Global Organized Hug a Runner Day Date in the current year: November 20, 2024

Global Organized Hug a Runner Day Global Organized Hug a Runner Day (G.O.H.A.R.D.), also known as International Hug a Runner Day, is an annual observance held on November 20. It was launched to recognize runners around the globe and create a sense of unity withing the running/walking community.

Hugging is common in many sports: athletes can hug their teammates, their coaches, and their opponents on various occasions, in victory and in defeat. A hug can express celebration, consolation, gratitude, support, acceptance, pride, and many other emotions. Runners have embraced hugging (pun intended!) too because what can be better than giving each other a celebratory hug meaning “We did it!” after crossing the finish line?

Global Organized Hug a Runner Day was launched by collegiate runner Tim Catalano and Olympian cross-country and track and field athlete Adam Goucher known for their bestselling book Running the Edge that includes a combination of personal stories, practical advice, and motivation for runners. Some time after publishing the book, they started giving talks on the transformational power of running and founded Run the Edge, a virtual fitness challenge creator that helps people of all fitness levels get and stay motivated.

In 2010, Catalano and Goucher came across a Facebook page called “Hug a Cross Country Runner Day”. Inspired by its positivity, they decided to expand the initiative to include all runners (and even walkers) and organized the inaugural Global Organized Hug a Runner Day on November 20, 2011. It was a virtual event designed to encourage people to wear their running shoes to work and hug the runners in their lives. The mission of the event was to raise 1 million hugs. G.O.H.A.R.D. was noticed by bloggers and has been growing ever since.

To celebrate G.O.H.A.R.D., Run the Edge organizes “Hug a Runner 5K for $5K Challenge” that runs from November 11 to November 20 every year. Participants have to run or walk a minimum of 5 km (about 3.11 mi) every day for ten consecutive days. Once they complete the day’s distance, they enter it into the tracker and become eligible to win $500. The next day, participants start afresh and get a chance to win another $500. Run the Edge donates all registration proceeds from the challenge to a featured charity.

Other ways to celebrate Global Organized Hug a Runner Day include hugging your favorite runners (of course, only if they want to be hugged; if they don’t, you can give them a high five or a nod of acknowledgment), organizing a charity race in your community, pledging to run or walk every day or as often as you can, and doing a random act of kindness to make this world a better place.

These acts of kindness, by the way, don’t necessarily have anything to do with running. You can donate to or volunteer for a charity of your choice, plant a tree, buy a coffee for a stranger in line behind you, offer to walk your neighbor’s dog, call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while, bake a cake for someone, send someone who’s having a hard time a small present to cheer them up, etc.

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