I remember my first time reading the Goblet of Fire. The tasks, the Yule Ball, the Durmstangs and Beauxbatons… they all got me so excited as a child. But one thing that really got me excited was Hermione’s passion for changing the world through S.P.E.W.
Today, that excitement and passion for activism and doing so much good in the world still carries into my adult life. I am so excited to share with you all a very amazing, Harry Potter community that does just that and how you can get involved!
Hogwarts Running Club
What is the Hogwarts Running Club?
A group that’s very near to my heart, the Hogwarts Running Club, is a 501c3 organization that raises money for charities by holding virtual Harry Potter-themed running events.
The Hogwarts Running Club just celebrated its third birthday on March 6th and since its inception has helped raise $1,290,236 for charities such as Limbs for Life, Carry the Future, Project Purple, and One Warm Coat. Also, the group has collectively donated over 1,148 items for animal shelters, 17,814 scarves for One Warm Coat, and 25,181 humanitarian items for refugees in Greece through Carry the Future.
Hogwarts Running Club members also use the app “Charity Miles,” which allows you to choose a charity that the app will donate money to as you walk/jog/run/bike/hike/ski/dance. Together, the group has accumulated over 3.5 million charity miles.
Do you have to be an avid runner to join the Hogwarts Running Club? Not at all! The skill level of the group ranges from people who like to enjoy a nightly walk around their block to people who are training up for their next marathon. Cyclists are even welcomed to join the Hogwarts Running Club! No matter your skill level, you are warmly welcomed when joining the group.
“What Does the Hogwarts Running Club Mean to You?”
I posed this question to the members of the Hogwarts Running Club in our Great Hall (more information on that in the section below) and the answers were incredible.
“HRC is my safe place. A place to share my love of HP (being a 35 year old woman when many don’t understand)and help motivate me to improve my health. I told family that I want to start running and they looked at me like im from another planet (the same look I get when I say I LOVE HP). So this place melds both of those. It’s a great place to be!”
“To me, being a part of the Hogwarts Running Club, means that I am inspired daily by an amazing, diverse, group of people to give back to my community and uphold many of the wonderful values that J.K. Rowling instilled in our beloved characters. Compassion, courage, kindness, and love. I am becoming more active, not just as a runner, but also in my community to create #somuchgood.”
-Erin Terese Williams
“HRC was there for me in one of the darkest moments of my adult life. The positivity, encouragement, and outright community of nerds who just want to share goodness with the muggle world via charity and running is what I felt I was missing before.”
-Becky Griffith Silverman
“HRC means loving support, encouragement. No matter your status, from novice to pro you are not judged but find strength to do a little bit more. Go the distance, increase the numbers, in addition to supporting a variety of charitable organizations. It’s a win-win all around. Your physical and mental state of mind improve as well. “
-Carole Cassidy Cherny
“For me HRC means pushing my limits. I never thought I was capable of doing a 10k, much less training for a half marathon. Now I am doing both. It also means community. The people I have met here are encouraging, helpful and friendly. They are generous and giving and really just want to be part of doing so much good in the world we are all a part of. I am grateful for the friends I have made here and the experiences I have been a part of because of this group.”
“For me, HRC is a judgment free zone. I am not your typical ‘runner’ type, but this group is very encouraging and everyone is at different stages. In less than a year I’ve gone from unable to run a mile, to running my first half marathon! I’m very grateful to this group, for helping me gain courage and acceptance, while doing #somuchgood and sharing my Harry Potter love at the same time.”
“It means being apart of the biggest and best damn family that I’ve ever seen. 🙂 Having the biggest best support group I’ve ever had and literally doing amazing things for amazing charities while trying to make healthier choices for myself mentally and physically. Being apart of this group has taught me to exercise for fun… it’s motivated me in ways only cupcakes can!”
“I can’t even tell you the value of finding a place where I can be myself in all ways. There’s no judgement because I’m larger sized. There is only words like “you got this!” and “you’ll do great!”. There are honestly no words to truly explain how that makes someone like me feel. To be included and encouraged and embraced for just being ourselves. That is invaluable. That brings the beauty of the movies and books to life in a way that very few other groups/clubs can. That lesson that everyone is needed, wanted, valuable, and that together we can do or accomplish anything.”
“For me it means, blending my love of running with my love of Harry Potter and the lessons it taught me. In this club we take those lessons and put them to work. It’s more than just the charity partners for each run, it’s the challenges within and all the ways this club does #SoMuchGood. I bless the day I stumbled on this group and everything that has come from it.”
“I don’t run, I walk. No one in HRC has ever made me feel like I’m “less” in any way. I love sharing in others’ accomplishments and they make me feel celebrated too! This pushes me to do more, be more active and have goals beyond “just” walking. I love the camaraderie and the absolute nerdiness of this bunch! These are my people!”
“It is a place of unconditional acceptance. Whether you are a walker, runner or wogger, slow or fast, old or young, there is total and unconditional love here. Everyone motivates everyone else and cheers on wins. We care about each other enough to “wands up” for losses and happiness for new babies. I am part of a group of people who care enough for others to donate time and money to people and causes.”
–Lisa K Larson
How to Get Involved in the Hogwarts Running Club
Want to join the Hogwarts Running Club and do #somuchgood? Hop over to the Great Hall Facebook group and dive right in! There are plenty of files and encouraging people to help you get started. Through the Great Hall you can also find your House Common Room to join if you are interested in a little house rivalry for the yearly House Cup Competition. Hope to see you there!
10k & S.P.E.W
What is 10k & S.P.E.W.?
10k & S.P.E.W. is the upcoming race for the Hogwarts Running Club. The charity partner for this race is another group that is very near to me, the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA).
Funds raised by the 10k & S.P.E.W. race will go towards HPA’s annual leadership retreat that is being held this weekend, the Granger Leadership Academy, to provide scholarships to youth who would otherwise not be able to attend this fantastic event. Any leftover monies will go towards the HPA’s Accio Books campaign.
The Harry Potter Alliance’s mission is to turn fans into heroes through activism in equality, human rights, and literacy campaigns, such as Hermione did when she formed S.P.E.W.
The 10k and S.P.E.W. race excites me so much; there is no better way to tip our hats to activism through Harry Potter communities than by honoring our very own Hermione Granger and raising money for such an awesome group!
How to register
If you want to do #somuchgood for the Harry Potter Alliance, or want the fantastic bling pictured above, click here to register for the 10k & S.P.E.W. race! Proceeds from the medal and shirt sales for 10k and S.P.E.W. will directly benefit the Harry Potter Alliance. Be sure to register today, as this event will more than likely sell out!