Archive for the ‘Fundraising’ Category

Matchday Fame!

Are you going to watch Newcastle play Liverpool on 1st April? If you do, make sure to pick up a programme and flick to page 11.

AAAAAAGGGGHHHHHHH!!!

P.S. Please sponsor me here if you can.

Page 11 of Newcastle United matchday programme 01/04/2012

Page 11 of Newcastle United matchday programme

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TOON TOON!

Pacing the Hastings Half Marathon 2012

Pacing the Hastings Half Marathon 2012

When I let people know I’m running a marathon, a lot of people ask where they can sponsor me. I guess it’s a reflex that the British public have now, having been exposed to fundraising monsters like the London Marathon and the Great North Run for so many years. You run a marathon, you want sponsorship. And convincing London Marathon entrants who have ballot places (who have their own places and aren’t forced to hit sponsorship targets) is big business for charities. Hence why the VLM news mag is 70% adverts for charities, begging ballot place runners for their sponsorship money.

That being said, some people genuinely feel the need to sponsor people who run the London Marathon. It’s a great way of showing support or rewarding someone for their hard work in training. And it is hard work. So this is the reason I’ve picked a charity to run for this year.

I’ve always been a Newcastle fan. My mam’s side of the family is geordie, through and through. In fact my uncle, Eddie Egdar, is a former Toon player. As is my cousin, David Edgar, who spent some of his transfer money wisely when he sponsored me £1000 two years ago. And when I approached the NUFC Foundation with an offer to show my support, they sent this sexy little number in the post.

Read the rest of this entry »

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How to Get Into Your Local Newspaper:

It’s been quite a week for my London marathon fundraising. With the help of the Lymphoma Association press team and some savvy press release writing skills, we’ve managed to get my sponsorship efforts into two newspapers! Here’s how I managed it…

*Update: April 5th 2010
I updated this slideshow after I went home for the weekend and discovered another newspaper had included the story!

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Picking Up My Number:

After the longest week of work ever, Lady Jog A Little and I took Friday afternoon off to travel to the London Marathon Expo to pick up my running number. As a local Londoner I was advised to go before Saturday as the queues become horrendous. Good advice. In 3 minutes I had my race number, race chip, marathon-foto registration and Sally had already begun shopping.

I, very foolishly, dived straight in to pick up my marathon survival pack from the Lucozade Sport stand (we were all given vouchers) and parted with my £8 to receive a ridiculous amount of goodies. Of course it weighed a ton (it all being liquid) and I ended up standing around while Sally tried on everything she saw.

Impossible is writing any higher...

Dotted around the Excel centre were big boards absolutely full of good luck messages for friends, family and loved ones. There was a huge feeling of camaraderie. Everyone there had a common goal, some looking very nervous and others who were taking a chance to stock up on some discounted running goodies from the stands, but all smiling and very eager.

What can you expect if you’re going? Pasta, lots of pasta. At the back of the room there was a Pasta Party in progress. Bring a bit of cash and you can attend and listen to a few presentations on the stage. There are also two opportunities to get a quick sports massage (one from Addidas and one from the students of Middlesex University). I did neither. I’m scared witless of damaging something before Sunday so I declined.

There are also loads of places to pick up marathon gadgets like GPS watches, shoe wallets, mp3 player holders and bum-bags so if you need any last minute accessories then this is the place to be. If you have to, you can also get almost any running trainer available, but obviously for after the marathon as you shouldn’t be trying anything new for race day.

For the charity runners among you there is a Justgiving stand, where you can enter a competition for a donation. The challenge, draw a picture of yourself and your Justgiving page (some examples here). Sally did mine while I had my photo taken with John and Jon from Justgiving. John played my video through his iPhone while Jon tweeted about it!

John and Jon

Sally did art A-level

So what do you get in the London Marathon Expo goodie bags? A can of London Pride (for the night after), a jar of cranberry juice, 2 sugar free sweets, foot cream, a granola bar, deodorant, some massage gel and a LOT of leaflets. Not bad when you couple it with the amount of goodies you can pick up on the day.

However, my advice is, if you have to go on Saturday then try and get round everything as fast as you can. There’s a lot to see and do but not a lot of places to sit down. Like every major shopping venue, the floors are rock hard and it’ll tire you out quickly (the last thing you want before the marathon when you should be resting)…

Pasta Party

This will be my last post before the marathon (tomorrow will be spent on the sofa doing as little as possible). I’d just like to say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who has read and commented on this blog. I’ve enjoyed every minute of writing it and the tips, advice and encouragement I’ve received has been overwhelming. Please come back after the marathon and I’ll let you know how I got on.

For those that aren’t running, Adidas have a system that allows you to track the people you know as they go round using the timing chips attached to their shoes. Just enter their number in to this website. Mine is 41333.

To all those running on Sunday, if you spot me then please come and say hello. I admire anyone who has the determination to train for as many months as it takes to complete a marathon and I’d love to chat to you. I’ll have Sir Jog A Lot written on the back of my vest and will be in the Red area. If I don’t see you then the best of luck to you

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Checklist:

Looking forward to it...I was a bit of a naughty boy this weekend. My Uncle (who normally lives in Canada) was in London and I couldn’t refuse an opportunity to go and have a few beers on Saturday night. As I didn’t have to run far the next day (50 minutes easy pace), I didn’t think it would do me any harm. On Sunday morning I went out and, on an empty stomach and a hangover, ran 10k in 54 minutes. I felt surprisingly sprightly!

Looking back on it, it probably wasn’t the best idea to push myself that hard the week before the race and I was feeling decidedly guilty today. I’d never have forgiven myself if I’d have injured myself with one week to go, but it’s an incredibly difficult situation to be in. I’ve spent 15 weeks in training to get to this point and have become used to five runs of a healthy distance a week. To go from that kind of regime to running 20 minutes here, 10 minutes there, leaves you feeling a bit useless and it’s very difficult to relax. I don’t know what I’m going to be like after the marathon, but at the moment I can’t sit still! I’m worried I’m going to take all of this energy, run like a 4-year-old at the start of the marathon and burn out after 5 miles.

To take my mind off exercise I’ve come up with a checklist for this week:

Tuesday – (10 minutes at race pace with a warm up/cool down)

  • Buy Compeed
  • Get home and run around the park at Blackheath

Wednesday – (30 mins very easy)

  • Collect remaining sponsorship from office co-workers who haven’t paid yet (Wednesday is pay day)
  • Go to gym and watch The Simpsons while running on treadmill
  • Write blog post

Thursday – (Rest or 25 mins easy)

  • Buy seven new DVDs
  • Go to gym, run and say goodbye to everyone until next year
  • Put running number registration form in my bag so I don’t forget it for Friday and make sure I have my driving license

Friday – (Rest)

  • Print off race course map for family and mark points to meet them (remembering to decide on which side of the road to be on)
  • Go to Marathon Expo to pick up running number and timing chip (using registration form and driving license)
  • Buy ‘Marathon Survival Kit’ from Expo using voucher on page 13 of Marathon News magazine
  • Visit Justgiving* stand, Running Free** stand and Bupa London 10,000*** stand
  • Eat big bowl of pasta
  • Write blog post

Saturday – (15 mins very, very easy jog)

  • Get up early and do run (to tire myself out and fall asleep faster in the evening)
  • Cut toenails
  • Fit timing chip to trainers
  • Fill out the back of my running number and pin it to my vest
  • Plan where to meet family at end of race
  • Watch all seven DVDs back-to-back
  • Eat the biggest bowl of pasta I’ve ever seen
  • Give family MS Society cheering pack (equipped with balloons, inflatable sticks and flags)
  • Sleep

Sunday – (Race day!)

  • Eat baked beans on brown toast and one banana
  • Have two Lucozade Sport pouches (one at 8am and one at 9am)
  • Do 20 push-ups to get the guns looking plumper before donning running vest
  • Walk to start line (sorry guys, I live 30 seconds from it)
  • Get interviewed for MS Society video
  • Say goodbye to friends and family
  • Take empty plastic bottle
  • Hide the fact that you are peeing into empty plastic bottle under orange rain mac
  • Throw bottle to side of road
  • GO!

* To thank them for all of their efforts over the past few months
** Running Free magazine have agreed to do a small piece on me for their post marathon edition
*** I’ll be running the Bupa London 10k a month after the marathon

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More news:

£2000 target reached.

Today my employer put my London Marathon sponsorship total over the £2000 mark (£100 over it actually) and I reached my allocated sponsorship for the MS Society. With 9 days left to go until my first marathon this gives me the opportunity to relax a little and to focus my efforts on getting ready for the big day.

Target reached

I’m well and truly tapering off for the big day and, if I’m honest, I feel a little lazy. This week I’ve only done two runs so far and will being running 25 minutes on Saturday with an easy 10k on Sunday. I feel like I’m slacking as every part of me wants to be getting as much training in as possible before the 26th. I constantly worry that I’m going to undo all my hard work by not exercising enough but getting enough rest before the marathon is crucial.

So, to keep my mind off running, I’ll fill you in on a little more news…

356

The number of miles I’ve clocked up since I started training. This has been calculated from the 3560 minutes I know I’ve run and estimating an average speed of 10-minute miles. Some people seem to think this is quite low but, considering I’m counting from the beginning of January, it equates to an average of more than 23 miles a week. Basically, bugger off, I’ve done loads.

211018

The number of pennies I’ve raised so far (using Justgiving) for the MS Society. This morning, BBC Breakfast and a Daily Mail columnist (who blatantly took a negative stance just to get her grumpy face on television) made poor old Anne-Marie Huby (MD of Justgiving) justify Justgiving to the public after claims that fundraising websites are a form of emotional blackmail. Considering JG has helped raise over £400,000,000 since the year 2000 and without it’s help I wouldn’t have even come close to raising £2k, I won’t exactly be losing any sleep at night.

3099

The number of hits this blog has had since it’s debut in January. The busiest day was 23rd March after the I won the Justgiving competition and this blog featured in the JG newsletter.

7

The number of pounds (lbs) I’ve lost in weight. This is after initially gaining 7 lbs so I’ve managed to shed a stone since then. This was achieved by simply cutting out my daily early morning croissant. They’re fatty little blighters. I’m now as streamlined and aerodynamic as I’ll ever be.

206

The number of Twitter followers I now have. Most are all supreme athletes, fundraisers, bloggers and nutcases but they all have had at least one thing useful to say and it’s been a great way to stay in touch with this wonderful running community across the country.

4:14:2

My estimated marathon time having used the Runner’s World Race Time Predictor. I entered my half-marathon time to come to that conclusion. If I enter the best time I’ve done a 10k in it reckons I can do it under 4 hours. I’ll be watching out for the Runner’s World pace makers on the day.

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The Justgiving Meet Up:

The Justgiving pre FLM meet upIf you write a blog for long enough you eventually come in to contact with people who share the same interests, are going through what you’re going through and have advice and tips of their own. Since starting this blog in January I’ve had a total of 34 comments posted after the articles I’ve written. Most of these are from people who are either running in the 2009 London Marathon or have completed a marathon before. A fair few of these have blogs of their own.

Last night Justgiving gave a few of us the chance to meet up before the big race day to share tips and advice on our marathon training and, more crucially, fundraising. It was at the RIBA in London, which is a 20 minute walk from the office so Sally and I went along.

On entry I was immediately recognised by three people. Sophie and Heather from Justgiving spotted me straight away as they were among those who chose the video as the winning entry for the Justgiving video competition. Sophie has been a big help so far during my fundraising, helping to get an extra £120 towards my sponsorship (£100 for the video win and £20 for the interview). The third was Dan Worth, a fellow blogger and a journalist who lives in the London area. He quickly became used to basking in my blogging fame as the paps spotted us…

@salleeann, @sirjogalot and @danworth

…I wasn’t recognised by anyone else.

We sat down to hear our four speakers.

  1. Monty Halls – conservationist, TV presenter and former Royal Marines officer.
    Monty’s a professional public speaker so obviously had the room engaged. It was a refreshing talk as, although he has an incredible base level of fitness, this is his first marathon and he’s new to the whole experience. Monty’s great advice is that your body has the potential to do a marathon but your mind is what can stop you. He says that if you decide to pull out then you’ll have the rest of your life to think about that decision (i.e. when you’re feeling better back home). He was more eloquent than that. When asked, what will he be eating the night before the race, his answer was, “My entry form…”
    .
  2. Sally Kettle – twice Atlantic rower (once with her Mum) and her running partner Vanessa Gale.
    Sally has run the marathon before and managed to complete it with an injury. Her advice is to enjoy it as much as possible. You could spend the whole run wishing it was over but when it’s finished you’ll miss the experience. She also, during her very passionate speech, gave a quick fundraising tip. People will struggle to give away their money unless they’re getting something back in return. So selling something dirt cheap (her example was a chocalte eclair) for a high price (she charged £1-per-sweet) is a great way to get some extra funds for her charity. Sally raised over £100,000 for her first row across the Atlantic.
    .
  3. Simon Foster – Justgiving’s top London fundraiser (a whacking £28,000 so far!).
    Simon has managed to raise so much for his charity (Teenage Cancer Trust) by having such a compelling story behind his fundraising. Read his Justgiving page to find out more but he had the room in complete silence while he was telling it and it was obviously a very tough story for him to tell. I checked his JG page today and I can spot at least 4 healthy donations from people that attended this event so it speaks for itself. As his fundraising grew, the more it took off. He organised a golf day and Ashley Cole donated his football boots, all fantastic ways to raise cash. He has, however, spent a fair few bob in reciprocal donations!

All in all a smashing event and the JG team were, of course, tweeting the whole thing as it went along. The night ended with a private screening of the award-winning Sir Jog A Lot video. I don’t want to float my own boat or anything but…'Howls' of laughter...

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