Becoming a Running Bug

This month I have been approached by running website, The Running Bug to join their team of contributors thanks to my recent blog post about running apps.  Here is my first submission to them – keep an eye out on www.therunningbug.co.uk for it!

Becoming a Running Bug

Eight months ago I was a few days away from embarking on a daunting running challenge.  My company had announced Maggie’s Cancer Centres as our charity of the year and I wanted to do my bit – and what better way than to get myself running again.

I first dabbled with running back in 2000: as a student in Newcastle I was encouraged by a friend to take part in the Great North Run.  I did very little training but got round in one piece.  Since then I struggled round the GNR course a further 3 times and ran a few 10k races, all with very little training.

It was 2 years ago, following my wife’s treatment for cancer, that I chose to pick up running to raise some money for the hospital – I ran three 10k’s in 30 days and raised £430 for the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Charitable Funds, but then I let my running go.

Until this year.

I knew I would need something to keep me interested and I wanted to get myself exercising regularly so wanted to do something bigger.  I decided to run a “virtual” journey between the two Maggie’s Centres closest to the offices I work from: Oxford to Aberdeen.  A total of 500 miles, or as I prefer measuring in metric, 800km.

My challenge: to cover the 800km within 12 months, whilst raising £800, a pound for every kilometre.

I’m very nearly 8 months into my challenge and I’ve already covered 747km and received pledges totalling £745 on my Just Giving page http://www.justgiving.com/800kmForMaggies.  Alongside these achievements is the fact that I am well and truly bitten by the bug!  The ongoing challenge has helped me to make exercise a part of my lifestyle.  Much to my wife’s dismay, I now take my kit everywhere, including on holiday.  My runs have taken me around Central Park in New York, along the beach in Alicante, up and down the hills of St Ives in Cornwall as well around my home town and surrounding villages of Witney.

Fundraising was a great motivator to get me running and now I hope I can encourage more people to run: I’m planning to continue through my 800km target and finish my challenge at the Carterton 10k in March (the race where my challenge started) with as many friends, colleagues, relatives and fellow runners as I can.  Why not join me?

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