Reflecting on Running with Kindness: A Revisit To How TCSW 10K, 2023 Transformed Countless Lives!

The Running Community is tied up to the knot of philanthropy as not just a supportive structure, but also as a resolution to derive more impactful meaning and I’m only grateful to be a part of this community! Kindness runs in the veins of any philanthropic effort and it did so, in the case of aidbees too! 

Year 2 of associating with the running community and what can I say…. I ran my first 10 kilometers on the track :))

I stood at the start line along with my best friend “WONDERING WHAT WAS I DOING HERE?” 

I run on an average 3 days a week about 7 to 10 km and so this should be a cake walk for me. Yet it was not. For suddenly I was part of something larger than me. It was no longer about me waking up, lacing my shoes and running. I was nervous. What if.. so many questions running through my mind. First 2 kms, which are normally the easiest for me, proved to be the toughest. I was never a part of a crowd and all I could think of was how to get ahead of the crowd. So I just ran ahead way faster than my normal speed which almost made me breathless. Once I managed to get some space around me I realised I needed water and I wasn’t carrying any. Panic induced and I cannot tell you the sigh of relief I felt when at the 2 km mark I spotted the water stand. I started to relax and notice where I was. The route I was on and finally started to enjoy the run. I started noticing my fellow runners and the cloudy pleasant morning. 

Crossing the 5 km was crucial for then I knew I would be running towards the finish line. Yet the mark just didn’t seem to arrive. At one point I almost gave up till a runner behind me reached out and asked me to follow her and to a point I did just that. I soon crossed the 5km mark and the runner too who had boosted my spirits. Post this mark we crossed each other a few times and it almost seemed like we were running only to inspire each other.

This is what running also promotes- the feeling of camaraderie. 

I finished the race in a record time and am gearing for a Half Marathon next year!

My first 10K journey is similar to the journey of aidbees with the TCS World 10K, 2023 as Philanthropy Partner- one full of dedication, meaning and community building! I believe it’s also the journey of any runner, especially the ones engaged in the philanthropic aspect of the Run. The self doubt, the rush, the motivation to bring change and the encouragement of the fellow runners go a long way to make the philanthropy community what it is today. 

I remember in 2023, when I was standing at the Finish Line with my teammates welcoming the finishers, participants running for Philanthropy stood out to me. They donned their respective Kindness Fundraiser titles and were over the moon to have raised massive targets on their own and crossed the finish line. All that they have accomplished was rooted in the sentiment of kindness and compassion! 

Even though the journey to raising funds and becoming a resourceful platform for fundraisers was a big responsibility, what kept us going was the resilience and surprising optimism of our participants!

We saw fundraisers starting with targets as small as 3 Lakhs and ending up raising 8 Lakhs and we also witnessed runners aiming for 10 lakhs and ending with Rs 50,000/  yet everyone contributed to the larger cause of social welfare and making the Run a success.

Personally for me, everyday with my team was like an army getting to the mission of running things smoothly, but we again stayed kind towards each other and to ourselves, that’s what drove us to success.

We’d often sit together and analyse the progress of the fundraisers and predict their targets – and all I can say is that after having raised over INR 2.7 Crores in our debut year of association, the fundraisers excelled way better than any of our predictions. 

As we step into Year 2 of being the Philanthropy Partner of the Run in 2024, I look forward to experiencing more and more inspiring moments of kindness, change and community building on the track- after all, kindness is what drives us to become better human beings. 

aidbees is grateful to be doing this, but none of this is possible without the support of our partner NGOs, Individuals, participating corporates and all the runners- whose enthusiasm kept telling us- Keep Going and You WILL succeed! 

As I look at the progressing and promising journey of fundraising this year too, I’ll close this on a very personal narrative of not just thanking everyone, but also hoping that we continue to spread kindness as we do and we continue to see those Kindness Leaders, Ambassadors and Champions crossing the finish line- every year in an increasing number!

Click here to read more stories of change, awareness, inspiration and practising  kindness!

aidbees works with 70+ NGOs across 10+ themes including environment, education, health, empowerment, etc. You can support them and join us in spreading the Kindness Revolution. Click here to explore more!

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