My good friend Eric Rubinson has come up with a great idea. A prolific runner who has completed a marathon in all 50 states and Washington DC, Eric, who lives in NJ, wanted to find a way to raise money for Hurricane Sandy Relief. He knew that raising money for charity can be challenging, and that those fundraising minimums can be intimidating. It can be difficult to find an event or team that’s supporting the charity that you care about most, let alone in a location that’s accessible. It’s also hard to find a team that’s doing anything less than a half-marathon distance. In 2012 Eric avoided all of these concerns by establishing Track Friday, held the day after Thanksgiving, in which participants can support any charity, raise any amount, and run or walk any distance, anywhere.
Eric’s goal was to just raise $5,000 for local charities supporting relief efforts. He planned top run 105.5 laps, all on the track. As word spread, others wanted to join in, even for just a lap or two. He reached the $5,000 in just nine days. By the time Thanksgiving came, he’d generated over $22,000, and had participations in over 30 runners and walkers in four states, and Track Friday was born.
Now in its third year, Track Friday has expanded past Sandy relief to benefit all charities. The model allows each participant to customize their contribution based on their own goals and abilities, all while generating funds and awareness for the cause they hold most dear, not to mention burning off a few of those extra holiday calories, getting a cheering section every quarter-mile, and enjoying the camaraderie of other participants regardless of their personal goals!
Track Friday is also a great way to put “giving” back at the forefront of a day that has become synonymous with consumerism. It’s free to participate in on any publicly-accessible track or running path. He asks that participants make a donation of any amount to their favorite charity instead of paying a registration fee. Participants can fundraise more if they want to, but it’s not required.
If you’re on a charity team this fall, Track Friday is the perfect event to compliment your efforts and boost awareness for your cause. The money you raise on Track Friday can count towards your existing goal!
Already signed up for a local Turkey Trot? Track Friday turns your pre-race easy run or post-race recovery into a meaningful and memorable experience.
If “going home for the holidays” means you’re traveling for the weekend or just staying put in your current hometown, Track Friday is the perfect way to get in your post-Thanksgiving run while gathering with your hometown pals in the spirit of charity.
Head over to http://www.trackfriday.org to learn more. You’ll find everything you need to register, make a donation to your chosen charity, and set up a fundraising page so you can campaign for your cause. Like Track Friday on Facebook (facebook.com/trackfriday) for updates, to find meet-up locations, and to connect with other participants. Reach Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org.