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World Run Day

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Design of 2018 Event T-Shirt - Homage to Running

World Run Day is an annual non-competitive running event paying tribute to the sport of running. Started in 1999 as the first “Virtual Run,” it has two primary components: 1. Runners will run on the designated World Run Day for that year (the Sunday closest to November 8). 2. Runners shall create/select their own running venue. They can run by themselves either on a treadmill, at their health club, in an existing race, or simply jog around the block. They simply run. 3. They donate directly to a local charity of choice. It can be a local Cancer Organization, Organization Against Drunk Driving, Food Pantry, or any organization the runner would like to send their donation to. (Runners will typically mail their check or cash directly to the charity organization.) Their name, their location (city, state, country), and comments such as dedications and quotes are posted on the event website

World Run Day was founded by Long Beach, NY runner Bill McDermott. After developing the concept, he telephoned a local newspaper journalist (John Hanc of Newsday ). John mentioned that the only type of event that resembled the concept was an event called Sport Aide (see wikipedia) which was a sport-themed campaign for African famine relief held in May 1986 and coordinated by Bob Geldof of the Boomtown Rats. Bob is an Irish-singer-songwriter, author, political activist and occasional actor..

Initially, the concept was hard for runners to grasp. Some 20 years later, many running events have a Virtual Run component that help runners become an extension of their “Terra-Firma” event (as McDermott calls it). Virtual Running is still relatively new.

The World Run Day events are all-inclusive of runners from all countries (primarily the USA). Participation is usually skewed with a small majority of runners being female. Skill levels and age vary. In the nearly 20 years of event, there have been over 10,000+ participants. Since its inception, the event has been subtitled “The Global Fitness and Charity Challenge.” 

The event is known for its artistic event shirt designs, release of creative Bibs (“e-Bib” was coined in 2007). Although the event is intended to be fun (and somewhat funny at times), the intent has always been a creative endeavor to bring runners together worldwide for a celebration or homage to the sport they love — and send donations to charity as well. The event recognizes runners of all nations – some which have not been recognized by The United Nations or have never been included in the Olympic Games.



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