Last weekend I had the joy of going to watch my good friend Hannah run around a sun-bathed London with 36,000 others who were taking part in the London Marathon. She was doing the run in support of The DoNation, inspiring 43 people to donate actions, so it felt only right to go and cheer her on.
Watching all those runners was in itself a hugely inspiring experience, but it was also massively encouraging and exciting to hear the other side of the story – a side of the story that I don’t tend to hear nearly often enough: that of Hannah’s sponsors.
I finally got to put a (not too hairy) face to the name of ‘DaveNeedsAShave’, who’d pledged to walk to work. Hearing of his meticulous plans for his new commuting logistics really made me realise how powerful these pledges can be. And he clearly was sticking too it, come rain or shine.
Seeing Suzy abstain from crisps through our post race picnic because of her pledge to do Do Diet was also another good reality check. These aren’t empty pledges – people really do do them.
Best of all was Jonny’s reaction as Hannah absolutely blasted through her targeted time of 4 hours, nailing the marathon in 3 hours 48 minutes. He’d pledged to do Veg out, giving up meat for one day a week for each minute under four hours. He’d been confident that she’d run no faster than 3:55, leaving himself at the very least the weekends to enjoy a succulent steak. Alas, he now has two months of 100% vegetarianism ahead of him… Good luck Jonny!
Hannah was raising sponsorship with another friend, Emma, who ran the Brighton Marathon the weekend before. Here are the highlights of what their 43 pledges mean in reality:
- 44 chickens worth of meat saved
- 140 more efficient cups of tea brewed
- 70 packs of crisps not eaten
- 52 seasonal meals eaten
- 300 miles walked by people walking to work – that’s the same as walking London to Brighton five times!
- 5 hours shaved off showers
- 31 more sustainable fish eaten
- 209 meals worth of food saved.
I was so inspired by Hannah’s efforts that I decided to bite the bullet and do something that I’ve been talking about doing for far too long: to sign up to a triathlon.
I was hoping to sign up immediately after the marathon and write this blog that same evening, but it’s taken me well over a week to decide on which tri to do – it turns out there’s a huge amount of choice out there, and a lot of things to consider!
After extensive research, I’ve made my decision. On 29th September, I’ll be doing the Hever Castle Triathlon.
Why this one? Not only is it long enough away for me to get some much needed training in, but it’s also in a beautiful location close enough to London to do in an easy weekend, with a great variety of distances and team or individual options.
So the first hurdle is behind me: I’ve made my commitment. Two more challenges lie in wait:
- Finding others to mad enough to do it with me.
Training began well on Monday with a fantastic run to the Olympic park with GoodGym (where we then shovelled 9 tonnes of soil); but can you now help me with challenge #2?
Are you brave enough to tri and do it with me?!