One of the most enjoyable parts of being a Run Buddy and committee member for She Runs Cardiff has been seeing the response from our community to our monthly challenges. After an exciting month ticking off running bingo squares in June we needed a July challenge to keep us motivated and when I heard about the Run Around the World event organised by the company, Run Things it sounded perfect. We’d previously taken part in their December event, Run up to Christmas, and their approach of promoting both physical and mental health is something we also feel passionate about at SR:C.
Run Around the World is a virtual event where entrants are allocated to either Team North, South, East or West and runs are logged in an attempt to have enough combined mileage to run 40,075km – that’s the distance around the world. There is no minimum requirement, whether you log 1km or 100km, it all goes towards your team total, and means you are eligible for a medal, with some of the entry proceeds going to the charity Mind.
It’s become clear since we set up SR:C that in our community we love a challenge, we love a good cause, and we love a medal! This meant I knew there would be some interest in setting up a SR:C team for the event, however, I was overwhelmed by just how much interest when over 100 women signed up.
Our team was allocated to Team West and from early on our total mileage was impressive, with us quickly achieving a place near the top of the leader board. For a little bit of extra motivation and fun I tracked our total distance to see what locations we could reach from Cardiff as the miles built up. Geography is not my strong point but with some vital support from Google I was able to provide photos and facts from locations including France, Portugal, Russia, Dubai, Lake Michigan, Los Angeles, Thailand, and Namibia. As ever, our community joined in with enthusiasm, sharing photos and experiences from their travels and discussing races all over the world that they’d love to do – there wasn’t a lot of interest in the Siberian ice half marathon though, I think it was the mention of the risk of freezing eyeballs that may have put people off!
After spending some time at number 2 on the leader board we slipped into third place on the 31st July. We could have taken this as a sign that it was time to give our trainers a rest, but we’re a force to be reckoned with at SR:C, so instead it was a day of trying to win the second place spot back, with various efforts ranging from a morning 20 mile run to late night walks, sprints to the corner shop, and motivational messages all day, until at midnight we were officially back at number 2.
Team West made it around the world, and the SR:C team contributed an amazing 13,037km of that. It was a brilliant month and a perfect example of how a community can achieve great things while having a lot of fun along the way.
Coleen Manuel, Run Buddy She Runs: Cardiff