How much of your fun run entry fee goes to charity?

fun run dollarLet’s face it, it costs a bit to enter a fun run these days. You’d be hard pressed to enter a marathon for much under $100 anywhere on the eastern seaboard from Brisbane to Melbourne (the Sydney M7 is a bargain at $80), and most half marathons are around the $90 mark. The city to surf is $65 if you get in early, the shorter runs associated with the Sydney Running Festival (better known as the bridge run) will set you back $55 and $40 (early bird entry) for the 9km and 3.5km respectively.

I often hear my runners say they don’t mind the high fees to enter fun runs, as it’s helping charity. So I thought I’d take a look at just how much of your fun run entry dollar goes to charity.

I approached the organisers of a few events via email, to get a feel for what money goes where. Here are some of the responses.

 

EMAIL FROM HOOKED ON RUNNING

I own a  running training and coaching business and many of my runners are interested to know where their entry fees for various fun runs go to. Just wondering if you could clarify a few things for me.  Does any of the entry fee go to charity? and if so is that tied to people connected to that charity volunteering -eg the SES.

We’re also interested to know what percentage of the entry fee goes towards the actual running of the event, and what goes to the event manager? Any light you could shed on these questions would be apprectiated. thanks Kirsten Todd Hooked on Health Hooked on Running www.hookedonrunning.superfasttests.com

 

Reply from GOLD COAST MARATHON (and half marathon, 10km, 5km and 4km and 2km kids dashes).

All entry fees go to running the event. Our organisation is a not for profit organisation and as such we seek commercial sponsorship and government funding to heavily subsides our entry fees. As a consequence, we do not have the surplus to be able to designate any of the entry fee towards Charity. (My emphasis)

 We are however heavily involved in promoting Charity Organisations such as Cancer Council Queensland and enlisting Every Day Heroes. To date we have managed to raise over half a million dollars for Charity.

 

Reply from FAIRFAX EVENTS regarding City to Surf
(they also run SMH Half Marathon, Australian Running Festival which includes the Canberra Marathon, Cole Classic Swim, Sun Run, Run4Fun). 

It took a few goes to get any real information from them at all, and that was simply that they couldn’t give me any information!

 

Across all events run by Fairfax Media, In return for your entry fee into our events, you will receive a range of items depending on the event:

– A chest bib and timing tag (attached to the back of the bib)
– A finisher’s medal
– Public transport to and from the event, on event day
– Baggage transport from start to finish line
– Gatorade and water during and immediately after the race
– The Sun-Herald newspaper (on race day, whilst stocks last)
– Entertainment along the course and at the finish line
– Downloadable certificate

An event as large as the events that we coordinate, is very expensive to organise and execute each year. Without the support of there partners and over 3,000 volunteers it would not be possible to run such a large community event.

Representatives from various community organisations all over Sydney such as Rotary and Lions Clubs, Scouts and Girl Guides, various sporting groups, volunteer bush fire brigades, State Emergency Services, St John Ambulance and school groups help out on the day. Each of these organisations receives a per volunteer donation in appreciation for their assistance. 

 

HOOKED ON RUNNING:
Hi Zane

I did read all of this on the city to surf website, but thanks for sending it through again. So can I clarify, that any money from entry fees that goes to charity goes to organisations who supply volunteers for the event, and any profits from the event goes to Fairfax media, or I guess Fairfax events?

FAIRFAX EVENTS

Thank you for your email. Entrants do have the opportunity to fundraise for a chosen charity or make a one off donation during the registration process. Volunteer groups do receive a donation per person for their efforts throughout event day

HOOKED ON RUNNING:
Thanks once again. We were already pretty clear on that. What is of interest to us is whether or not these events are a profit making venture for Fairfax media or Fairfax events.

FAIRFAX EVENTS

Thank you for your email. I’m afraid we won’t be able to disclose this information to you. If you do have any other questions that we might be able to help with feel free to get in contact. 

 

I don’t know about you, but I’ve taken that to mean that Fairfax Events might well turn a profit from these events, and there is absolutely no reason why they shouldn’t.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love these fun runs. They are a great community event, they get people off their bums so they feel better physically and emotionally, and a lot of money is mobilised for charity because these events exist.

But know this: For most of the larger fun run events, little or none of your actual entry fee goes to charity, unless a donation is being made on a per volunteer basis to charitable organisations such as scouts, SES, surf lifesaving etc, who provide manpower on the day. If you want all your training and your run on the day to help a charity, you need to donate to your chosen charity during the entry process, or actively raise funds by seeking sponsorship for your run, or by some other kind of fun raising.

 

Or……….. you could enter some of the smaller local events, which tend to cost less. A fair chunk of your entry fee can be donated to charity, due to the volunteer of the event organisers. 

 

I asked a similar question of some local event organisers. Here are their responses:

 

ROSEVILLE CHASE ROTARY FUN RUN

Hello Kirsten,

The Roseville Chase Rotary Fun Run is organised primarily as a Community event to encourage good health and provide an opportunity for local family to participate in a community event.  Our event caters for serious runner and of leisurely walkers.

 Regarding the the Registration fees, approximately half the fees collected are used in expenses associated with the event.  The other 50% all goes to support local , National and International causes and project that our Rotary Club is directly supporting or that Rotary International is supporting. 

 Rotary does not use any of the charity funds it raises on administration, marketing or promotional costs.

 If you require more information go to www.rotary.org

 

MINI-MOS FUN RUN

I received a really helpful two page document from the organisers of the mimimos (thanks to Cherelle Martin). The mimimos is 100% run by volunteers, so no salaries need to be paid from your entry fees. Mosman Public School has been running the Minimos for 30 years now, so they are pretty efficient at it. It’s always a really well run event which I can highly recommend.

Here are some interesting facts about the Mini-Mos

  • The break even point where the fun run costs are covered is roughly 1600-1800 entrants. Entries vary from year to year,  so it’s not possible to say exactly how much of your individual entry fee goes directly to the school.
  • At $45 for 10km, $35 for 5km, and $22.50 for 2 km, entry fees compare favourably to larger events
  • As well as raising money for the school, the fun run provides a platform for raising funds for other charities. Like most runs theses days, participants can set up individual sponsorship pages and can make a donation online during the registration process. Other initiatives also raise funds for charities such as the Tony Abbott Challenge and items provided by high profile Minimos ambassadors for auction.
  • In 2013, the Mini-Mos Fun Run raised nearly $50,000 for the school and $30, 000 for charity

 

Just wanted to set the record straight. 

 

 

 

 

6 Ways To Get Faster, without upping your training

fast runner on roadMost of us would like to be able to run just that little bit faster. Improve on that 10k PB, even if it’s only by the smallest amount. Or maybe you’re trying to maintain the times you did when you were a bit younger? It’s not so easy once you hit 40 is it? Whatever your situation, there are plenty of simple things you can do to shave more than just a few seconds off your time. Here are six of them.

1. Extend your sleep time.

We all know that chronic sleep deprivation causes you to function below par. For those of you with children, think back to when they were babies, and the permanent daze you were in. (Maybe you going through that now).

Sleep experts reckon seven to nine hours of sleep per night for adults is the right amount, whilst teens should be getting nine to ten hours a night. If you’re falling asleep before your head hits the pillow, and have to wake up to an alarm every morning, then you’re probably not getting enough sleep. If you take about 20 mins to travel to the land of nod, and wake up without an alarm, then you’re probably getting enough -as long as that is more than 7 hours a night.

Simply getting the right amount of sleep will improve your performance, but studies have shown that by taking it a step further and extending your sleep time to 10-11 hours a night over a period of several weeks, your performance will improve measurably.

How good is that? And don’t worry if you’re the type who tosses and turns the night before a big race worrying you will sleep through your alarm! The sleep you get the night before a race doesn’t have nearly as much impact on your performance as your penultimate night’s sleep does.

2. Lighten Up

You’ll go faster if you can lose a few of those extra kgs you’re hanging onto for that famine that never comes. As a rule of thumb, for every 1% loss of body mass – primarily as body fat-there will be an approximate 1% increase in running speed. If you’re looking at weight loss as a performance booster, don’t crash diet for two weeks before a race. Instead, gradually lose a few kgs at a rate of about 500gms a week. Dramatic weight loss may adversely affect not only your performance, but your health as well.

Let’s have a look at the maths.
Current Weight = 65kgs
10km time = 50 mins ie 5mins per km, or 12kms per hour

If you lose 1% body fat
weight loss = 650 gms – that’s not a heap in anyone’s book
10km time improves by 1% ie, 50 mins x 99%=49.5

So there you have it. A 30 second PB by losing 650 gms.

3. Make sure you have lightweight new(ish shoes)

The heavier your shoes, the slower you will run (see point 2), so going for a lighter weight model makes sense.  Generally you will need to transition into lighter weight shoes over time to reduce your risk of injury.

Newer shoes could be slightly lighter as well – the older the shoe, the more chance it has to gather moisture. Buy 2 pairs of shoes you like, and keep one pair for a bit of dry weather training to wear them in, and for racing. Every little bit helps.

4. Let your body recover

Be sure to include plenty of recovery time in your training program. That means amount of time between training sessions, as well as including a recovery week every 3-5 weeks. It also means tapering before an event. As a rule of thumb, marathoners will start to taper 3 weeks out from an event, 2 weeks for half marathoners, maybe a week for 10ks, and anything shorter at least a few days to a week. That means reducing your mileage substantially, and listening to your body. If it’s telling you it’s tired, it is. Let it rest.

Other important recovery strategies are

massage – find someone who can give you a great sports massage, and also learn how to massage yourseslf
sleep – as discussed above
good nutrition – a good recovery drink after long runs which has electrolytes as well as a 3:1 or 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables and unprocessed foods.

5. Good Hydration

Your performance can start to decrease when you lose as little as 1% of your body weight in fluids. That could be as little as 2 cups of fluid, depending on  your body weight. It’s such an easy thing to rectify. Find out more about hydration for running performance.

6. Attention to detail

As well as paying attention to all of the above, be prepared on race day.

Try out a few pre-race breakfast strategies before race day so see what suits you best.

Try out your nutrition strategies for the race during training. Never take gels, chomps, sports drinks etc in a race that you haven’t already tried. You could find you’re making a pit stop at the loo. High concentrations of simple carbs can cause all sorts of intestinal upsets.

If your race is in the morning, get up early to train so that you are replicating race conditions as closely as possible

Know the course (or not, depending on your personality). For me, I look to know where I’m running, where the hills will be, where the drinks stations are, etc. Others don’t seem to mind, but if you’re like me, try to run over at least part of the course in training.

Don’t delay your training session if it happens to be raining when it’s scheduled. It might be raining on race day

Bring layers of warm clothes you can discard on race day. Keep them on even after you have entered the starting area. You could be waiting quite a while till you start.

Bring toilet paper with you. Bad enough to have to use a smelly port-a-loo if you have a last minute attack of nerves before the race, but VERY bad if you find an empty toilet roll holder!

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Any information contained in this document is obtained from current and reliable sources and is solely for the purpose of interest and information.  Individuals receiving this information must exercise their independent judgment in determining its appropriateness for their particular needs. The information and training advice is general in nature and may not be suited to the recipient’s individual needs. Medical advice should always be sought when starting an exercise program. As the ordinary or otherwise use(s) of this information is outside the control of the author, no representation or warranty, expressed or implied, is made as to the effect(s) of such use(s), (including damage or injury), or the results obtained. The author expressly disclaims responsibility as to the interpretation of the views contained in this article, ordinary or otherwise. Furthermore, the author shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. The author shall not be responsible for any damages resulting from use of or reliance upon this information. Readers of this document are solely responsible for compliance with all laws and regulations applying to the use of the information, including intellectual property rights of third parties.

 

Is better hydration the secret to improving my running performance?

For most of us, the answer is a resounding yes. 

[EDIT 2019: current research shows loss of body weight is not a great measure of dehydration and it’s effect on your performance]

A conversation with a client the other night prompted me to analyse my own fluid intake during races. It was surprisingly little, even though I’m well aware of the value of hydrating. It’s interesting how you can overlook the little things.

Dehydration resulting in a loss of just 1% of your body weight can cause a loss in performance. Levels of up to 3% are quite common in sports of around 1 hour duration, and you can reach this level quite quickly if you go into an event under hydrated. Studies have shown when dehydration causes a 3-5% loss in body weight, work capacity decreases by as much as 35-48%. One of our runners weighed in before and after the SMH half marathon to find she’d had a 2% loss of body weight-probably more as she was weighed in the clothes she ran in, which would have retained some of her sweat, therefore weighing more.

To find out how much fluid you lose during an exercise session you need to weigh yourself naked before and after the session, or if not naked, in the same dry clothes before and after.  Weighing yourself before you exercise, then weighing yourself afterwards in the same clothes will give you a false reading, as the clothes you run in will most likely retain some of your sweat, giving you a heavier reading. Take the difference of your pre-exercise and post exercise weights, then add 100 gms for every 100mls of fluid taken in whilst exercising. This will give you the amount of fluid you have lost during exercise. Each kg of weight lost represents 1 litre of fluid lost. You should measure this long term, and take note of temperature and humidity as well as exercise intensity, and use it to predict how much fluid you should take in during the course of an exercise session.

How do I know if I am  dehydrated?

If you’ve lost more than 2% of your body weight using the method above, you’ve definitely moved into a dehydrated state, and remember just a 1% loss of body weight can cause a loss in performance. Other signs and symptoms include

  • Thirst/dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue and tiredness. Literally feeling like you could just stop running and go to sleep.

Other more serious signs and symptoms include vomiting, tingling of the limbs, muscle cramps, difficulty breathing and death.

Most if not all of these could be put down to something else, but if you get a few of the symptoms, it’s worthwhile doing an analysis of your fluid intake during a race. Think about how much you drink prior to the race as well as during. You’d be lucky to take in 150mls from each of those little plastic cups you scoop up at the water stations (I have just measured one about 3/4 full).

How much fluid should I take in to perform at my peak?

This depends on a number of factors. To get a true idea of how much fluid you should take in during a race, you need to go through the pre and post workout weighing procedure over a period of time to predict how much fluid you are going to lose, given a certain set of circumstances. Things that effect your dehydration rate include:

  • temperature and humidity
  • exercise intensity
  • how used you are to the conditions
  • clothing
  • baseline hydration status
  • individual differences

Pre-race hydration

You should go into an event well hydrated. The colour of your urine is a good indication of your hydration status. If it’s clear, you’re well hydrated. If it’s like tea, then start drinking. For a week or so prior to your event, be very conscious of the colour of your urine, and adjust your fluid intake accordingly.

Fluids on the day

Keep in mind that each person’s needs will be different, but as a rule of thumb you should go for:

  • 500-600mls of water of sports drink 2-3 hrs before the start. In reality, this means having about a glass and a half of water when you get up. This will give your body time to pass any excess water out of your system before the race.
  • 200-300mls 10-20 minutes before the race
  • 200-300 mls every 10-20 minutes to maintain fluid loss at less than 2%

If you don’t normally drink before the race, be a little cautious about going all out on these recommendations first up, but you should be working towards around about these amounts over a period of time. Practice on your long runs first, then try it in a race.

If you don’t normally grab a drink at every stop, do so. Even if you just take a couple of mouthfuls each water station, that will help, but taking in a couple of cups would be better.

If you’re a bit scared of changing what you consider to be a proven formula, even if on analysis you realise you’re not taking in nearly as much water as indicated above, at least make sure you go into race day well hydrated. Do the wee test. Make sure you drink enough water for your urine to be running clear the day before the race. Even if you do nothing else, you will most likely see an improvement in your performance through this alone.

Reference: National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Fluid Replacement for Athletes J Athl Train. 2000 Apr-Jun; 35(2): 212–224.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1323420/ sited June 24th 2013
 Image courtesy of Marcus / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

DISCLAIMER: Any information contained in this document is obtained from current and reliable sources and is solely for the purpose of interest and information.  Individuals receiving this information must exercise their independent judgment in determining its appropriateness for their particular needs. The information and training advice is general in nature and may not be suited to the recipient’s individual needs. Medical advice should always be sought when starting an exercise program. As the ordinary or otherwise use(s) of this information is outside the control of the author, no representation or warranty, expressed or implied, is made as to the effect(s) of such use(s), (including damage or injury), or the results obtained. The author expressly disclaims responsibility as to the interpretation of the views contained in this article, ordinary or otherwise. Furthermore, the author shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. The author shall not be responsible for any damages resulting from use of or reliance upon this information. Readers of this document are solely responsible for compliance with all laws and regulations applying to the use of the information, including intellectual property rights of third parties.