Thursday, August 30, 2012


I’ve been lacking motivation. The running has been taking a toll on my body. Skin, muscles, brain – you name it, it’s exhausted. Dan and I have the Disneyland Half Marathon coming up Sunday, and I’m not even excited about it. All I can think about is how I have 146.2 miles to run in September alone. That’s only 37.82 miles LESS than what from the end of June through tomorrow.

Then I saw someone posting on Facebook about a new running app. Always a sucker for anything that might make me move faster, I clicked to find out more.
Now you can change the world just by walking, running or biking. All you need is an iPhone or an Android and the free Charity Miles app. As you walk, run or bike, the app will track your distance and you'll raise awareness and earn money for your charity:
  • bikers earn 10¢ per mile;
  • walkers and runners earn 25¢ per mile;
  • all up to One Million Dollars, courtesy of our corporate sponsors.
So wait, just by getting my butt in gear I can earn money for charity? And I don’t have to beg my friends for it? Sign me up!

But wait… Where does the money come from? According to the Terms and Conditions:
We have committed a $1,000,000 purse (the “Purse”) for users like you to earn on behalf of the Charities.  We hope to increase the size of the Purse by attracting sponsorships from third party sponsors (each, a “Sponsor”) who, for various reasons, may desire to sponsor Charity Miles and our users.  If we are able to attract sponsorships in excess of the Purse, then we will increase the size of the Purse—thereby increasing the amount of money that you and other users can earn for the Charities. 

Okay, fine. There’s got to be a down side. The biggest “problem” with the app, according to iTunes and Android reviews? You’re forced to have a Facebook account, and you have to sync your activity from the app to your Facebook. People across the reviews hate this. However, it makes sense why in the Terms:

When you finish a session, the Application will summarize your achievements and offer you a sponsorship for your Charity.  To accept the sponsorship, you will be asked to share your achievements, raise awareness for your Charity and (please) thank your Sponsor on Facebook and/or Twitter.  In each instance, we will present you with a proposed but editable message to share.  Subject to the User Content Rules (described below) you can say anything you want in these messages.  However, as we discuss below, we encourage you to thank your Sponsors.

Also, please note: if you do not accept the sponsorship, then your achievements will not accrue on behalf of your Charity.  We have instituted this policy for two reasons.  First, walking, running and biking for charity is not just about raising money—it is also about raising awareness.  Therefore, we want to encourage you to use Charity Miles to promote your Charities as much as possible.  

Second, while our Sponsors are genuinely grateful for the opportunity to support you, we are just as grateful for their support.  So, if you are grateful for your Sponsor’s support, then we encourage you to promote them too.  It’s not required.  But the point of Charity Miles is to turn amateur walkers, runners and bikers into sponsored athletes.  And just like professionally sponsored athletes, we should try to do right by our Sponsors.  Remember: the more we support our sponsors, the more they will support us.  And the more they support us, the bigger the Purse will be for the Charities!

Okay, makes sense. You can also adjust your privacy settings so that only you can see the posts. I haven’t tried the app yet, so I don’t know how annoying the Facebook spamming is. However, my mother always told me to write thank you notes. If I’m earning free money, I am going to say thank you.

There are also some complaints about the GPS signal not being strong, and not all the miles being calculated. Well, that sucks, but it was free money to begin with. Something is better than nothing, and I’m sure as the app picks up in popularity, this kink will be worked out.

Two things that would make this app perfect? Allow us to sync our runs from our preferred GPS device (Garmin, Nike+, RunKeeper, whatever). I also wish you could somehow track treadmill running into this app. There are some days where I just can’t make it outside. It’s bad enough that I feel like I’m on a hamster wheel, don’t tell me that my treadmill miles don’t actually count!

I certainly don’t think I’d use this app as my primary mileage logger, but if I can turn my 146.2 miles into $36.55 for charity, why not? Especially if it goes to puppies and kitties.

Have you run or bikes with Charity Miles? What are your experiences with the app?


  1. How cool is that?! Thanks for posting, I am downloading as I type. And remember, one step at a time - you'll get there. :)

    1. Have you had any problems with the app draining your battery?

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you for everything! Good luck on your race as well.