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Word of the week: Fun run

Type: Reference material

Have you ever entered a fun run? Or is that not your idea of 'fun'? Tim Bowen may persuade you to dust off your running shoes with this explanation.

The term fun run was first coined in the 1970s and was used to describe an event where people ran a prescribed distance to raise money for a particular charity. A famous example of this was the 1985 Live Aid fun run, which was intended to raise money to help famine victims in Africa. Thousands of fun runs were organized in various countries and millions of pounds in sponsorship money was raised for the charity.

Apart from its fund-raising nature, the other main feature of a fun run is that it is supposed to be non-competitive. In other words, there is not supposed to be a winner in a fun run. However, human nature being what it is, some people are very competitive and it is not unusual to see fun runners red in the face and straining with effort as they try to reach the finishing line before someone else. For many people that kind of effort isn’t fun at all and makes fun run seem like another example of oxymoron.

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Free pragmatics lesson plans brought to you by Macmillan Dictionary as part of the Macmillan Year of Life skills.

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