Social Media Connects for a Cause

Doc: And in the future, we don’t need horses. We have motorized  carriages called automobiles.
Saloon Old Timer #3: If everybody’s got one of these auto-whatsits, does anybody walk or run anymore?
Doc: Of course we run. But for recreation. For fun.
Saloon Old Timer #3: Run for fun? What the hell kind of fun is that?

While Doc Brown was explaining how life is different in the future, Saloon Old Timer #3 had a point. Running isn’t fun. Not for adults anyway. When you’re a kid you run around to play games. Now that you’re a grown up you run to stay in shape. Yes, it’s great exercise, burns calories & increases endurance. Yes, it gets you to your destination faster than walking and is a good way to escape from a zombie, but fun? Nope.

Over the past decade or so, themed running events have been gaining popularity and it could be accredited to the boom of social media. Many of these races donate the entrance fee to a charity, and encourage runners to dress up in costumes based on the theme. I’ve participated in a few of these races and feel good for running and donating to the charity. It wasn’t until I saw friends on Facebook posting pictures of them running in the Warrior Dash when I actually thought, “Ooh, that looks like fun!”

The Warrior Dash takes running a 5K race to a whole other level. It puts its runners through an adult sized, 3-4 mile obstacle course with rugged terrain, mud pits, cargo nets, fire (yes fire), climbing, swinging and jumping. It’s got all of the ingredients to make running fun. Started in 2009 in Chicago by Red Frog Events LLC, the race has grown to over 50 locations around the world all for a good cause. Over a million runners have raised more than $9.2 million for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Although the event is promoted through social media, the reach of Red Frog Events LLC (and companies alike) is expanded when runners post pictures & video from the race. This form of user-generated content is the best kind of word of mouth advertising a company can only hope to achieve.

The Massachusetts Warrior Dash will be at the end of May, and I’ll be running – for fun. Look for my post on Facebook after the race!

Thanks to imdb.com for the Back to the Future III quote and warriordash.com for the details.
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