Hack the App: Charity Miles

By now, I’m sure that many of you have heard of the charity miles app, (in which case feel free to skip the rest of this paragraph), but if you haven’t here’s a quick description. The app allows you to earn money for charity with each workout you do (run/walk/bike). Once you have downloaded the app and made an account, it’s a pretty quick process to get going. You select your charity from a list of options (I usually run for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America), choose your activity (run/walk indoor, run/walk gps, bike gps), and press go! It’s that easy! There are some additional features (you can join teams, post your runs to social media, and snap a photo of your run), but this is essentially a charity app, not a running app, so it would be used in addition to a running app, if that’s your cup of tea.

Anywho , I recently started using the app again after a long break. For a while I had a lot of technical issues with getting the app to work, so I stopped using it. Then, I got a new phone and never reinstalled it…you know the drill. I’ve come back to it in the last couple of weeks, though because I joined a (super awesome) virtual running club (more on this later), that uses the app to track miles for friendly competitions, as well as to encourage the use of the app to do #somuchgood.

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Within charity miles, I’m on a team associated with my running club, and any miles I run are automatically tallied under the team total. There are multiple teams associated with the club and we are essentially in competition with each other. And that’s where “hacking” the app comes in. Because really, whenever something is a competition, there’s bound to be some…ahem…creative…ways to win.

I know what you’re thinking, (cough..cheater…cough cough) but I promise there are ways to hack the app that are not cheating. And both Charity Miles and my running club encourage it. Obviously, sitting on the couch with the app on pedometer mode and jiggling your arm is a no go, as is putting the app on gps mode while you’re driving, but there are so many “approved” ways to hack the app, and you don’t have to be even slightly devious to come up with them. Hacking the app is basically turning it on any time you’re doing some kind of physical activity: walking to work, shoveling snow, vacuuming, etc.

Today, I’m hacking the app for the first time. In the most non-creative way possible: I turned on pedometer mode when I got up and it’s recording any movement I make all day (sadly very little with my desk job); but it has definitely inspired me to get up and move around just a tiny bit more than usual. I feel like I have this fun secret…I’m raising money (I think I’ve raised a whole 25 cents so far today..haha!) AND I’m getting miles for my team. (We’re currently in last place, so the situation is DIRE.)

At first I thought it was weird and a little wrong, but since it is encouraged (search #hacktheapp on Instagram) by both Charity Miles and my running club, I figured I should give it a try. And really, the end result is that I: a) raise more money for charity b) am more active, and c) have a little fun. How can that be wrong?

Do you use charity miles? Do you hack the app?

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