Charity running is a big part of my running career, having spent a large part of 3 years doing various challenges and raising money, while doing something I love. Over the years I’ve proven you can improve and get faster yet still do your bit for charity. In this section of my site you can learn more about each of the challenges and the journey I took.
You can read why I support my charities below and also more on my amazing journey via these articles & features.
As of 1st Jan 2018 the current running totals raised are as follows;
- NSPCC (Childline) via JustGiving: £5656.07 including gift aid
- The Children’s Hospital Charity via Virgin Money Giving: £2019.10
- Childline via a campaign: £1,318,846**
For two years I went by the Twitter handle @13inThirteen, this was also the name of my first two charity challenges that took place throughout 2013, 2014 and early 2015. The whole concept of the first challenge and the name came about in late 2012, after I lost over 4 stone during the course of 2012, you can read more about my personal weight loss on my about page.
After losing the weight I decided I needed a new challenge and took part in my first ever run at the BUPA Great Yorkshire Run in September of 2012, I enjoyed myself that much I decided to do another race 2 weeks later. It was later in the year that I came up with the first charity challenge called 13 in Thirteen. This challenge was where I would run 13 races over a distance of 10km over the course of 2013 and tried to set a PB at each race. For more on the 1st challenge click here.
The reason I came up with this challenge and previous challenges is I had always wanted to give back to a charity that helped me when I as a child. The charity in question is the NSPCC (Childline) as I used their Childline number on numerous occasions due to bullying at school and physical & mental abuse at home, they were there when I had suicidal thoughts as a teenager and if it wasn’t for the people at the other end of the line listening and offering me support and advice things could have been a lot different. I came out of that dark period a different person and use what happened to me as a child, to spur me on and become a better person. By doing this challenge I want to help others and let them know there is help out there and things can get better, by raising money and awareness of what the NSPCC and Childine do.
The 2013 challenge was a resounding success with me completing the challenge on the 1st of December and setting a new PB at each race and also raising over £2400 pounds for the NSPCC (Childline).
After taking a few weeks rest I missed the bug of the challenge so decided to do it all again and launched the 13 in Thirteen half marathon challenge. To keep the name 13 in Thirteen going as it had grown into a well known name and brand by the end of 2013. I decided instead of doing 14 in fourteen as most people expected, I decided to do 13 half marathons in 13 months. The aim was to raise £4,000 and set a PB of 90 minutes or under during the challenge. Again the challenge was a success yet was a roller coaster year and you can read more on the 2014 challenge by clicking here.
Both challenges helped raise my profile and also allowed me to tell my story regarding why I used Childline as a child. Also through doing these challenges and telling my story I helped to raise a grand total of £1,323,452 for the NSPCC (Childline) . After the second challenged finished in January 2015, I decided to take a break from charity running and focus on improving my times.
After a break of half a year, I missed the buzz of the whole ethos of challenges and looked at doing another one. This challenge came about after being told I take my running a little too seriously! so…….. inspired by my childhood wrestling heroes The Road Warriors (Legion of Doom for WWE/WWF fans), I came up with my next crazy running challenge, how this time I opted to raise money for the Childrens Hospital, as I was treated for a multitude of injuries and trauma throughout my childhood, during which the hospital staff became a family. The aim was to run for 52 weeks straight, starting in Aug 2015 and ended in Jan 2016 after racing a staggering 32 races in the space of 23 weeks. As the decision was made to finish it early. I still managed to achieve my fundraising target of £2,000, raising a total of £2019.10.
By the end of my challenge I helped to raise approx £1,325,471.10** for charities close to my heart. However I’ve continued doing work for the charities and more and more people are learning of my journey. In 2018 I revealed my next challenge 18 in 2018, 18 races in the year which consists of 12 x 10km races and 6 x half marathons. All have a time limit on. Injury, bad weather and then my daughter being taken seriously ill meant the challenge was postponed till April. You can read more about my latest challenge here.
** The figure last time I asked stood at £1,318,846, however I do not have the exact figure.