Virtual Runs: Better Health for Family and Community

Published on: October 12, 2020

Joel Farnworth writes how his family discovered running for charity and the advantages of doing a virtual run together.


By Joel Farnworth


If your family is looking to get active and enjoys outdoor activities, you might like to try a running event together. My family got hooked a couple of years ago as the kids started to outgrow the space at home and we now enjoy running for a fun and rewarding weekend experience. 


We first joined a charity run called Run for Nurses, the funds from which go towards scholarships for nursing students. It is organised by the Princess Mother’sCharities Fund of Thailand Foundation, which was created 40 years ago Thanpuying Betty Dumaine, an American who was the Princess Mother’s close friend. To this day seventy percent of the foundation’s donations provide scholarships to poor nursing students and we want to see them graduate. Nurses do a significant job and the current COVID-19 pandemic proves that Thailand needs to continue training new generations of nurses. 


At the time of our first run, more people were realizing the importance of staying fit and healthy and we were keen to help a worthy cause. We joined over 1,000 runners for a 6am start at Lumpini Park. There were many families running with kids, and it was a memorable event. The proceeds provided the means to support over 500 nursing students and this ignited our drive to do more charity runs.


Due to the COVID-19 situation, and for the health and safety of participants many running events across Thailand and beyond have changed to become virtual runs.


This has some advantages for families because they can run anywhere and anytime, they wish and then send in their running results through applications provided by the event organizers. This may take away a bit of the excitement of being in a real race, running side by side with your competitor, but it can also be a fun family experience with not much pressure to try to keep up with others.


Young children can also participate and with their little feet, they can decide to run with ease and keep track of their running distances over time – not finishing the run all at once. 


We will participate in the virtual Run for Nurses that begins on 21 October, which will coincide with the 120th birthday anniversary of The Princess Mother. We hope that many runners will share photos of their run proudly on social media so that we can cheer each other on.


The whole family can walk together in a park, an outdoor area, inside the living room or on a treadmill and use iPhones or any other tracking devices such as watches to store and capture photos and send in the results to the organizer of the event.


The distance to run is also up to the runners so you can enjoy a fun charity walk/run, do a mini marathon -10km or go the full distance with a half marathon – 21km. 


If you are keen to start, look for the types of runs on offer, and ones with causes that are close to your heart. Feel free to contact me if you are keen to join family-friendly running events and need some suggestions.


About the Author

Joel is a mature dad who juggles time with his children and providing consulting services on HR and Leadership capability development. provides more info or contact  For information about upcoming runs please email

The views expressed in the articles in this magazine are not necessarily those of BAMBI committee members and we assume no responsibility for them or their effects.

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