In October 2016, I completed a 12 marathon in 12 months challenge to raise funds for MND Scotland. It was hard, it was fun, and above all it was a challenge that was raising funds for a cause close to my heart. I did this, and had to ask myself the inevitable question, what next? The answer? In July 2017 I will be running 12 marathons in 1 month.
When I started the original 12in12 challenge I was no stranger to marathon running, having run my first Marathon in 2009 (Doyen of the Downs Ultra) and run several around the births of the 3 sons over the following 6 years. As a marathoner, as is the same for many of us, I ran purely for the feeling of achievement (I am never going to win one) but I would set up an online fundraising page and mention it to people to see if a happy side affect of my running could be some funds for charity. It wasn’t until one of my Uncles was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease that I truly had a cause that I wanted to raise money for. For those who don’t know what MND/ALS is,it is a rapdidly progressing terminal illness, which stops signals from the brain reaching the muscles leaving the sufferer unable to move and eventually breathe. The life expectancy after diagnosis is short. 1 in 300 of us in the UK are at risk of developing this, no one knows why people get it, and there is no cure. Yet.
Over the course of the next two years and three marathons I set about raising funds for the MND charities. I had plans for three marathons in six months, Loch Ness 2015 then Brighton and Paris in April 2016. I had raised approximately £1500, which I was delighted with, and I felt like we could really achieve something. Two weeks after the Loch Ness Marathon, in October 2015, we lost Domo. We had done well, but it wasn’t enough. So, that November I started 12 marathons in 12 months, which was completed in October 2016 at the Dublin Marathon and has, so far, raised close to £5200.
I think most runners, or anyone who gets a buzz from an adventure or challenge, knows that feeling after it’s done where you feel at a bit of a loss of what to do. I knew I had to do more, I wanted to raise more money and I needed to find a way to do it that was going to fit around my young family and work. After bouncing a few ideas about, I decided on 12 marathons in 1 month. The closest I have done to this is 3 in 3 weeks, which was a struggle, but I did it. The start date will be Saturday the 1st of July, and the finish date will be the 30th of July at the Fort William Marathon which I ran 2016, and it nearly destroyed me. As yet, it is the only official race of the 12in1, but I wanted to finish at an event and cross that last line knowing that I’ve done it and got the job done. Throughout the rest of the month, unless I find some other races, I will be running my own marathon distances across Aberdeenshire, with others (for some or all of the way) and solo.
It is a hugely daunting task, but all I can think about is the finish line, and what can be achieved. What I really want is to reach a target of £12000 for the charity, and get more people involved in the 12in12 and aware of MND. I have spoken to some awesome people who are setting their own “12” targets; from walking 12000 steps every day to covering 1200miles over the year. It doesn’t matter what they do, it’s just great to see people inspired and another positive coming from the challenge.
You can follow the 12in12 on our website www.12in12.co.uk where you can link to facebook or make donations. We also have a pledge section where you can join in the 12in12 2017 and set your own challenge. I’d love for more people to be involved or offer any support so I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations can also be made at www.justgiving.com/12marathons12months