She Runs: Cardiff Birthday Challenge

by Tanya O’Neill

October 2020 was always going to be a magical month; it would be the first anniversary of She Runs: Cardiff and we knew we needed to celebrate this in a huge style.  The idea of a medal came early on in the year, we sourced a great supplier and our amazing Run Buddy Dani put her pen to paper and designed our beautiful sparkly bling.

We gave the title of our medal as ‘Your Challenge’.  Running related or personal, the medal was a way of celebrating anything that you have achieved either in 2020 or to set a challenge for yourself in October and aim to succeed, because let’s face it; 2020 in itself has been an almighty challenge in itself!

The day of ‘release’ and I did a live video on our Facebook Group and the response was overwhelming.  I remember vividly seeing a message afterwards of 2 ladies from the group running at the time and stopping mid run to watch the live and order their medals whilst stood on The Barrage!  Within the first day we had sold over 50% of the total ordered; the reaction was more than we expected – the women of She Runs: Cardiff LOVE a medal and love the community spirit of our club (And the FOMO!!)
The challenges came flooding in; and whether they were self-care, running or strength, the challenge was personal to everyone.

October 1st came and with it the local lockdown restrictions. This caused a few headaches with certain challenges which required crossing county borders; but nothing stops an SR:C woman and plans were quickly adapted, (Unless you broke your ankle on the first day of your challenge!)

The month seemed to fly by, stories were being shared throughout social media of the challenges and then the celebrations really got started – the medals started arriving. Within Cardiff they were being run delivered by our amazing Run Buddies and despite the torrential rain of the weekend, nothing stopped us! The pictures started appearing on social medal and never before on a dull October weekend have women checked their doormats so many times eagerly waiting for theirs to land.

As a small social running club celebrating only a year of being together and with more than half of that being in the middle of a world-wide pandemic and not being able to actual run together, we carried on encouraging.  We have continued to support and welcome women to the group with open arms, to feel safe in the comfort of knowing that individual challenges are important to us all.  October wasn’t just about running; it was about getting through another month in lockdown, taking some time out for ourselves and our wellbeing.  It didn’t matter if you didn’t achieve the goal you set yourself at the start of the month, you got through to the end of another month being part of a great community and embraced everything that the month threw at you. 

We didn’t just survive October, we thrived in October – and we have a beautiful medal to remember doing that together. 

Thank you ladies for being part of our journey. 

Some quotes from our members on their medal challenges:

I deserve my beautiful October challenge medal and am proud of what I have achieved and I will continue with drinking the water, food and exercise. It’s hasn’t gone 100% but what in life ever does, – Nia

Completed my October challenge which was being active every day, not just running, a walk at lunchtime or a quick bike ride, not always easy with 3 children and working but I’ve enjoyed it and I love my glittery medal. – Melanie

She Runs Challenge completed!! 10 runs with one new run route a week. I even managed a 10km run ( with some walking) as a bonus which I never thought I would do! Powered on by purple gear and SR:C playing – Claire

I’ve been thinking about this and how I don’t deserve it because I haven’t done my challenge. But do you know what?! I do deserve it because even though I haven’t got my 5k PB and I have hardly ran the past few week, I haven’t given up! I’ve been to my gym, I’ve done kitchen workouts, I’ve been planning my boxing classes for when we are out of lockdown #2 and I’m still bloody here! If you haven’t completed your challenge, so what. You tried, you’ve done your best and that’s all we can. I’m proud of this medal and everything it stands for. Me, you – US! 💜💜💜 – Kelly

We may be a running group but that doesn’t mean our #sherunscardiffbirthday challenge has to be running related. I’ve chosen to work on my self-care for mine. Whilst earlier in the month I didn’t do so well I’ve had the past week off and I’ve done barely anything, which was exactly what I needed. My week has consisted of running or walking with friends, napping, catching up on missed tv shows and generally taking it easy. That said I’ve hit my steps target each day, which I never do when I’m working. – Sam

I wanted to do something non-running as I’m very guilty of just running and not doing anything else, so I settled on 20 press ups per day. This may not sound much, but I find them so difficult 😂 When I first started, I had to stop several times, but I can now do 20 without stopping 😁

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