23 Random Acts of Kindness for Runners

Runners hugging
Ronnie Kaufman/Larry Hirshowitz

Runners are a nice, generous group, but there’s always room for more love and inspiration in the world, right?

If you want to add a little more love and kindness in your life, try out some of these random acts of kindness that are specific to runners:

1. Give out popsicles to runners at the end of a very hot race. (Or hot chocolate at the end of a cold one.) They’ll be incredibly grateful!

2. Let someone who looks like she “really needs to go” in front of you in the porta-potty line.

3. If you’re shopping for running clothes and see someone trying on a running outfit, tell them it looks great on them.

4. Help clean up a local running trail.  Check with the organization that maintains the trails and see if they have any organized clean-up days that you can volunteer for. Get some of your running friends to volunteer on the same day as you so you can work together.

5. Even if you don’t have time to dedicate a day to a clean-up project, do your best to protect the trail when you’re running on it. Pick up trash and try to keep the path clear of large sticks or rocks that runners might trip on. Follow the rules of trail, such as cleaning up after your dog (if you run with your dog) and staying on the trail, not running into nature preserves.

6. Send a running friend a good luck text or email for their upcoming race.

7. Thank charity runners in a race for raising money and awareness for a good cause.

8. Cheer for random strangers at a race, not just friends or family members running it.

9. Share your running snacks. If you’re doing a long run with others, offer some of your Sport Beans or other running nutrition to them.

10. Congratulate running friends when they post their race photos on social media.

11. Donate your half or full marathon medal to Medals 4 Mettle, a non-profit organization that delivers donated race medals to people who are battling life-threatening illnesses and severe disabilities.

12. Introduce yourself to the new person in your running group. It’s never easy to be the newcomer. Make him or her feel more comfortable by being friendly and welcoming.

13. Say thank you to someone who encouraged or inspired you to start running.

14. Donate your running clothes and gear. Give them to a local charity or give them to running friends who you know could use them.

15. Thank the volunteers at races. They probably got up early, too, and are tired from being on their feet for hours!

16. Make a funny spectator sign for a marathon, so runners can laugh and be distracted when they see it.

17. Congratulate the runners who cross the finish line near you.

18. Buy a running friend coffee after a run together.

19. Give a high-five to a kid cheering during a race you're running.

20. Wave and say hello to other runners when you pass them.

You could really make their day by paying them a compliment like, “You’re looking strong today!”

21. Organize a running shoe collection drive at your gym, office, or at a race.  You can donate the shoes to an organization the collects used running shoes.

22. Check in on a running buddy who's injured and bummed that he can't be running.

23. Write a thank you letter to a race director of a race you really enjoyed. He or she would love to hear the positive feedback.

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