Archive for February, 2010
As I finished a 14-miler last weekend I passed two runners coming in the other direction. These two chaps, virtually sprinting, were about 7 feet tall and didn’t have an ounce of fat on them. If you’d have cooked them up and made a jogger-burger you’d still be chewing the meat a week later. These two were as toned as they come.
I’d manage to finish my 14-mile training run in about 2 hours 10 minutes (not bad going considering I was taking it easy). Who knows at what stage these two runners were. But just from the look of their posture, the length of their stride and the clothes they were wearing you could tell that they were professionals. Or at least ran for more than a hobby.
This got me thinking. How much of a lifestyle change do you have to make to become a professional runner? How much competition is there? What sort of money are we talking for a race win? How fast do you really have to be?
As you all probably know, registration for the London Marathon 2010 filled in record time this year. 2 days and 16 hours after the website opened the ballot places were already filled, a full 15 days quicker than the previous year. I check twitter very regularly for those talking about the London Marathon and the number of people raising money for charity with JustGiving is phenomenal. With so many trying to raise money it can be easy to forget the reasons that these people are inspired to do what they do.
If there ever was a frank reminder of those, not just running the marathon, but who decide to perform magnificent feats in the name of charity, then the JustGiving awards was it.
Last year, JustGiving came under some scrutiny in the media. The spin was that people were claiming to be emotionally blackmailed into donating via online charity sites such as them. An unnamed Daily Mail columnist (no surprises there) would not be bullied into donating via the web when she could just as easily donate her cash and know that all of her money was going straight to her charity.
But when Major Phil Packer manages to raise over £1.3 million for Help for Heroes, or a campaign to stop X-Factor from claiming yet another Christmas #1 raises over £100,000 for Shelter in less than 2 months, you have to face facts. Since its inception in 1999, JustGiving has helped over 8,000 charities raise over £450 million. None of this would have been possible without the ease and speed at which users are able to donate online.
But, JustGiving admit themselves that they would be nothing without their fundraisers. So what better way to show their appreciation than by throwing their first ever awards ceremony in London to celebrate the amazing people that give up their lives for others.