G.O. H.A.R.D. is the clever acronym for Globally Organized Hug a Runner Day, which fell on Nov. 20 this year. The passionate runners at Run the Edge — which include Kara Goucher, her husband, Adam, and their long-time friend, Tim Catalano — built this concept from the idea that runners love each other almost as much as they love running. Running is one of the most supportive sports out there, and the mantra of this event is for runners and walkers to celebrate their fitness by embracing their challenge, embracing their journey and embracing each other. Running with heart. This is something I can get behind.
The event actually runs (pun intended) until Nov. 30, and participation is what you make it. It includes a virtual race, which has a real bib and medal! You pick the run you want to dedicate, then simply post a pic and spread the word. All proceeds from the virtual race fee go directly to Girls on the Run, a non-profit organization dedicated to the social and emotional well-being of young girls through the positive effects of running. Total win/win, people.
It’s not too late to Hug a Runner! Here’s how you can get involved:
- Join their Facebook group and follow along
- Register for the virtual race and go run
- Consider using a local race as your H.A.R.D. run (I’m doing the Thanksgiving Day 10K)
- Run your race and post a picture with your Hug a Runner bib and medal
- Spring for the T-shirt, it’s awesome
- Send virtual hugs to your runner friends — and don’t forget your supporters!
I’m excited to be a part of this celebration of running and camaraderie. One of the best parts of running is the sense of community it provides. We instantly connect with a total stranger if we see them struggling in a race. We hug each other when we record PR’s and hug a little harder when we don’t. And let’s not forget the hugs for the loved ones who drop us off at the start, rush like mad to see us on the course, and then meet us at the finish.
So, go! Run your virtual race, donate to Girls on the Run and give virtual and real hugs to the runners and supporters in your life that make it possible for you to chase your dreams. — Amie