“I wasn’t sure I could do it, but when you get so many people joining your efforts, it goes a long way.”
Mark Thornberry has been an athlete all his life, and a distance runner for five years.
But he was forced to pull out of the oldest ultra in Great Britain, after he was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer in June 2017 and urgently needed treatment.
A few months later Mark felt good enough to cover the 145 miles of the Grand Union Canal Race after all, so he decided to run it individually!
After sharing a post on Facebook, he got an amazing amount of love and support from the ultrarunning community. Lots of people joined him during his personal three-day challenge, cheered him on, supplied water and sandwiches, and helped him funding ca $68.000 for research into liver disease/cancer at Kings College Hospital (KHS) in London.
So check out these running clubs and communities around the globe and find some great running friends wherever you are:-)
Achilles International provides athletes with disabilities with a community of support.
The non-profit organization has chapters and members in over 65 locations within the United States and abroad. Every day able-bodied volunteers and disabled runners come together in parks, gyms, and tracks all over the world, to train in an environment of support and community. Within this community, runners gain measurable physical strength and build confidence through their sense of accomplishment, which often transfers to other parts of their life.
Often, those who are disabled have a difficult time making ends meet. To participate in mainstream athletic events, sponsorship is necessary and Achilles provides financial support.
You can join #AWhileInMyShoes where an Achilles athlete with a disability challenges a minimum of three people to walk or run blinded or in two different shoes, intended to build awareness of and compassion for people with disabilities.
ACTIVE is an online community for people who want to discover, learn about, share, register for and participate in races, and interact with others who have similar interests in training, nutrition, and fitness.
Adventure Scientists collects data from the outdoors that are crucial to unlocking solutions to the world’s environmental challenges. It’s a nonprofit network of informed volunteers who have a deep commitment to conservation that provides partners hard-to-obtain environmental data that would otherwise be unavailable for conservation.
It serves as an invaluable connection between the conservation and outdoor communities.
it’s not always easy to get a workout in, but when you do, taking that time for yourself can be the thing that ignites your best day. aSweatLife was founded in Chicago with contributions from busy people across the world who believe that fitness can be the catalyst for living your best life. That the act of working hard to achieve goals can be a lesson for the rest of your life. That the brain changes for the better when the body works. That everything is better with friends and relationships make us stronger in all aspects of life. That happiness takes work – and sometimes that work requires just putting one foot in front of the other.
Back on My Feet proves that there is hope, that individuals can achieve things they never thought possible, and that there are people who will support them along the way. Be one of those people and join us in the fight against homelessness today.
Operating in 12 major US cities coast-to-coast, and gradually expanding to other continents, Back on My Feet uses running and community to motivate and support individuals every step of the way from homelessness to independence. Their success is measured not only by the health impact of miles run, but also by how many individuals obtain education, employment and housing.
Since launching in 2007, Back on My Feet has served more than 6,000 individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness and engaged more than 100,000 volunteers and supporters. At any given time, 80% of our members are participating in our Next Steps program, working to secure employment and housing. Every $1 invested in Back on My Feet returns nearly $2.50 to the local community through increased economic output, like employment and reduction in costs for shelter, medical services, incarceration and addiction treatment.
Are you a heart patient wanting to return to sport?
If your cardiac recovery has been so good that your cardiologist has agreed to let you return to your favorite sport “as long as you don’t overdo it!” then Cardiac Athletes, launched in 2001, is for you.
But you don’t have to be a heart patient who runs. Cardiac Athletes is an international organization that welcomes anyone who wants to get involved and who is keen to see Heart Disease beaten once and for all.
Fitness Singles is a large community of active people. Whether you’re looking for a trail running partner, adventurous date, or training friend for an ultra race, Fitness Singles is a fun, private and secure environment to meet fit, athletic singles! By doing something you both enjoy, like exploring nature or working out together, you get both entertainment and natural conversations.
International Front Runners is an affiliation of GLBT running/walking clubs that have organized in many of larger cities around the world. Inspired by Patricia Nell Warren’s novel The Front Runner, the first FrontRunner club began in San Francisco in 1974, and other FR clubs quickly began forming in the United States then in Canada and abroad.
There are currently about a hundred Frontrunner clubs around the world and they are as diverse as where they are situated. Some of the clubs have hundreds of members, some startups only a few. Many include walkers, not just runners, and at least one club has many more walkers than runners. Some of the clubs elect officers, have bylaws and a membership structure, many don’t. Most have regular weekly runs/walks and many also get together at local restaurants after their runs. And the fact that there are three different spellings of the name, FrontRunners, Front Runners and Frontrunners, is just a further example of the clubs’ diversity.
Garmin supports runners with navigation and communication devices and their community of Garmin users connect via groups and clubs all over the world.
Harrier running clubs focus on preparation for races in a fun way. The first clubs date back to the mid 19th Century in the United Kingdom, but now they have spread all over the world.
The Hash House Harriers (HHH) is a less competitive offshoot of the Harrier clubs and was founded in 1938, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. HHH promotes physical fitness to get rid of weekend hangovers, to satisfy a good thirst with beer, and to persuade older members that they are not as old as they feel.
IRun4Ultra helps athletes of all ages and fitness categories enjoy the sport of running at all levels of experience, talent and involvement. A community of runners from around the world who love everything about trail running. Trail-runners, ultra-runners, road-runners, and newbies support each other by highlighting runner’s accomplishments. IRun4Ultra embraces everyone who loves running and encourages you to push past your own limits and achieve your goals.
JoggingBuddy is a free global website created by runners for runners, with members in 118 countries and growing. Members come from all walks of life and all abilities. It’s a fun and safe way to explore new places, stay on track with your running goals and meet new friends. You can find a buddy for your weekly runs at home or when traveling.
Meetup brings people together with shared interests. Getting together in real life makes powerful things happen. Chance encounters become lifelong friendships and connections. There are plenty of international and local groups to meet other adventure runners and racing enthusiasts.
At Nike+ Run Club Live Sessions, you’ll find encouragement, guidance, and a local crew of like-minded runners. Whether you’re just getting started or getting ready for another marathon race, the Nike+ Run Club app gives support to run better, with the motivation of other runners and optional expert guidance.
November Project is a FREE fitness movement that was born in Boston as a way to stay in shape during cold New England months. Now present in multiple cities in Asia, Europe and North-America, the movement is using a simple sense of accountability (verbal) to motivate and encourage people of all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels to get out of their beds and get moving. Members vary from Olympic medalists, professional athletes, marathoners, triathletes, current and former collegiate athletes all the way to complete fitness rookies and recent couch potatoes just looking to kickstart their healthy life choices. If you think that you’re not fit enough to join the group, stop thinking and come see what the fuss is all about.
There are 5km Parkrun events each Saturday and Sunday in countries all around the world. Each event is based in a unique location like a park, beach or promenade and is organized by a group of dedicated volunteers.
Parkrun is all about inclusiveness and wellbeing. It doesn’t matter how fast you go. It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing. What matters is taking part.
Once an overweight couch potato, John Bigham looked mid-life in the face – and got moving. Since then, he has participated in over 45 marathons and hundreds of 5K, 10K, and half marathon races.
His transformation from a life of “sedentary confinement” to marathoner has become a model for people of all ages and abilities. His column, “The Penguin Chronicles” in Runner’s World magazine since May 1996, his books and blogs inspired a generation of new runners to find joy in walking, running, and racing and that’s how the Penguin Community came to life.
The running bug is a supportive community for runners around the world for free tips and plans for motivation, training from 5K to ultras, nutrition, events, injury advice.
The free Runopia app connects you with the running community in your city or around the world by finding runs near you or inviting others to join.
You have access to professional runners and certified coaches to help you train for your next big race or to just get back in shape. You can also join organized runs, create your own fundraising runs or manage your running club and invite others to join your team. With Runopia you’ll never have to train for another race alone, the free Runopia app can connect you with others around you that are training for the same race!
Strava is the social network for athletes. A global community of millions of runners, cyclists and triathletes, united by the camaraderie of sport. Their website and mobile apps bring athletes together from all walks of life and inspire them to unlock their potential – both as individuals and as communities. From Olympians to weekend warriors, out there on the road and trail, all over the world, day after day.
The Terry Fox Run, is an international event named in honor of Canadian amputee runner Terry Fox who at 21, attempted to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. Countries around the world stage annual events in support of Terry’s dream of finding a cure for cancer. Nearly all monies raised at Terry Fox Runs outside Canada are retained in the host country, funding cancer research projects at recognized research institutions approved by The Terry Fox Foundation on the advice of The Terry Fox Research Institute. You can get involved as a volunteer, participant, or donor.
The Ultrarunners is an active Facebook group worth checking out.
Trail Sisters is a community platform for female expression where anyone can visit and find camaraderie, empowerment, and motivation from shared stories and experiences.
The information can be digested by everyone, but will always come from a female’s point of view.
The contributors are from the USA, Canada and the UK and have all kinds of different backgrounds, shapes, and speeds.
Trail Sisters aims to help pilot women to positive, inspirational, and memorable experiences.
Ultrarunning Community is for anyone from anywhere on this planet who loves to run long. Their group members are active on Facebook and on Strava and contribute with race and gear reviews for all abilities including those who haven’t yet dipped their nailless toes into the Ultrarunning pool.
Women’s Running Community is a movement of women around the world, striving to be the best and healthiest version of themselves through running and fitness, no matter their shape, size, weight, speed or how they look when running or exercising.
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