International Hug a Runner Day – November 20, 2022

International Hug A Runner Day is observed annually on November 20. This holiday is also known as Globally Organized Hug A Runner Day, abbreviated as ‘G.O.H.A.R.D.’ As much as International Hug A Runner Day is about appreciating runners and hugging them to bring unity, everyone can participate in this holiday. At first, the holiday was created by a cross-country runner but others quickly picked it up to spread the message globally. Today, millions of people participate in the holiday.

So get out your running shoes and join thousands of runners all over the world on this great day. And hug your fellow runners!

History of International Hug a Runner Day

The first-ever Hug A Runner Day was named Hug A Cross Country Runner Day and was created in 2010 by a cross-country runner. The runner missed the next year, so Tim Catalano and Olympian Adam Goucher created Globally Organized Hug A Runner Day for the very first time. From then on, Hug A Runner Day has been observed every year.

The concept of Hug a Runner Day focuses on the emotional connection to an individual’s running journey. Sharing hugs within the running community is a good morale booster. Hugs are great during training, before or after a race, and every moment in between.

On International Hug A Runner Day, the walking and running community donates thousands of dollars to several charities every year through their “Hug A Runner 5K For $5K Challenge.” Participants have to walk or run a minimum of 3.15 miles for 10 consecutive days. Once they complete this, they enter a $500 draw. One aim of this day is to raise money and awareness for organizations that help children, such as Girls on the Run, Playworks, the American Society for Deaf Children, and Shoes That Fit. The money is raised through registration fees for an annual running event that happens on the day and the days leading up to it. Another goal of International Hug A Runner Day is a running event where Run The Edge gives away $500 to participants on the day and each of the nine days preceding it.

The last objective of the day is for runners to hug other runners. This spreads unity and positivity in the community.

International Hug a Runner Day timeline

1967
A Brave Woman

Katherine Switzer defies the rules banning women from competitive running and signs up for the Boston Marathon.

1972
Women Back on Track

Women are finally allowed by the Amateur Athletic Union (A.A.U.) to enter amateur marathons, but with a separate starting time from the men.

1980
Support from Science

The American College of Sports Medicine releases a statement in support of women running in the marathon in the Olympics.

1984
A Win for Women

The women’s Olympic Marathon makes its debut in the Los Angeles Summer Olympics.

International Hug a Runner Day FAQs

Who was the first woman marathoner to win an Olympic gold medal?

Joan Benoit was the first female Olympic gold medalist.

How do I properly hug a runner when they're on the move?

Don’t hold runners for too long in the middle of their running, run alongside them instead.

How does Hug A Runner Day promote unity?

Since everyone can participate in running and anyone can hug a runner, this promotes unity by removing all discrimination.

International Hug a Runner Day Activities

  1. Hug a Runner

    Are there any runners among your friends or family? Give them a heartfelt embrace and tell them that you appreciate their efforts. You can also gift them something meaningful and fun.

  2. Donate

    Organizations often hold marathons to raise money for charitable causes. Find one in your area and give your financial contribution.

  3. Join a run

    Running and walking alongside runners is a great way to celebrate this day. Don't forget to hug them along the way!

5 Facts About Marathon Events

  1. Longest race in the world

    While doing the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3,100 Mile Race, runners must complete 5,649 laps of a 0.65 miles city block loop.

  2. Extreme endurance running

    For the first three years of the seven-year endurance pilgrimage, the Marathon Monks of Japan have to run 18.6 miles a day for 100 consecutive days.

  3. A global run

    British runner Robert Garside was the first person to run around the globe, completing this spectacular feat in almost six years.

  4. No women allowed

    Before 1980, medical science prohibited women from running marathons.

  5. Runners go faster over long distances

    Studies show that when it comes to ultramarathons, the longer the distance, the faster the pace.

Why We Love International Hug a Runner Day

  1. It promotes unity

    The world needs more hugs. On International Hug A Runner Day, there are lots of hugs to go around and that brings unity.

  2. It supports good causes

    The money raised on International Hug a Runner Day goes to supporting charitable causes. It goes a long way in making the world a better place.

  3. It boosts our health

    Running is an excellent way to keep in shape. It's also beneficial for lightening up your mood and maintaining mental health.

International Hug a Runner Day dates

YearDateDay
2022November 20Sunday
2023November 20Monday
2024November 20Wednesday
2025November 20Thursday
2026November 20Friday

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