The 13 Challenge – or a numeric way to raise money for charity

I’m a long-distance runner, or at least I was before Christmas. Since then I seem to have been unwell and eaten a lot of chocolate, neither or which are particularly good for staying in shape.

In 2012 I was persuaded to run a marathon, and given this as a challenge, I took advantage of it to raise some money for Myeloma UK – roughly ¬£1,500 which I was pleased about as it’s the first time I’ve done anything like that.

So whilst writing my annual Christmas card letter (which usually contains an apology for being rubbish at keeping in touch followed by a summary of the year) I got thinking about what I could do to raise money this year.

One marathon was enough. The training was obsessive and in a way I felt cheated out of time with Mark as I seemed to be training for much of the first 4 months of 2012 – he died 6 weeks after the race. A triathlon would seem like the natural progression however I’d have to buy a road bike, some triathlon gear and get a new sinus system that didn’t give up the ghost when plonked near a chlorinated swimming pool (for training purposes) – I certainly don’t envisage jumping into random rivers. Not around here anyway, nor in January!

So it got me thinking – what to do. In fact ‘the 13 Challenge’ first came to mind during my last 2012 race although I was too busy trying to get to the end without incident to really think it through.

It’s 2013, or ’13 if the former is too long for you. My favoured running distance is 13.1 miles aka half-marathon. So for starters, the challenge is to do 13 official¬† half-marathons. The challenge is in part fitting this in around work as I work a lot of Sundays, when the majority of the races take place.

To cover all those .1’s, well the Stockport 10 miler should cover those – little point running 1.3 miles as an extra when there’s a local 10 miler WITH T-shirt. And meal-worm, although that’s just a peculiarity with the Stockport 10……..

I reach an age this year which is a multiple of 13 so that’s a nice coincidence. There’s a local orienteering hike which is something like 52 miles and someone else suggested the Manchester-Blackpool bike ride, which is roughly 65 miles.

So it’s a bit of fun around a number characterised for all the negative reasons. I’m not sure as yet how best to go about raising money as it’s a challenge which will take the year to complete. All pointers welcome on that one. I know I want to get it started first to make sure that the logistics work; it would be a pity to get people interested in the challenge only to find that due to work commitments I could only fit in 2 races…..

I have a list of races which are possible thus far, although until I get details for work (due imminently) I can’t plan quite yet.

So hold the thought – let people know – and see if we can raise some much needed funding for the research and care of people suffering with Multiple Myeloma.

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