Posts Tagged 'Marathon'

Be your charity’s hero

“My #ReasonToRun is that following my battle with Testicular Cancer and chemotherapy, I will continue to run with fight and determination for those who can’t, whilst fundraising along the way.”

Putting your charity front and centre of everything you do, really helps to drive your fundraising and get your supporters to really understand why it matters.

We caught up with Jonathan and his wife Lauren, who have run 12 Marathons each and raised over £54,000 from seven of them. Whilst it takes dedication to raise this much, everything they did is simple and easy to apply to your own fundraising.

Know what drives you

Jonathan starts by saying it’s incredibly important to know “why you’re doing it”. He adds “If you’re not running because you have a personal connection to your charity, you have to know your drive for doing it. And your supporters have to understand why you’re doing it too. There are all kinds of stories, you just have to find yours.”

Embrace your charity

What makes the real difference for Jonathan is he is personally connected to all his charities. Jonathan has had cancer, has been personally treated by Chai Cancer Care and has come out the other side. His mum Valerie was also a volunteer for Chai Cancer Care, and North London Hospice enabled her to pass from her own cancer with dignity and in peace. “You need to know exactly what your charity does, and why it really matters to you.”

Share your vision

Knowing what he was fundraising for and having a goal in mind really helped Jonathan. Whilst his mum was alive, he had a target of £50,000 for his charities. He’s now surpassed that and is hoping to raise £1000 for every year of his life – only £4000 to go to hit his target this year! Plus, Jonathan says, “having someone to support and help you keep going is a real game-changer; running without my wife would just not have been the same.”

Make a personal connection

Jonathan is happy to nudge people. He gets most of his donations simply by emailing people personally. If it’s addressed to them, they’re more likely to take notice. He’s taken the time to build a relationship with his supporters, and sends over 500 emails for each Marathon.

Make your charity visible

Just by wearing his charity vest on his training runs, he’s been able to meet new people he wouldn’t have normally and get new donations. It helps that his charities are both local, and people recognise his vest and start talking to him. Also by talking about his fundraising in his day to day life, he’s been able to get donations even from acquaintances. People just need to know about it.

Keep your supporters involved

Jonathan isn’t afraid to follow up with the people he’s asked to donate to his page, particularly to those who have expressed an interest, but have forgotten or haven’t gotten round to it. He also makes sure to go back and thank people for their donations, and let them know how he’s getting on.

Ask first to get generous donations

Starting early in December really made a difference to Jonathan. This way when he’s asked people for donations, they’re likely to give more generously to his page. He says “If you leave it later, people often give less as they’ve already donated to other fundraisers.”

Don’t ever give up

Jonathan shared the fact that he’s run the New York Marathon, the Chicago Marathon, the Berlin Marathon and it’s his sixth Virgin Money London Marathon. He tells us that his determination really came out for New York. He had intensive chemotherapy for 3 months, and only had 8 weeks to train for the Marathon. He said at the time:

“One last thing, I can’t promise I will start the 2015 New York Marathon. I can’t even promise that if I start the 2015 New York Marathon, I will finish it……But one thing I promise you, I WILL TRY TRY TRY”

With the help of friends and family, he raised a staggering £12,000 in just five days.

Have you gone the extra mile to inspire more people to donate? Share how you did it with others @VMGiving or on Facebook

#fundraiserfriday: Chronic pain won’t stop Nick Southorn


“It’s easy to just exist when you live with long-term conditions, so my #ReasonToRun is to live, not simply exist, with persistent pain and fatigue.”

On 23 April 2017, tens of thousands of runners will take to the streets of London and take part in the largest single-day fundraising event in the world; the Virgin Money London Marathon. One of those people will be Nick. Nick told us about his challenge and how his chronic pain is affected.

The event

“I chose the London Marathon initially as it is one of those ‘bucket list’ events. I completed London in 2016 and realised that it is so much more than a bucket list event, it is an all-consuming running and charity festival. Everyone is sharing the same emotions and there is a tacit feeling of community and compassion amongst not only the runners, but the spectators too. They gained my everlasting respect and I look forward to being a part of it once more this year.”

The challenge

“One of the biggest motivational factors for me, aside from charity work, is to spread the message that I try to sell in my clinics – it’s better to have a life with chronic pain and fatigue than to simply live with it. It is difficult, but worth it. On leaving the army in 2003 I was a reasonably fit 22 year-old, but I then developed a significant lower back and sacroiliac joint pain which drove me to inactivity. I became increasingly fatigued to the point that normal daily activity was a struggle which lead me to becoming out of shape, sluggish, depressed and unsociable. However, by starting off with a few gasping and limping 3 km runs, I was slowly able to run and make reasonable distances regularly.”

Nick’s 2017

“2017 is going to be my most active yet; five marathons and a couple of ultras (including three laps of Tough Mudder = 33 miles of obstacle running). When it’s all over I look forward to finding my next challenge. Knowing that I have two great charities to raise money for [Macmillan and Treetops Hospice Care] means that I must get moving. My friends and family are amazing and supportive by forcing me out of the house when I really don’t want to. Whatever the future holds for me, I plan to always be an advocate for healthy living and not letting chronic pain and fatigue get in the way.”

Support Nick

You can help Nick raise as much money as possible for Macmillan and Treetops Hospice via his Virgin Money Giving page.

#fundraiserfriday: Phillip Price ran 184 miles in one weekend


In November 2015 we brought you the story of Phillip Price. Phillip was just setting out on his training which would lead to the most epic of challenges; running 7 marathons in just one weekend which Phillip quite incredibly completed last week. Phillip Price is today’s #fundraiserfriday.

Phillip’s story

Back in 2015 when we first spoke to Phillip, he told us how his story began 6 years earlier when he volunteered at one of the first activity days at The Maypole Project. The Project work with children and young people who have complex medical needs, life threatening illnesses and disabilities. Six years on, one trek up Kilimanjaro, several half marathons, marathons and ultra-marathons later, Phillip was ready to embark on the training for his 2016 seven marathons – a total of 184 miles – in 3 days.

Phillip’s challenge

On 16th September, Phillip set off from the source of the Thames river to run to his final destination, the Thames barrier. Day one didn’t go according to plan with Phillip having to cut his running short after tearing a ligament in his ankle and therefore having to make up the miles on day two, however this did not stop him. Phil tells us;

“My incredible support team and supporters along the route [kept me going]. When it got tough, my support crew were there to pick me up, feed me, even put plasters on my feet!  When I was alone and running in the middle of nowhere the one thing that kept me going was knowing the impact the funds I have raised will have on the families supported by The Maypole Project.”

Phillip adds that he couldn’t describe the feeling he felt when he crossed the finish line after 184 miles and that he doesn’t remember what he said, “I think I was in shock, it felt like a dream.” A few days on and quite incredibly, Phillip actually feels a bit sad the challenge is over.

How you can help

Phillip ran 184 miles in 3 days to raise money for the fantastic Maypole Project and you can help him reach his target by donating to his page.

#fundraiserfriday: Four by Forty

francesca fb

When Francesca Hutcheson began thinking about her 40th birthday, she wasn’t thinking about where to host her party or what she wanted as a present. She was deciding which four marathons she should take on before the big day hits to raise money for the Lingen Davies Cancer Fund at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. Francesca, pictured above running the 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon, is today’s #fundraiserfriday star.

Francesca tells us that she was lucky enough to win a place at last year’s London Marathon via her local running club, the Shropshire Shufflers. She adds ” I completed the course without walking once with the amazing support of my family and friends along the route.

Looking ahead to 2016, Francesca decided she wanted to try and go not one better or even two better. “I want to go three better!“, Francesca says.

The challenge

Francesca’s aim is to complete four major world marathons by the time she turns forty. Her plan is for these four marathons to be Paris, London, Berlin and the New York marathon, which takes place the week before her 40th birthday in November of this year.

The charity

Francesca wants to use her challenge, which she has named the ‘Four by Forty’ challenge, to raise vital funds for the Lingen Davies Cancer Fund at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital – a small charity which is very close to where Francesca lives. Francesca tells us;

Sadly, cancer touches all our lives and I know friends, family, neighbours and colleagues who have all received excellent cancer care from our local NHS hospitals and who have no doubt benefitted from the equipment which Lingen Davies Cancer Fund has been able to provide.  That said, there is still so much more that can be done to improve diagnosis, treatment and, ultimately, prolong lives and the grass-roots, local fundraising of charities such as Lingen Davies is vital to improving outcomes for patients in Shropshire and mid-Wales.”

Like Francesca, Lingen Davies Cancer Fund is nearing its 40th birthday celebrations which makes the challenge doubly special Francesca is hoping that people will be able to dig deep and support her ‘Four by Forty’ challenge for this worthwhile cause. She finishes by saying “Whether it’s four pounds or forty pounds, every penny will make a real difference to the Lingen Davies Cancer Fund.”

How you can help

You can support Francesca’s ‘Four by Forty’ challenge by donating to her Virgin Money Giving page.

#fundraiserfriday: Sue’s supporting Spinal Research

sue rees for blog

There are all sorts of events that spark people’s decision to take on a big fundraising challenge and for Sue Rees, it was a milestone birthday. Her story of overcoming her obstacles to fundraise for an important challenge is today’s #fundraiserfriday story.

Sue’s story

“I am turning another age milestone this year (the big 40!) and in a moment of madness, or in the middle of a mid life crisis, I have decided I want to channel all my energy into challenging myself to something I never thought possible, whilst giving something back to a charity very close to my heart.

“Two of my previous milestone birthday years have been taunted with injury and operations. Aged 18, a car accident left me in hospital for 3 months with multiple broken bones and internal injuries. Aged 30, I was facing an operation on my spine, which had deteriorated to the point two of my discs were crushing my spinal cord so badly that even a few 100 yards walking was excruciatingly painful.

Birthday challenge

“Approaching 40, I decided I wanted to make sure I challenge myself in a different way. Not to get better, recover from injury and operations, but to challenge myself to do something I never thought possible and as such I have signed up to both the 2015 Nottingham Half Marathon and the 2016 London Marathon which I am going to be running not only as a personal challenge to myself, but to raise as much money as I can for Spinal Research.

“I know how lucky I am, I know that I could’ve had a very different outcome when I was involved in the car accident. I broke my pelvis alongside my spine – I remember asking if I would walk again.

“Running a marathon has always been something other people do. Fit people who haven’t had their bodies broken along the way, people who aren’t me. People I am envious of.  I appreciate every step I am able to make and it will mean the world to me to raise money for a charity working so hard to ensure that those who haven’t been so lucky as me, may one day get another chance to walk again.

Spinal Research

Spinal Research is the UK’s leading charity funding medical research around the world to develop reliable treatments for paralysis caused by a broken back or neck.

Every year, 1,000 people in the UK and Ireland are paralysed following an injury to their spinal cord. Spinal Research raises money to fund research into clinical treatments as well as vital basic science research. Thanks to such pioneering research, paralysis can now be treated and we stand on the brink of applying therapies that will restore movement and feeling and transform the lives of paralysed people.

How you can help

You can support Sue through her challenges by donating to her fundraising page, or if Sue’s story touched you, you can open a page and fundraise for Spinal Research.


Win a £500 boost for your London Marathon fundraising page


You’ve got your Virgin Money London Marathon place. You’ve started your training and you’re not letting the weather put you off (much). You’ve chosen the charity you want to fundraise for. Well, now it’s time to kick start that fundraising.

The Virgin Money London Marathon is the biggest single day fundraising event in the world and the donations that you get on your page help make that happen. So share your page with friends and family and on Social Media, run a bake sale, tell your neighbours, your co-workers, the milkman that while they’re cosy in the evening watching telly, you’re out pounding the pavement and all for a great cause.

Because Virgin Money Giving is 100% not-for-profit, even more of your hard earned donations go to your chosen charity.

Plus, if you’ve raised £500 by the end of this year on your Virgin Money Giving page, you could win a £500 donation on us! Terms and conditions apply.

Set up your page today and get those donations rolling in.

#fundraiserfriday: 97 marathons in 97 days

Mark 4 blog

We recently brought you the story of Mark Vaz, the man who decided to run 90 marathons in 90 days for the charities Tommy’s and Katharine House Hospice.

We’re sure you’ll be as astounded as us to discover that upon nearing his 90th marathon, Mark decided that 90 just simply wasn’t enough and intends to carry on to 97 marathons, currently intending to finish at the Royal Parks on the 11th October.

Mark’s decision to carry comes after he feels he’s getting stronger, thanks to the good support team around him. He also says that although he is delighted with the support he’s received, he’s somewhat disappointed in what he has raised so far and would love to keep pushing for more money for the two charities.

When asked about his darkest days throughout his challenge, Mark said “The third night of my marathons I remember being up nearly all night due to massive pains in the back of both my legs. In the second week I dehydrated when running along the canal and very nearly passed out, it was a massive learning curve for me and put me off canal running. More recently, I got food poisoning and also damaged the nerve in the back of one of my legs.

Mark’s challenge is extremely personal for him and his family after his wife suffered several miscarriages and stillbirths. All donations to Mark’s Virgin Money Giving page will be split between the two charities and will go towards helping over families affected.

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