Maggie’s 800km Challenge Update

No running for me today as I went for a 9km run after work yesterday.  That was to try to make up for not going running on Sunday after a Saturday night on the town with the boys.  A variety of drinks led to my infamous crazy dancing so at least I got some exercise on Sunday morning, even if it was in the early hours!

Despite the lack of a Sunday long run I am still pleased with the progress of my current challenge.

As any of you who have read my Juneathon posts will know, I am currently in the middle of a challenge to help raise money for my company’s charity of the year, Maggie’s Centres.  I’ve challenged myself to run 800km (the distance between the proposed Maggie’s Centres closest to my office in Oxford and our headquarters in Aberdeen) within 12 months – further than I have run in all my adult years combined!

Today is the end of month 4 of my challenge and following yesterday’s repentant 9km I have now covered 358km of the 800.

To put that in perspective, if I were to have set off from the Churchill Hospital in Oxford (the site of the proposed Maggie’s Centre) and set off on the route to Aberdeen as prescribed by Google Maps, I would now be at Kendal in the Lake District, just approaching Junction 37 on the M6.

For the last 11 weeks I have been averaging 25km a week so if I can keep that up I should reach the halfway point of Penrith in the next 2 weeks and be crossing the border at Gretna by this time next month!

As well as the success on the running side of the challenge the real reason for the challenge, raising £1 for every kilometre covered, has also continued strongly.  In 4 months I have raised a total of £551, helped this month by 3 donations that I have Twitter to thank for.

At the beginning of July I was in the right place on the Information Superhighway at the right time.  I noticed a retweet from Nancy (@CRUKWalton) stating that @inbritain were going to donate £100 to their 20,000th follower’s nominated charity.  They had 19,989 when I checked before going to bed that evening so thought I would be out of luck.  Fortunately for me, I have a bad habit of checking Twitter as soon as my iPhone alarm wakes me up in the morning.

19,999 became 20,000 at a click of a Follow button and my JustGiving fundraising page total jumped £100 just a couple of days later thanks to Nick Barton from @inbritain.  I have then also received to king and generous donations from Alma (@plustenner) and Katie (@katieemma21), two people who I have never physically spoken to or met but whose paths would never have crossed with mine without Twitter.

As I approach halfway of my current challenge I am feeling great and I think there are a number of things that have contributed:

  • Getting active – exercise is hard work but the feeling after completing a workout is great, and burning all those extra calories means you can treat yourself with chocolate and alcohol more often!
  • Setting a challenge – it doesn’t have to be massive or physical, the sense of achievement as it progresses is fantastic.
  • Doing something to help people – whether it’s helping an elderly neighbour or fundraising for charity, knowing you’re helping is brilliant

And another thing I can recommend is tweeting – it is a great way to find like-minded people to share and receive advice and ideas, and you might be as lucky as I was to find that some of them may even be kind enough to directly offer to help you.

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