People marked last month’s Earth Day in many different ways, but Rachel Shuttleworth particularly caught our eye – and earned the title of April’s Doer of the Month in the process. On 22nd April, she ran her first ever half marathon, raising 34 pledges in support – pledges to take action for the environment instead of donating cash. After all, the environment needs action more than it needs cash.
We caught up with Rachel to hear a bit more about her story.
Aside from training for your half marathon, what do you do?
I’m doing a PhD in climate change at the National Oceanography Centre, in Southampton.
And what were you raising support for – and why?!
I have never been the sort of person you would describe as a “runner” – I really enjoy my bed, and really don’t enjoy leaving it to go out for a long run in the rain. It was a massive physical and mental challenge for me – but by the end I was a changed woman, those Sunday morning runs became a highlight of my week!
Do Nation was the obvious choice for me to raise support for – they are passionate about a cause close to my heart: global warming and climate change, with the clear simple message that little changes do add up and can make a difference.
Right on – that’s what we like to hear. And how did you come to hear about us?
My friend (Ben Taylor) took part in the Arthurs Seat Mad Challenge last year, and I thought it was such a great idea! I had never seen anything like it before – it’s fantastic for me as many of my friends are still on student incomes and can’t afford to sponsor as many people as they would like to – this is a great alternative that everyone can get involved in!
What was the most surprising or exciting pledge someone made?
Possibly from my parents to “veg out” – they are long term meat lovers!
I love it! Mine did the same when I first trialled the idea of Do Nation 8 years ago, and I was amazed.
The run itself – how did it go?
It was a CRAZY hot day, and I was very nervous beforehand, but the race went better than I could have ever imagined – could not have been happier with my finish time!
Nice work! Keeping going requires grit and stamina – what motivated you to keep pushing on?
Knowing the impact that these pledges may make if they turn into long-term habits may have really kept me going in the last couple of miles as the sun was getting hotter, and my legs heavier.
And once done, how did you celebrate?
A well deserved (meat and cheese free!) BBQ in the sun!