Virtual Races: Fanthropy Running Clubs

Do you enjoy running or walking? Do you like supporting great causes? Are you a fan of anything in popular culture? Let me introduce you to Fanthropy Running Clubs, where fandoms intersect with philanthropy. With recent social distancing guidelines in place, virtual races have come to the spotlight, but they are not anything new. Random Tuesday, Inc started in 2014 as a single-fandom running club, became a registered non-profit in 2015, and now organizes virtual races relating to three specific fandoms as well as the more general “Fandom Running Club.”

Since 2016, I have been an active participant in “Potterhead Running Club” which bases its run themes and competitions on J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. The club is run entirely online and events are announced through its website, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook groups. We compete for house points through running and charitable “direct impact” activities. Each year there are six different medal events, completing the running season with the “Platform 9 3/4 k” in late summer, and the “time turner” event, during which you can catch up on races you missed during the year. Every race has a month long registration period and a suggested race run date. You can download your digital bib, and after the race is run, medals are sent out to participants. Each run raises funds for a specific charity. Since Random Tuesday is a registered non-profit, $26 of your $30 registration fee is a tax deductible donation (consult current tax code for details on charitable donations), and the remaining $4 covers the medal and shipping.

The current PHRC event is the Shrieking 6k, it raises money for One Tree Planted, and registration is open through May 10th. (The next event will be announced a few weeks after one completes.) As a virtual run, you can run the races at any time and any place. Race completion is by the honor system (no need to submit proof anywhere, and you can complete your miles at any speed, even spread them out over several days if a distance is too far to safely complete in one session. The club is very supportive of all fitness levels and speeds, from competitive athletes to those who are just starting to get some miles in, and everything in between.

Besides PHRC, Random Tuesday also run the Whovian Running Club (WRC) with its Doctor Who themed events, Chilton Running Club (CRC) honoring the world of the Gilmore Girls, and the Fandom Running Club (FRC), which bases its runs on a variety of pop culture fandoms, which are organized into Small Screen, Cult Classic, Game On, and Fanatic series. Just like in PHRC, all the events have a philanthropic aspect to them, raising funds for specific non-profit organizations around the world.

About Random Tuesday, Inc:

Random Tuesday, Inc. was founded in early 2014 and became a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization (EIN 47-4958349) in August 2015. It began as a single-fandom running program to generate funds for worthy causes, but soon grew to include multiple communities focused on “fanthropy”: inspiring fans to improve their own lives while making positive change in the world.

In its first five years, RTI has donated over $2.5 million to 50+ charities by organizing events through the Fanthropy Running Program, and the participants in that program have logged over 12 million miles to improve their own physical fitness. Additionally, our members have participated in numerous direct impact programs and donated more than 1,700,000 kids’ bandages, 125,000 scarves, knit hats, socks, school supplies, and other humanitarian aid items.

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