26.2 Miles

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Race: Virtual Runner London 2018 Challenge
Distance: Marathon (over a week)
Date: 16th April – 22nd April
Supporting Runners: Jemma Love & Nanci Henderson
Fundraising to date: £1,915
Finishing Time: 4hours,4mins

This week I have completed more miles than I ever have over the course of a week by running the Virtual Runner London 2018 challenge. The challenge was simply to run 26.2 miles from Monday-Sunday. 

I tried to get onto the London Marathon as part of the 30for30 challenge but, like many others, didn’t manage to get a place 😞

I came across this challenge on Virtual Runner UK and thought it would be a good alternative for race number 14.

It’s no wonder that things like Virtual Runner UK are available in our ever increasing digital world. The concept of recording your running distances and submitting them as proof to get a medal would be unheard of going back 10+ years.

Keeping with the theme of running to raise awareness for Mental Health and discussing topics around this – I also thought it was a good one to now discuss digital life, social media and the impact on people’s mental health.

Most of us use social media to communicate and share pictures and experiences, and it has great benefits to help people keep in touch. I am writing this blog now to share on social media, which is how I have raised at least 80% of the current fundraising for this challenge – all thanks to the people who I share with.

But we all also know of the filtered sense of reality that can be portrayed online. Facebook and Instagram allows people to show only what they want to show, leading to people critically comparing their life with other people’s and using what they see as measures for successes and failures in their own life.

But we all do it – we all take pictures of the happy moments in life and share to our followers. And why not?!

However, we’ve all also probably been in a position where we have sat on the sofa scrolling on our phones and before you know it half an hour has passed and you’ve done nothing with your life and feel a bit crap.

Sidenote: TV is on in the background right now and this exact topic is being discussed on BBC News…..good timing.

So what can you do? I’m no expert but I guess my advice to anyone who faces themselves in scrolling nightmares would be to put your phone down more often and do something you love! Obviously mine is running…

Especially on a weekend when I first wake up and have a morning scroll, with no major plans for the day. I force myself out of bed and out for a run. Saturday morning 5k ParkRun is good for that and completely free.

I also try to have an hour phone-free before bed. Helps with not going to sleep with a buzzy mind.


SO how was the virtual challenge? 

I did this race in 4 parts – and I actually visited London in the week, despite not running there as it was about 800 degrees, I felt like it added to the whole London thing.

Part 1:
6.2 miles after work around Dunham Massey on my own. A great route that I love doing on these lighter nights. I have mentioned before it was on this route where I came up with the 30for30 challenge.

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Part 2:
6 miles with Jemma from Didsbury and through Wythenshawe Park. A tough one but we did better than we thought!

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Part 3:
5 miles with Nanci around part of the River Mersey. Not seen Nanci since the 10k she did with me a number of weeks ago so was nice to catch up and run in the evening sun of the short lived heat wave we had.

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Part 4:
9 mile finisher on my own on Saturday morning. Found it really tough in the heat (yes it seems that I will complain whatever the weather – so very British). I planned to get up and go for 8:30am but that didn’t happen. I left about 10am and it got very hot out there. Was nice to finish the challenge though and rewarded myself with a lot of drink in the sun afterwards.

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Doing the distance of a marathon in a week was nothing compared to everyone who ran London today in the basking heat! Inspirational…

It is the furthest I have ran over 7 days but aim to keep it up as one day, I will aim to run the whole distance at once… But more on that later 🤫

Almost half way through the 30for30 challenge and almost at 50% of sponsorship target. If you would like to donate, please visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/EmmaBramwell2


There are just a few places left to join us next week for the 30for30 5k and 10k Fun Run. If you’d like to register please do so soon. www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/30for30-5k-10k-fun-run-tickets-42593459183

Everyone who has registered already, the final details will arrive in your inbox soon!

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