charity is Feed America, thus I see “meals to hungry people”).

Run4Good: This app is associated with Saucony athletic gear brand and works similarly to the Charity Miles app, as far as using the phone’s GPS to track the run. In this case, Saucony gives credit for the miles to support a different running-related charity each month. These charities are each awardees of grants to support running programs in communities where part of the money is awarded up front and the remainder if a certain number of miles are accumulated by the running community in the month. I like that this supports smaller community-based projects. It took me several tries to get this app up and running and similar to Charity Miles, be sure you’ve enabled it to run in the background on your device.

imageIt tracks your pace, distance and personal bests and the GPS agrees fairly closely with my Garmin. Also, even though the name is “Run4Good”, there isn’t a minimum pace – it tracked and registered a walk for me as well.

With both apps, you have the option of sharing via your social media networks but you don’t have to. You can also run both simultaneously, so you can double your charity bang for your buck if you’d like.  They are both limited by your phone’s GPS technology, so they won’t work on a treadmill and may not work if you are indoors, in the woods or around tall buildings. All in all, I like the idea that workouts I’d be doing anyway might benefit someone else.

Have you ever used one of these? Are there other charity apps out there that you’ve tried?

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