2014 Hug-A-Runner Day

Jannine Myers


Following on with Anna’s theme of “altruism” and “paying it forward,” I thought I would highlight an upcoming annual event that some of you might enjoy participating in. It’s called GO HARD, which stands for Globally Organized Hug A Runner Day!

GO HARD was created by Olympian runner Adam Goucher, and former elite college track athlete, Tim Catalano. First launched in 2011, GO HARD has evolved quite a bit, but the essence of it, summed up below, is still the same:

  •  “From cross country and track runners to weekend joggers, all runners are kindred spirits enjoying the gift of running so let’s wrap our arms around all of them!”

Next Thursday, 20th November, is the official date for this year’s event. You’ll have the opportunity to not only celebrate your love of running, but to also make a donation to an organization that uses running as a platform to develop self-esteem and confidence in young girls. Know which organization I am talking about? GOTR (Girls on the Run), of course.

If you’ve been a member of WOOT for some time now, you’ll know that we’ve mentioned Girls on the Run in previous posts and that we value the objectives of their program. One of our State-side WOOT coaches, Amy Hester, has had a lot of experience working with GOTR, and her sentiments about this organization are as follows:

  • We’ve all heard the statistics that girls who are involved in a sport are less likely to try drugs, be promiscuous, stay in an abusive relationship and are more likely to make good grades and show leadership skills. Girls on the Run promotes all this and more with their mission – “We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.” Girls on the Run teaches girls how to love and accept themselves, support the people around them, and be a contributing member of their community. I’ve seen this program at work and it is completely possible to change a girl’s life over the ten week season.

If you think Girls on the Run sounds like a great organization to support, you can make a small contribution when you register for the Virtual Race.

In addition to donating to GOTR, you can also participate in this year’s GO HARD event in nine other ways:

  • Send at least 3 hugs to your running friends by clicking here
  • Join their Facebook group to keep up to date on all the happenings and surprises
  • Register for the Virtual Race
  • Get the GO HARD shirt and Finisher Medal. Available at their store or when you sign up for the Virtual Race
  • Download the Race Bib and wear it on every run this month. Don’t forget to take pictures!
  • Post pictures and videos hugging runners on their Facebook page.
  • Organize a Hug A Runner Group run on or around November 20th.
  • Tell your friends! Invite as many people as possible to celebrate on November 20th.
  • Don’t forget to hug the people who support you as a runner even if they are not runners themselves. Send them “Thank you hugs” from the GO HARD website.

I encourage you to have some fun with this event, and if hugging another runner seems a little too awkward for you, don’t worry – Tim and Adam put together a “how to” video for you. Watch this, it will make you smile 🙂

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