When I decided I wanted to run the Chicago marathon, I didn’t want to leave it up to chance. Once I decided that I was going to be running for Ronald McDonald House Charities, I was a bit nervous – would I make my fundraising goal? What would the experience be like? Well, I had an absolutely incredible experience running for RMHC – so much so that I wouldn’t’ do Chicago any other way in the future. Here’s a bit more about my experience running for RMHC.
I’m breaking down my thoughts into two distinct areas – the fund raising and the actual race experience.
The Fund Raising
Because I signed up to race for RMHC early, my fundraising minimum was $1000. I don’t love fundraising so was a bit nervous about how I would go about it. I sent out a few emails to friends and family and posted a few times on Facebook. But where I pulled in a good chunk of change was hosting an event. I worked with my Pure Barre friends and hosted a charity PB class. The class was free with a donation accepted and the donations went directly to my fundraising page. I think I raised almost half of my fundraising minimum through that event. I know not everyone has the ability to host an event like I did, but it was really very fun.
After the Pure Barre event, I continued sending out emails about every few weeks. I also just talked up the race and RMHC – I found people often said, “How can I support you?” And when they asked, I sent them the link to my page! The fund raising was way easier than I thought it would be. In fact, I reached my goal with over 2 months left to race day. I ended up raising almost 1700 and was pleased with the whole process.
The Race Day Experience
This is where RMHC really shines, in my opinion. First, we have an awesome pasta dinner the night before – and it ended at 6:3opm which gave me plenty of time to get race ready. This was really fun, I met some new friends and we heard from the Chicago Marathon race director, which is pretty incredible. And then race day dawned and this is where it got good.
RMHC has a huge (one city block long) reserved tent for the team. In the tent there was private bag check, private port a pottys, a full spread of food and drinks and a DJ and places to sit. Plus heat sheets for pre-race (pictured above) – which I found clutch. It was very relaxing to have the tent before the race. Since Chicago is a large race, you need to get their early but being able to rest in the tent until our corrals opened was perfect. We were there, but not in the middle of the crowds until we needed to be.
And THEN. After the race, the same tent was open to us and it was EVEN MORE AWESOME. There was a literal red carpet rolled out and there were volunteers lining both sides of the red carper cheering you and high fiving you as you walked back in. The second you entered the tent, a glass of champs was in your hand. And there was SO.MUCH.FOOD. Oh, and free beer and wine. My appetite is always jacked up post marathon but I took advantage of the wine. 🙂 And because it was post race, I shook out my sore sore legs with some dancing. This was definitely one of the funnest post marathon experiences I’ve had. And it’s ALL included for the RMHC team – and you can buy tickets for your friends and family for only $5. So worth the money.
I had a wonderful experience with RMHC and I hope I’ve convinced you to run for this amazing charity. The work they do is fantastic and the experience is hard to beat. I will run with RMHC again for sure – I loved loved loved it! Thank you, Ronald McDonald House Charities for the excellent experience.
Have you ever run for a charity before?