History of World Run Day
The Sunday closest to November 8 marks World Run Day each year. It is a day for runners worldwide to join each other, wherever their location, in a celebration of running and charitable giving. Whether running with a small group, in a race event, or running individually (in the world’s first-ever “virtual run”) runners are called upon to share in celebration with other runners worldwide.
World Run Day was inspired in 1999 by Long Island Runner Bill McDermott. It all began when Bill was experimenting with a computer program that produced t-shirt designs. As an avid runner himself, he asked himself “what would be the ultimate running event. His immediate response was a global event called “World Run Day”. Having the opportunity to select the event day, he dedicated it to his brother killed in an automobile accident on Nov 8, 1983. As many running events occur on a Sunday, World Run Day is observed on the Sunday closest to November 8 each year.
After carefully thinking about what a World Run Day would be and how all runners could celebrate the day (either by running on their own, in races, or running virtually), he reached out to runners locally and also worldwide thru the Internet. About 40 runners from Long Beach, NY participated and another 60 runners in locations scattered across the globe also participated. Following event day, results and pictures were posted on the Internet. Since then, the annual tradition continues with thousands of runners, new t-shirt designs, free event toolkits, and fundraising dollars that reach over 1,000 charities each year.
Since 1999, over 10,000 runners have participated in World Run Day events. Passionate runners in schools, non-profit organizations, and event directors in various locations love the concept of World Run Day. World Run Day provides free materials and the opportunity for groups to host a World Run Day fundraiser in their community – by promoting the sport of running on a local basis. Groups are encouraged to contact World Run Day directly to log their event, receive free tools and obtain discounts on event t-shirts.
World Run Day is the only event celebrated simultaneously around the globe by people of all backgrounds, faiths, nationalities, while also benefiting each runners favorite charity. In recent years, group events, large and small, have formed in different cities: World Run Day - Philadelphia, World Run Day - London, World Run Day - Sydney, among others. World Run Day - Afghanistan was even celebrated during wartime. Celebrities such as Sting have commented that Anyone can form a World Run Day in their city using the free tools and group shirt discounts provided by World Run Day.
Commenting about the World Run Day concept, the celebrity Sting and wife Trudie Styler. stated: “It is a great way for people around the world to come together and raise money for charity."