FUN // New Year New Challenges

The best thing about starting a new year is the opportunity it brings for fresh ideas and new plans, so this new year I’ve set some new challenges for myself.

Those who know me will know that most of my challenges will inevitably be related to fitness one way or another so here are my challenges for 2018 so far.

1. Swim 22 for Diabetes UK. (22nd February – 22nd May) This is a nationwide challenge whereby swimmers sign up and commit to swimming the distance of the English channel between here and France. Which surprisingly is 22 miles. The challenge is to swim the distance over a 12 week period which I’ve calculated as 3,000 metres a week. So my plan is to swim 40 lengths 3 times a week to complete the challenge. It’s been over 6 months since I had a gym membership and I’ve only been in the local pool a few times so I’m really excited about being back in the water so much.

So why Swim 22? Every day 700 people are diagnosed with diabetes in the UK, and if it’s not well managed it can lead to serious health complications like stroke, amputations, heart disease and blindness. Raising the profile of Diabetes UK will hopefully help to make sure that the 4.5 millions people already living with diabetes get the help care and support they need in order to help them manage their diabetes well. You can donate to Diabetes UK here.

Perhaps you fancy a swim challenge? Why not sign up yourself.

2. TH96 Run. (24th March) TH96 is an annual event that raises money for CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) in memory of local boy Tom Hardman who died suddenly at the age of 21 owing to an undiagnosed heart problem. Tom was a talented cricketer who progressed through the youth ranks from Heywood Cricket Club to eventually play for Lancashire before his tragic death. I didn’t know him but after signing up to the run I found out he went to school with one of my friends.

TH96 is a 9 mile run split into 3 sections, joining 4 local cricket clubs, including the one where Tom played. There’s an option to run as a team and do a section of the run each, but my friends and I have decided to challenge ourselves and have committed to running the whole 9 miles.

CRY is a charity that works with cardiologists and and family doctors to establish good practice and appropriate screening facilities to promote and protect the cardiac health of our young. In my line of work, I’ve seen first hand how terribly heartbreaking sudden cardiac death is, so I would be really grateful if you would donate to this cause here to help us meet our minimum sponsorship. Our joint Just Giving page is here.

3. Manchester Midnight Walk. (27th April) This is a 10km walk in aid of St Ann’s Hospice. I’ve never done a midnight event before and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do so this is going to be a fun opportunity to get together with some friends for a great cause.

St Ann’s Hospice provide specialist palliative care for people with cancer and non-cancer life-limiting illnesses at all stages of their illness. Their aim is to help maintain the dignity of their service users by meeting their physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual needs. They also focus on the carers, relatives and friends and provide support for them too. If this is something dear to you, you can donate to St Ann’s Hospice here.

4. IKEA Abseil. (28th April) The day after the midnight walk I’m going to be taking on another ‘first ever’ challenge. I’ll be abseiling 140 feet down the side of our local IKEA store. I’m so excited about this as I’ve never abseiled before and you know that I love to continually add things to life list.

Like St Ann’s, Willow Wood is a Hospice that provides palliative care, but to those across the Tameside and Glossop areas.  To read more about their fantastic work or donate to them you can click here.

5. Liverpool Rock n Roll Half Marathon. (20th May) When I completed the Manchester Half in October last year I swore I would never run another half again. Yet here I am like any typical runner planning on doing my next one. The Rock n Roll race series is an American series that I’ve followed for a few years now. It attracts more participants than any other race series in the US and each year it comes to England for one weekend only! Now the other locations are places like LA, Vegas and Virginia Beach but I will have to compromise and do it in Liverpool! Maybe one day I’ll get to do one in the states.

It’s going to be a great day though, not only is it my best friends birthday (and she is running it with me) the race series is famous for it’s live bands along the route and finish line concert! I can’t wait to see who’s playing on the day.

6. Tough Mudder 5km. (11th August) This is another first for me. I’ve never done an obstacle race and I’m a bit nervous about it if i’m honest. This race isn’t just about running. In fact it’s not really about running at all. It’s going to be more about strength. Physically and mentally. To dodge electrified ropes or climb vertical walls between crawling through cold wet mud. I’m going to have to put in some weight training for this one I think.

7. Dublin Marathon. (28th October) Last but least, the big one! If you read my last post ‘Looks like I’m doing a Marathon’ you’ll have heard all about how the marathon entry actually came about. I’ve started my training for it already, albeit just slowly. I am actually really excited about it. Don’t get me wrong I’m totally terrified too, and I’m going to need ALL the support and encouragement I can get to get me through those long training runs over the summer.

This will be the first race I’ve ever done in another country. One I’ll have to fly to too. So that’s really exciting. This is the biggest challenge of my life though, and although I’m doing lots of things for charity this year, I think that this is the one where I really want to make a difference.

I’ve decided to run the Dublin Marathon in aid of Breast Cancer Now and you can read all about their research here. Their ambition is that by 2050 every person who develops breast cancer will live. How amazing is that? Although more and more women are surviving breast cancer sadly over 1,000 lose their battle against the disease every month. Please help me raise money to fund life saving research into treatment by visiting my Just Giving page here. 

Every donation made will help spur me on through the long training runs over the summer and carry me over that finish line in Dublin.

So there you have it. My challenges for 2018. What do you think? Will you be taking part in any of these challenges? Or perhaps you’ve set your own goals. I’d love to hear all about your plans for 2018. Please leave some encouraging comments below!

Thanks for popping by, Hayley x

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