Travelling abroad for a marathon is not uncommon- but doesn’t usually create any additional benefits apart from the ability for the runner to experience a new destination. Although local businesses may profit from increased sales, the local community rarely benefit from marathons taking place.
But what if travelling abroad for your next marathon actually directly and positively benefitted the local community, both economically and from a sociocultural point of view? There’s huge scope for tourism to be more responsible: to create better places for people to live in and for people to visit- in that order. If you’ve ever spent your holidays wondering where your money is going or feeling the tiniest bit of guilt that you could or should be doing more to help the local community gain more from your visit then this is for you. You can participate in the race feeling confident that you’re really helping to invest in a local community that not only needs, but really appreciates the help, both financial and social.
By encouragring children to participate in KidsRunWild you’re allowing them to have fun and be children, but also supporting and empowering them. By running alongside locals you’re helping to build connections between different cultures and hopefully even form lasting friendships. And by raising money not only for your cause, but for theirs in their communities, you’re helping to solve a problem, to deliver a solution; a solution that they have devised themselves, not one that has been imposed on them.
If one of your goals for 2015 is to run a marathon then make sure you take part in one that truly gives back to the community it takes place in.