Today should have been the London Marathon. If you have never applied for the ballot then you have certainly heard of the event. For many charities it is the biggest fund raising event of the year. Last year in 2019 it raised over £64 million for charities in the UK and abroad. It’s cancellation during the coronavirus was a devastating blow to so many charities who are really struggling to raise funds at the moment without many events being able to go ahead.
Alas, Great Britain stood up and responded with the fabulous concept of the two point six challenge. A play on the 26.2 miles that is a marathon, we were challenged to do essentially anything using these numbers. If you spent anytime on social media Sunday 26th April 2020 then you are unlikely to have missed it. I saw one lady running on her treadmill for 26.2 hours (ugh!!), I saw a friend and her son doing 26.2 miles but over seven days, 2.6 metre long lego walk (ouch!), 2.6 tonnes of weight lifting, 26 exercises 26 times each. The creativity was fabulous!
We challenged our Earlsdon Running Club crew to step up and that they did. We wanted 100 people to run 2.6 miles and donate £26.20 to Ben’s Pass The Smile fund and they went above and beyond! My own father (never one to shy from a challenge) actually did the full 26.2 and so many of our members stepped up to add their milage and pounds in.
At time of writing this we are well over 350 miles and well over £2000 raised. This is simply amazing. Thank you to everyone who ran, who donated and who encouraged others to do the same.
I knew people would get on board and run but what i hadn’t expected at all was the almighty sense of togetherness the day created. It was like feeling we were together even though of course, in this time of lock down, we are all apart. Everyone ran alone or with household members but the photos coming in and encouragement people offered each other was one of the reasons I just adore the running community.
I don’t know about you but over the last few weeks i’ve seen a lot of negative social media. I know everyone has been tense, anxious, stressed and worried but it has manifested in some awful judgemental behaviour. It felt like that left yesterday and everyone was encouraging each other. Didn’t matter on pace, speed, distance, clothing, timing or social status. Just full of “well done”, “so lovely to see your smiley face” and “you look fabulous”.
I dread to think what my ‘screen time’ was yesterday tracking it all and adding to my spreadsheet but i have finished the day feeling proud as punch of our little community. We are a small running club for beginners and intermediate runners but yesterday i think we all felt like part of something bigger than lock down. Together even though we were apart and supported.
We need that feeling more often in life. We need to support each other more. Encourage each other more and feel part of a bigger purpose.
Thank you to everyone who supported Ben’s Pass The Smile fund today. We raised a brilliant amount of money for an exceptional cause. I felt very emotional when i did my miles thinking about Ben’s fight and every other child who endures cancer’s wrath. We must do better for these children and that starts with better research so thank you so much for contributing to that if you did.
Our just giving page is below if you still wanted to donate and might I challenge you today to go and encourage someone else to. It’s a two way great feeling!
Below – just some (there were more!) of the many faces that contributed!