Posts Tagged 'Running'


This year, the Virgin Money London Marathon has a very special theme. We are asking people to think about their #ReasontoRun. Hugh Brasher, the race director, explained;

We know every single runner has a unique #ReasonToRun the world’s greatest marathon. Whether it’s to set a PB, to raise money for a cause, to remember a loved one, to break a Guinness World Record, to win, to remain an Ever Present, to qualify for Great Britain or just because it’s always been a dream to run the London Marathon – the reasons are endless and we would love to hear them.”

We decided to ask some of our fundraisers to share their reasons for taking part in this amazing event. You can click on each fundraiser’s name to find out more.

Heidi fundraising for Tommy’s in memory of her son, James.

“My #ReasontoRun is my baby James and all the steps he will never take and to raise funds for Tommy’s so they can help future babies find their feet rather than their wings.”

Jonathan is fundraising for North London Hospice and Chai Cancer Care following his own battle with cancer.

“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.”

Michael is fundraising for Brain Research Trust after undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumour.

“Being happy to be alive and urging for more progress with brain research is my #ReasontoRun”

Nick is fundraising for Macmillan and Treetops Hospice Care.

“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.”

John is fundraising for Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland following the sudden death of his best friend.

“My #ReasontoRun is that following a serious illness, running gave me a new lease of life – it’s great”

Peter is fundraising for The Sepsis Trust in memory of his mum.

“My #ReasontoRun is to help prevent more needless lives being taken from Sepsis so my mums life will not have been in vain”

#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: 5,000 mile run around Britain’s coast

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Photo courtesy of Pavel Hubáček

Today’s #fundraiserfriday star is Simon Clark, who is taking on the mammoth task of running the coast of  mainland Britain, 5,000 miles in total, which will take around a year to complete in aid of Ecologia Youth Trust. He has recently entered England on his 100th day and is still going strong.

The Challenge

After reading Rosie Swale Pope’s book, Just a Little Run Around the World, Simon was inspired to do his own run around the British coast to raise funds for Ecologia. Taking on the British coast in an anti-clockwise direction, he left Ecologia’s base in Findhorn, Morayshire on Easter Sunday 2016, and has since run over 1,500 miles around the far North and West coast of Scotland to cross England at Gretna Green. So far he has quite literally run through 3 pairs of trainers, an untold number of socks and even a rucksack. Running the entirety of the British coast means that Simon’s adventure includes camping out or accepting offers of sleeping on floors, as well as spotting the incredible wildlife and stunning views during his daily runs, which he posts on his Facebook page.

The Charity

Ecologia are celebrating their 20th year of working towards a world where all children can thrive within their own communities. Since 1995 it has been working to enable children and young people who have been abandoned, neglected or orphaned to realise their own individual potential. Working with local partners, Ecologia empowers youngsters to create sustainable, resilient communities by improving their education, health and welfare, and by supporting them to protect their natural environment. Find out more here.

Simon aims to raise £10,000 to support Ecologia in their work to empower children, and it is those children that keep Simon inspired to keep going even when the road is tough. He believes that,

“If we can’t give all the children of the world the best start possible, we have to wonder what we’re doing here. It’s so difficult for children in materially poor countries to get to grips with education and achieve worthwhile change whilst being under nourished and shelterless. Giving – no doubt at times, grinding out – effort to benefit youngsters who have less fortuitous circumstances than mine seems the least I can do, and the thought of carrying and needing very little, while asking others to give a lot to improve the lives of children seems the best of affairs.”

How you can help

You can sponsor Simon in his incredible efforts by visiting his Virgin Money Giving page and donating to the cause. He’s also looking for offers of food, shelter and support along the way; even offering a personal messenger service along his route in exchange for a donation! You can keep track of his progress and show your support here.


New Year, New Challenge

25 places image for email

‘Tis the season of New Year’s Resolutions, of promises to get fit and of new challenges. We all know that the best way to ensure you stick to a plan is to set yourself a goal, so why not take the bull by the horns and sign up to an event?


Gym memberships and equipment can be pricey but all you really need to get fit for the New Year is a pair of running shoes. Taking up running could be a really easy way to kick start your 2016, and there are some fantastic events you could sign up to in order to set yourself a goal:


adidas Silverstone Half
A half marathon on the iconic, world-famous Silverstone race course.


Vitality Reading Half
A flat and fast half marathon route through Reading.

Bath half logo  

Vitality Bath Half Marathon
One of the longest established and most popular city centre road events in the UK.

Wolfpack logo  

London to Cardiff 24 Hour Team Relay
The UK’s longest point-to-point, non-stop running relay challenge.


There are few better ways to have a feeling of freedom than jumping on your bike and cycling off, whether it’s on a road or down a mountain. There are all sorts of cycling events that you could sign up for to give you that boost this January.

Nightrider logo Nightrider

A night time cycling challenge through London, Bristol or Liverpool.

London Duathlon logo  

London Duathlon
A run-bike-run event racing through the stunning surroundings of Richmond Park.

London Revolution Logo  

London Revolution
The largest multi-day sportive in the UK.

Prudential Ridelondon logo  

An annual two-day festival of cycling.

#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.

90 Marathons in 90 Days

Mark 4 blog

What do you do when you’ve finished 53 marathons in 53 days breaking a world record? If you’re Mark Vaz.. You keep on running!

The 31-year-old window cleaner broke a world record after becoming the first man to run 53 marathons in consecutive days to fundraise for the charity Tommy’s after his wife sadly suffered multiple miscarriages. Since he began his challenge in Wolverhampton on 7th July, he has run 26 miles every day – while still completing his window-cleaning round.

Tommy’s are a charity that help fund research into stillbirth, premature birth and miscarriage and provide information for parents-to-be and at the time this blog was published, Mark had run 67 marathons and raised over £3,500 for the charity.

Mark’s running has resulted in him losing a stone and a half because he cannot eat enough food to replace the 3,000 calories he is burning a day, and has completed routes in London, Essex, Cornwall, Wales, Staffordshire and across the West Midlands.. But he is not stopping! In fact, he intends to carry on until he has run 90 marathons in 90 days!

Mark said “I’m really happy to have achieved this. You won’t believe the pain I’ve had to go through so far. I’ve picked up an awful lot of injuries. But I kept going because I’m determined to reach my goal and raise as much money as I can.

He added “It’s great to have a world record but the charity is the most important thing.”

You can support Mark via his Virgin Money Giving page.


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