For as long as I can remember, I was always an overweight child. Although I enjoyed sports at school and played in a football team, I was never particularly active as I suffered with bad Osgood-Schlatters disease which made any prolonged exercise extremely painful. Eventually it reached the stage where I was seventeen years old and dangerously approaching seventeen stone. Around the same time my older brother had recently taken up running and was training for the 2007 London Marathon. He used to encourage me to come out for runs with him, and whilst I was reluctant at first, I knew some action needed to be taken about my weight. The first run was tough, but gradually with each run it became less and less of a struggle.
In March 2008 I ran my first ever race, the Lincoln 10k, and then later that year, on the day I moved to University, I ran the Nottingham Half Marathon in a time of 2 hours 15. During my first year at University the commitment of regular running allowed me to lose over five stone and it has since become a major passion in my life. I went on to run the Nottingham Half Marathon several times, alongside the Silverstone and Norwich Half Marathon, as well as a few local 10ks.
In late 2012 I was becoming disinterested in running the same handful of races every year. Whilst some of this was down to injury and ignorance of just how many races there were out there, I felt I had fallen into a bit of a routine. At the same time my partner Jenny’s health seemed to be deteriorating and we were both physically and emotionally drained from it all and were getting frustrated over feeling powerless about it. I knew there was nothing directly that I could do to help, so I turned to running for a way of raising both awareness of her condition and money for charity that would go to one day funding a cure. Running just the one race didn’t feel enough as it would easily get lost in a sea of other’s raising money for charity. I had to do something different, something big that would allow me to stand out from the rest and raise the awareness her condition deserved.
The result was the 1000KM Challenge where I aimed to run either a 10K, Half Marathon or Marathon every weekend to cover 1000KM for charity. On the way I traveled all over the country from Portsmouth to Gateshead, Liverpool to Norwich, entering 53 races, including 2 races in a day on three separate occasions and raised £4,500 for the National Eczema Society. The year saw me run my first ever marathon (followed by another 5), run more than I ever had in a year and generally rediscover my love for running. More important than that was the first hand experience I gained of how running could be used for good and to raise money for charity, and how many people’s lives you can reach despite how focused and personal your motivations were.
Ultimately, Run To The Moon is my blog where I will cover my running exploits up and down the country, but also in the long term I intend it to stand for more than that. Whilst the name was born from a confusion over the distance to the moon and an homage to Parks & Rec, it stands for challenging yourself to push yourself out of your comfort zone. I also hope to use it to highlight what amazing physical challenges others are doing and hopefully inspire someone along the way.