"Like everyone, COVID-19 completely changed my daily routine. Before lockdown I was very active, attending bootcamp sessions 3-4 times a week. Although the sessions moved online for a while during the pandemic, I didn’t feel as motivated. I knew the Miles Ahead challenge would give me something to focus on, keep me moving and to be able to give something back to St John Ambulance.
Exercise for me is not only about the physical benefits but the mental ones too, it immediately boosts my mood and helps me to de-stress, especially when things have been so uncertain recently.
Running 100 miles in 30 days was always going to be a huge challenge for me - I was not a keen runner and racked up maybe 20 miles a month at most. I knew I wouldn’t have been able to do it on my own, so I made sure to have friends and family join me for nearly every run, which ended up making the whole experience so much more enjoyable and sentimental given I hadn’t seen many of them for months.
Unfortunately, just four days in, I got an injury which left me barely able to walk for 10 days. I was feeling so downhearted and frustrated that I may have to end my challenge so soon. However, this only made me more determined, knowing my friends and family had all been so generous with their support and sponsorship. I didn’t want to let them or St John down. So with the help of a lot of ice baths, wearing my hiking boots round the house during the day for support, and slowing down my pace, I managed to power through.
Within the challenge I was also able to achieve some other milestones – running 7 miles, the furthest I have run without stopping or walking in between, nearly beating my 10k personal best 3 times, and even ran twice on my birthday! And if this wasn’t enough, I set up an incentive that if I received a certain amount of sponsorship within 24 hours, I would complete the challenge in 25 days instead of 30, which I did!
"Taking part in the Miles Ahead challenge ended up being one of the best things I have done and is still having a very positive impact on me now - I feel so much stronger and fitter."
I even ran a half marathon a couple of weeks later! I feel incredibly proud of myself for what I have achieved, but even more so due to the support I received and the money I raised for St John Ambulance!
A thought that stayed with me throughout was “Great things never come from comfort zones” – at a time like this, when things are uncertain and you need something to keep you motivated, I fully recommend getting involved in a challenge like Miles Ahead where you not only get to achieve something for yourself, but for such an incredible charity too!"