Frequently Asked Questions
GOT QUESTIONS? Here’s Who Can Answer:
(simply click on the name to contact via Facebook)
How do I sign up?!
If you’re a runner/athlete or a buddy, head over to www.whoirun4.com, click the ‘Match Me’ tab, and complete the registration form either as a runner or a buddy. When completed, please make sure you’ve “liked” the IR4 Matcher Page and join the IR4 private Facebook group. If you have any questions about whether or not your registration is complete, you may email Carol Dublin.
My son/daughter/friend has ________ disability, but s/he is not physically incapable of running. Is s/he still eligible for a runner?
Anyone with a physical, mental, or learning disability, or with a life-threatening or terminal illness, is eligible for a runner, including anyone with an IEP. We match buddies of all ages who live with all kinds of disabilities and life-threatening conditions, from cerebral palsy and Down syndrome, to congenital heart conditions and leukemia, to autism spectrum disorders and other learning disabilities. All special-needs buddies under the age of 16, or whose communication is otherwise impaired or difficult, must be represented in the group by a parent or guardian who will communicate with their runner on their buddy’s behalf. If you’re still unsure whether or not you qualify, email Carol or Tim.
I am not a runner, but I do other activities. Can I sign up for a buddy?
While IR4 was originally founded by a runner as a group for runners, we match athletes of ALL kinds and levels with buddies. Whether you’re a runner, walker, skier, cyclist, yogi, roller blader, cross-fitter, swimmer, gym rat, or someone looking for any and every way to simply get active and healthy, you are eligible to “run” for someone!
Do you have any other IR4 groups that runners/buddies can sign up for?
Yes! If you’re a runner and you’re not excited about the long wait, OR you’ve lost a family member or loved one to illness, special needs, or tragedy, you may join the I Run 4 Remembrance: Kerri On group. We also have a group for the siblings of special needs children, called IR4 Siblings: The Unsung Heroes which matches runners and athletes with the brothers and sisters of special needs kids. Last but not least, we have a group honoring wounded veterans called IR4 Wounded Veterans. For more information on IR4: Kerri On, contact Yvonne Jones. For more information on IR4: Siblings, contact Jodi Stoner. For more information on IR4 Wounded Veterans, contact Matt Haeni.
How long is the runner’s wait list?
Right now, with about 4,000 runners on our wait list, it can take a long while to be paired with a buddy. We work hard to recruit new buddies all the time, and we know the wait can be excruciating! But we provide a prayer wall for those on the waiting list who want to dedicate their daily miles to someone in need, and we guarantee that the wait is worth it!
I’d really love to join IR4, but I already know someone I’d like to run for. Can we sign up as a pre-matched pair?
While one of the primary goals of IR4 is to introduce strangers who can expand each other’s support networks, we also want to honor those who already run for someone special, and make a place for you in our network. So if you’d like to register as a pre-matched pair, please email Carol Dublin and include your name, email address, and link to your Facebook profile and your buddy’s name, email address, and link to their Facebook profile.
I’m not a runner, but my son/daughter/child is, and she/he would like to sign up to run for someone? How old do you have to be to be someone’s runner or buddy?
We at IR4 love that young people are excited to get involved with our organization and give their lives to others! However, because we want to foster appropriate relationships among adults and younger people, and because it’s been our group’s experience that younger runners tend not to be as committed, our policy is to match athletes aged 16 and over. If your 13 year old daughter wants to run for someone, we encourage YOU, as a parent, to register as a runner and run WITH your child for the special-needs buddy. We match buddies of all ages, so long as those 16 and under, or who are unable to communicate on their own, are represented by a parent or guardian.
I was matched with a buddy, and we “friended” each other, but I can’t seem to tag them from my phone! What gives?
This is a known Facebook issue: When tagging people from the Facebook app (especially on Apple devices), friends are often missing. We don’t know why this happens - it’s a problem throughout Facebook, not exclusive to IR4. The best solution is to a) ensure you ARE friends with the person you’re trying to tag; b) post either from a desktop or laptop computer OR from your device’s mobile browser (i.e., safari) rather than from the app; and c) if all else fails, send your post and ask someone else to tag your buddy for you. Our members are awesome and are paying attention - 99 times out of 100, if you can’t tag your buddy, someone else can and will!
I’d love to sign up for a runner/buddy, but I’m not on Facebook. Can I still join?
Right now, IR4 is exclusively an Facebook group. When our new website is up-and-running, we will have a space for non-Facebook-users to participate in IR4, but for now, both runners and and buddies need to have a Facebook profile in order to participate in the organization, even if that profile exists solely for IR4 participation.
How many times a week do I have to workout/post to the Facebook group?
Because we’re fostering close relationships between runners and buddies, we require all runners to post at least three times weekly, and their buddy’s parents to respond and/or “like” those posts. Of course, we understand that life happens and some weeks we’re all unable to post as often. As long as you’re in regular contact with your runner or buddy, we do not strictly enforce this guideline. However, if you’re not willing or ready to post regularly and get to know your buddy or runner, please do not commit to one.
Are matches permanent? What if something happens and I can’t run anymore, or want to leave the group? What if I don’t get along with my buddy?
Our sincere hope is that these pairings will open the door to life-long relationships between runners and their buddies. We understand that every relationship will be different, and some will be deeper/closer than others. We also understand that injuries happen, that life gets in the way, and that life and passions change. We also understand that some matches just aren’t a good fit. And that’ll sometimes mean runners and buddies ask either to be removed from the program or for a new match. If that’s the case, we ask that you message your match and explain why you’re leaving the group, and message/email our Buddy Relations Team to ask for a new buddy. We work hard to make sure that your relationships are healthy and thriving, so feel free to contact Jill or Dustin at any time if you have questions or concerns about your buddy relationship!
Can I post a link to my Facebook page/race/personal website/Go Fund Me page/fundraiser?
NO. At IR4, our policy is to maintain our Facebook group page as a space exclusively for the sharing of workouts and health reports between runners and buddies. When we allow outside links, the page becomes bogged down in those links and it’s considerably harder for members to communicate with each other about daily life. If you want to share an outside link, or invite other members to check out a link or a race you’re running, you may invite them to contact you privately for more information. If you post an outside link, IT WILL BE DELETED.
* TO REGISTER as a runner or to apply for a runner visit http://www.whoirun4.com/match-me/
* To become a member of IR4, “like” the IR4 Matcher Page
* Carol Dublin –To confirm or check on registration acceptance, or to find out if or when you’ve been matched, and with whom.
* Buddy Relations – For help resolving interpersonal problems between runners and buddies, or to address concerns with other members or their posts. (I.e. if you need a new buddy or runner, if your match is unresponsive/inactive, contact Buddy Relations: Jill Huffman Knapschaefer and Dustin Erhardt!)
* Kate Cox – Any questions regarding the IR4 Virtual Race Series
* Jodi Stoner – Any questions about IR4 Siblings: The Unsung Heroes group can be directed to .
* Yvonne Jones - Any questions about IR4 Remembrance: Kerri On can be directed to Yvonne.
* Tim Boyle - Fundraising questions (this includes ANY posts re: whether or not you can share your or your buddy’s race/fundraiser), vendor inquiries and applications, media inquiries, or to inquire about IR4 financials, expenses, and organizational partnerships, and any other unmentioned questions.
* To make a tax-free donation to I Run for Michael:
> PayPal Donations can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
> Physical checks or money orders can be made out to I Run For Michael and mailed to IR4 Donations | 2647 Penn Ave N | Minneapolis, MN 55411