Fun and Run – two words that you might not think go together! Like much of life, it is what you make it. Here is some information and tips on how you can make your next Fun Run extra FUN!
Fun Runs are often centred around raising money and awareness for worthy causes such as charities. The events are designed to be family friendly with courses of various lengths to suit different levels of fitness and motivation. Be as serious or as fun-loving as you want. Train hard and be there to win … or be in it for the camaraderie and simply aim to finish without too much discomfort.
Organisers want everybody to feel welcome and be able to achieve their goal of fund-raising, building awareness, finishing the course and having a great time along the way.
Some events have separate sections for competitive runners. If you have ever watched the beginning of a big Fun Run like Bridge to Brisbane, you would have observed some very fit and keen athletes starting from the front of the pack. Run organisers position them at the start according to their submitted times (much like race cars) so they have every chance of winning or improving their Personal Best times without having to push through hundreds or thousands of non-competitors.
Let’s focus on the ‘Fun’ part because the ‘run’ part is optional – it doesn’t have to be a race, and you are welcome to walk, hop or skip the course – whatever helps you make it to the finish line in good shape. There is no need to worry about winning or losing as participation is the name of the game.
All Fun Runs have courses made for the general population, so they can simply enjoy the run, meet new people, create cherished family or team memories, raise funds and awareness for a good cause and most importantly, have fun!
Pick a Theme!
Some Fun Runs are themed to add even more excitement and enjoyment to the day, for example
- Colour Runs - the race is divided into four stations, each representing a different colour. At each station, the participants have coloured powder thrown at them by volunteers. This is a fun run where a white shirt is a must!
- Slime Runs – popular with schools. Like a colour run only with added slime for extra fun!
- Superheroes Run – get a team together and help save the world! Lots of fun for family, friends or corporate teams. Fancy yourself as Wonder Woman or Spiderman? This is a great excuse to dress up as your favourite superhero.
- Team Pink Lady (for all genders) - By fundraising for Breast Cancer Network Australia through a fun run, you will be part of their Team Pink Lady. As well as encouraging you and your team to dress in pink themed costumes (eg flamingos, Fifties-style outfts etc) BCNA give fundraising tips and milestone rewards.
- Mud Runs – E.g. Tough Mudder with mud and a tough obstacle course. Not for the faint-hearted but a great challenge for fitter people.
- Inflatable obstacle course Runs – Climbing walls, waterslides and tunnels make this style of event a hoot for the whole family. Foam, waterblasters and slime pools are sometimes added for even more craziness.
- Zombie Run – some of the costumes and makeup seen at these events are frighteningly impressive! A great but ghoulish experience.
- Bring your dog (in costume) – Events that fundraise for animal welfare eg Million Paws Walk for RSPCA especially cater for dogs. Check the rules for other Fun Runs but some do allow you to bring your canine companion.
- Amusement parks – Eg Dreamworld on the Gold Coast has a Fun Run that goes through its amusement areas and Wet’n’Wild. Fantastic family fun with prizes and giveaways at the end.
- Other themes – eg Pyjama Runs and holiday themes like Christmas, Easter and St Patrick’s Day all give you opportunity to be creative with your costumes.
- PARK RUN – Park Runs are free, weekly, community events all around the world. Saturday morning events are 5k and take place in parks and open spaces - there is no time limit and no one finishes last. You can find your nearest parkrun on this event map.
Benefits for mind, body and spirit
There are many physical and emotional benefits to participating in a fun run - physical health, mental health, fitness, weight loss, team building, laughter and social interaction.
Physical Health and Fitness Benefits
Running can improve your health and fitness, and a Fun run is no different. Whether you are running or walking, when you're moving it helps increase your cardiovascular fitness and burns some calories.
Running for a cause is a great motivation to increase your fitness level - It's a good first step when you're trying to improve your health, exercise and get moving.
It's also a good opportunity to find a long term "racing partner" so you can encourage each other to reach your goals.
Mental Health Benefits
Exercise releases endorphins in your body which makes you feel good and improves your mood.
It's been proven that when you help others it makes you feel better, so running a fun run for a charity or philanthropy is something selfless that makes you feel great! Running for a cause also helps with motivation.
Unlike individual sports, a fun run helps you to connect with family, friends, workmates, like-minded-people and with your community. Some fun runs further promote team building by encouraging groups to sign up together as a team.
Have your efforts recognised – often there are shirts, other promotional material, and certificates or medals for finishing. Every time you see your souvenir from a Fun Run, you will be reminded of that achievement – and some days we need that encouragement.
Enjoy the great outdoors - many courses are very picturesque, with either coastal or city vistas unfolding to participants eg Bridge to Brisbane or Jetty2Jetty Fun Runs.
Jetty 2 Jetty
17 July 2022
Once again, the Sea Breezers team will be participating in the Jetty 2 Jetty! It's not too late to join us!
This is a scenic Fun Run along the Redcliffe Peninsula waterfront.
This year’s Jetty 2 Jetty Fun Run will raise money for Peninsula Animal Aid, a charity that gives animals a second chance at life.
When it asks for a team, search for 'Sea Breezers'!
Fun run training tips
Fun Runs and Park Runs are a great way to motivate yourself, your family and your friends to be a little bit healthier, do something for a worthy cause and work towards a fitness goal.
No matter the size of the events you are interested in, here are some tips to keep it fun and healthy –
Make a plan - Training is an important part of any event. If you’re on the couch one day and running 10km the next, you might find yourself injured and exhausted, and not quite as fit as you thought.
Having a training plan will help you stick to your good intentions, and make small, regular improvements along the way. When it comes to adding the extra minutes or distance to your training, listen to your body and resist pushing yourself too hard.
Find a workout buddy - Exercising with a friend or in a group significantly helps with motivation, both during a session and over time. Invite a mate to join you for a run, or better yet, get them to register for the same event so you can train together. It’s much harder to cancel on a friend than on yourself!
Eat and drink well - To get the best results you need to fuel your body properly. Be sure to eat nutritious food each day in well-balanced meals. Keep hydrated with plenty of water.
Stay motivated - Think you might get sick of running? The good news is that getting fit isn’t just about running. Swim some laps, walk to work, do some stretches or strength training or try a circuit class to gain a fresh perspective on your training.
Many Fun Run websites give tips and advice about training for the big day. This link is from the Jetty2Jetty website - Couch to 5km training plan https://www.j2j.com.au/couch-to-5km-training-plan
Whether you walk, jog, run or skip, participating in Fun Runs can enhance your health and happiness in the great outdoors whilst making new friends and supporting a worthy cause. Make it fun for yourself and everyone else with a positive attitude and a community spirit.
Now you are all excited about taking part, use Google to find events near you or this calendar for all the running events across Australia - www.runningcalendar.com.au/.