It’s hard to believe that the Donate Life Family Fun Run has brought together supporters of organ, eye and tissue donation for 15 years now. What started as an intimate gathering of a few hundred people has turned into a running/walking festival for thousands, all celebrating the gift of life and honoring our donor and donor-in-spirit heroes.
Despite challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and exciting changes such as our merger, you (our supporters) have turned out every year and remained committed to supporting our mission of saving and enhancing lives through donation. The Family Fun Run will continue to be a shining symbol of hope for those waiting for a lifesaving transplant.
As you register for this year’s race, check out some things to know below!
1. You can run!
Are you a runner? Someone who likes to get your blood pumping in a high intensity workout? Our 5K route will let you get in your cardio exercise while showing you some downtown Baltimore sights!
2. … Or walk!
Running isn’t for everybody…and that’s okay! Is pacing yourself on a nice, invigorating walk more your speed? Our 5k and 1k routes will help you get your steps in while supporting a worthy cause!
3. You can participate anywhere!
Going to be out of town on race day? That’s okay! With our virtual participant option, you can contribute to the cause and do your walk/run from anywhere in the world. You will even still get a shirt!
If you are so inclined, you can even post about your walk/run on social media (and make sure you tag us)!
4. You can honor/remember a loved one.
Have you, or someone close to you, been personally touched by organ, eye and tissue donation? No matter your connection, coming out to the race is a great way to honor the gift and the legacy of those generous enough to give life.
5. You can volunteer.
As you can imagine, hosting a race event for 2,000-3,000 people is no small task. Whether it’s helping to set up, checking people in or passing out water on the racecourse, there is always help needed and work to be done. You can register for free as a volunteer for the event here. There are volunteer roles available for all skill and ability levels.
6. There’s delicious food!
We want all our participants fueled for the race, so fruit and water are provided for free at the finish line. Additionally, some of the best food trucks in Baltimore are sure to stop by. We’ve had doughnuts, coffee, ice cream and a host of savory options. Make sure to bring a few bucks and try some out!
7. There’s entertainment!
Face painters. Mascots like the Orioles Bird, the Towson Tiger and the Goucher Gopher. Music from our DJ. The photo booth. The kid’s activities tent. And much, much more! Entertainment is an integral part of the Fun Run. It offers great variety to the experience and adds enjoyment beyond the run/walk. Make sure to take some time to check out all the event has to offer, either before or after the race!
8. It’s at the historic Camden Yards Sports Complex!
If the prospect of a run/walk through downtown Baltimore isn’t exciting enough for you, the home base for the race is the parking lot for Camden Yards Sports Complex. You’ll start your run/walk in the shadow of some of the great Baltimore sports stars of all time – Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis, Cal Ripken Jr., Lamar Jackson, Adley Rutschman…we could go on. Get hyped!
9. There’s free swag!
Included with the cost of your registration is our highly sought after race T-shirt! Every year, people love to see the creative and colorful designs these shirts will sport (shoutout to Ideal Design Co.!). This year, it will be extra special as, for the first time, our participants get to give their input and vote on their favorite shirt design!
Additionally, visit some of the many tables around the main race stage, hosted by Infinite Legacy and our partner organizations, which will surely have free swag for you to grab.
10. And swag you can buy!
In addition to the free stuff, there will also be a table of Infinite Legacy and Donate Life merchandise for you to purchase. Participants get a first look at some of our awesome new merch at the Infinite Legacy store. Feel free to take a look at our online store before the race so you can come already decked out.
(Hint: As this is a new brand, Infinite Legacy merch is highly sought after – act fast to get yours!)
11. The music is bumping!
Who doesn’t love some great tunes to get pumped up before tackling a run or walk? We know we do! Throughout the event, our fantastic DJ will keep you moving and dancing to the hottest tracks of then and now.
12. We have some kick-butt sponsors!
Have you ever stopped by our sponsor booths at Fun Run? While we know it can be easy to bypass these tables, we want you to know that you’re missing out! Our sponsors are not just invested in the race; they are also important partners in health, technology and more! From information to free goodies, they’ve got a lot to offer. Curious? Be sure to take a walk through the sponsor tent and say “hello” to these generous companies and organizations who help make Fun Run happen!
13. The people are awesome!
As you look around at thousands of your new closest friends, you may wonder, (cue Seinfeld voice) “Who ARE these people?” People who have received transplants? Donor families and friends? Recipient caregivers? Infinite Legacy staff? Hospital staff? Random people who ENJOY running for some reason? How about all the above? As the largest gathering in support of organ, eye and tissue donation in the region, it is incredible to see so many people come together for our cause. The people - (that means YOU!) - are the biggest part of what makes the Fun Run so great!
14. The stories will warm your heart and maybe even make you cry.
Every year, we witness touching moments of people completing their first race post-transplant, meeting or reuniting with their donor families or loved ones’ recipients and paying tribute to the wonderful gift that organ, eye, tissue, research and in-spirit donors have given. Don’t forget to visit our “Why I Walk | Why I Run” installation – it’s a beautiful living example of the many stories and reasons why our participants come together at the event.
15. The cause is, quite literally, lifesaving.
At the end of the day, everyone at the Family Fun Run is there in support of organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation. This cause saves lives, and we are reminded of it whenever we see the faces of transplant recipients given a second chance at life. We are reminded of it whenever we see the families of our selfless donors and hear how their loved one was able to be a hero to someone in need. For the more than 4,000 people currently waiting for a lifesaving transplant in Maryland, Washington DC and Northern Virginia, this cause represents hope for the future. Why do we run? Why do we walk? We do it to honor those who selflessly gave of themselves yesterday, as well as those who seek to give of themselves in the service of a better, healthier and happier tomorrow.
What’s YOUR favorite thing about the Donate Life Family Fun Run? Tell us in the comments! And don’t forget to register for this year’s 15th anniversary run on October 29, 2023, at Camden Yards Sports Complex in Baltimore, MD.