Training for a marathon is a big undertaking. It’s not just physically tough but mentally exhausting too. As well as the training, there’s usually a back story that could rival any reality TV contestant’s that adds to the motivation to take on this iconic distance. Now you can capture your marathon journey as you go the #extramile.
Last year, the London Marathon title sponsor, Virgin Money, launched a website that would bring the journeys of 37,000 marathon runners into one collective timeline. It’s back for 2015 and with over 10 weeks to go there is still plenty of time to get involved.
In a nutshell, the timeline works by gathering all the marathon-related content posted to Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag: #extramile. So when you post anything about your marathon training – and as we runners love to talk about running I’m sure there’ll be loads – just add #extramile for it to join the collective training efforts.
You can then create and share your personal marathon time capsule on the #extramile site. As well as tracking your training, it can also bring together your fundraising efforts and help generate those all important donations. And in 11 weeks, when you can just about descend those stairs again, you’ll be able to look back at just what you put yourself through!
And if you needed any further motivation to keep training (and sharing), the #extramile website runs weekly themed competitions giving you a chance to win awesome prizes just by sharing your marathon training experiences.It might be a photo of your first training run, your raceday secrets or perhaps the bit of kit you can’t train without; all you have to do is share your little gem along with #extramile and the weekly competition hashtag. There are great prizes on offer – previous weeks have seen £300 of adidas kit being given away.
As I write, there’s still chance to enter this week’s competition to win a £100 iTunes voucher (* This week’s competition closes at midnight on Thursday 12th February).And if you want to take your mind off the training then you can see what your fellow marathoners are up to in all their colourful glory both through the #extramile timeline and also a weekly newsletter featuring some of the best content from the week.If you’re tweeting or instagraming (Is that a verb yet? And should it have two “m”s?) about your London Marathon training – and I know you are – head over to the #extramile website, http://www.extramile.co.uk, sign up and get sharing. So what’s stopping you?
I’m not just running my first ever marathon to tick it off some sort of life list; I’m running it to fundraise for African Children’s Fund – a very small charity, doing great things with incredibly small amounts of money in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe to help children be children and receive an education that will help them secure a better future.
With just 7p providing a portion of porridge to encourage a child to attend school and to learn on a full stomach, you could help 100 children by donating £7. Or perhaps you’d like to feed a child for a year? £17.50 will give that child a portion every school day for a year. If that’s too much, £5 supplies a girl with pants and sanitary towels so she doesn’t miss one week in four due to her periods. Why not set up a direct debit of £5 a month to provide ongoing support for that girl?
There are loads of charities out there doing very worthy things but few are able to do so much with so little. With a glass of wine or a pint of beer rapidly approaching £5 (around here anyway) I’m sure you could have one less drink this week and donate the money here instead: