Virtual Running Benefits

Virtual Running Benefits

The period of lockdown resulting from the pandemic has changed the look and feel of many parts of our day to day life, including hobbies, activities and so much more.

This is also true for running, where many large events have opted to go virtual instead of being delivered in person.

But running virtually can be a great thing, allowing runners a tangible goal during an uncertain time – as well as grabbing some goodies along the way!

We’ve put together our list of the top 4 benefits of running virtually.

1. New Motivation

Let’s face it; motivation during the past 12 months has been harder to come by than usual. Not knowing what the future holds has had a real impact on our way of living, socialising, exercising – everything.

So having a virtual event to look forward to can be hugely important to your motivation levels. Being able to set a goal and follow a training schedule gives you something to aim for and can help create good habits, even after the event is over. Virtual running actually produces two really important aspects for effective behavioural change – accountability and incentive.

2. You’re in Charge

One of the best things about a virtual event – you’re in charge! You get to decide what your event day run looks and feels like. Do you want to breathe in nature? Go for it. Want to jog around your local park 10 times? Why not. Want to run laps around your garden? Be our guest. The only thing you need to worry about is completing the distance of your chosen event, the rest is up to you.

3. Community Feeling

Even though we won’t be together in person, that doesn’t we won’t be together in spirit! Unfortunately, guidelines have dictated over the last 12 years that crowds should be avoided. So when else will you be able to join other like-minded runners, all trying to achieve a similar goal?! As soon as you put your race number on and head out the front door on your event day, you join the #bigfunrun family and become part of something much bigger.

4. Swag

If we’re being honest with ourselves, one of the best things about running an event is the kit you receive afterwards. If you don’t Instagram the medal once you’re finished, did you even run the race?!

But completing a virtual run is a huge accomplishment in itself, and you deserve to have that achievement commemorated with some great goodies.

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Sponsored Scoot for Motor Neurone Disease Association


6 years ago, Alison Pickard, 61, from Retford’s life was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

“I was 55 when I was diagnosed. We felt as though our world had fallen apart especially a few months later when our daughter announced she was expecting our first grandchild, I could only think that I would not live to enjoy grandparent-hood.”

Motor Neurone Disease is a degenerative condition that affects the brain and nerves. Over time, it causes weakness and loss of function in arms, legs, speech, ability to swallow and, eventually, breathing. There is a 1 in 300 chance of getting MND and there is no cure.

“It’s been difficult losing friends I have made who have MND but deteriorated more quickly than me. I have several more friends who are now cruelly limited by this horrendous disease”.

Alison decided to do something positive and say thank you to the charity who have supported her throughout the years following her diagnosis and has signed up to complete 5k at Big Fun Run in Rother Valley Country Park on Sunday 12th August.

“I will be taking part on my mobility scooter because MND long since took away my ability to run” Alison explained.

Big Fun Run events are the perfect way for the local community to fundraise for a cause they really care about.

Having received contact details for the Motor Neurone Disease Association after visiting Sheffield Hallamshire Hospitals’ specialist MND Centre, Alison reached out to them for support.

“I was visited at home by one of the Regional MNDA Care Coordinators who was absolutely lovely and really made us feel much less alone with my diagnosis”.

“We now attend the local support group through which we have met other people living with MND and there is a dedicated helpline available”.

“When I bought my mobility scooter the MNDA gave me a sizeable contribution towards the cost. In short, I basically cannot imagine coping without MNDA” Alison said.

Big Fun Run attracts people of all shapes, sizes and ages. No event is timed, it is all about participants having fun and raising funds for a charity close to their heart.

Alison has never taken part in a fun run before and explained “I thought it would be nice to do some fundraising for MNDA and give something back. I saw the Big Fun Run advertised and decided to give it a go!”.

“As I tend to be known by my grandchildren as “Scooter Grandma” I’m looking forward to the Big Fun Run and living up to my name”.

The Big Fun Run promises a fun, relaxed atmosphere and is the perfect challenge to set yourself in 2018. To find out more about the 2018 Series and find events near you, visit www.bigfunrun.com.

To read more about Alison’s story and donate, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alison-pickard

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Colleagues 5K Challenge for Children with Cancer


A group of 7 colleagues from Charities Aid Foundation in Kent are completing 5k together at Big Fun Run in Mote Park on Saturday 4th August in aid of Children with Cancer UK.

2 year old Imogen Montague was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in June 2018 and a group of mum Kelly’s friends and colleagues have rallied together in support.

“Imogen has been such a tough little cookie and is dealing with all that’s thrown at her amazingly” family friend Vikki Denny explained.

“Life is pretty much on hold for Imogen and her family for the next 2 years until her treatment is over. Kelly hasn’t been working since Imogen’s diagnosis and her brother Brody is feeling the impact as Kelly needs to spend a lot of her time caring for Imogen”.

Vikki and her colleagues decided to do something positive and entered Big Fun Run to raise money for Children with Cancer UK.

Big Fun Run events are the perfect way for the local community to fundraise for a cause they really care about.

“After finding out about Imogen’s diagnosis we couldn’t imagine how her family were feeling and really wanted to do something to help other children and families in this situation” Vikki said.

Big Fun Run attracts people of all shapes, sizes and ages. No event is timed, it is all about participants having fun and raising funds for a charity close to their heart.

“Our team have been going on regular walks and jogging both during lunch breaks and outside of work”.

With an original target of £250, Vikki and her colleagues have smashed their fundraising and so far raised an amazing £1070 to date.

“We are raising this money for Children with Cancer UK in honour of beautiful and brave children like Imogen”.

The Big Fun Run promises a fun, relaxed atmosphere and is the perfect challenge to set yourself in 2018. To find out more about the 2018 Series and find events near you, visit www.bigfunrun.com.

To read more about Imogen’s story and donate, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/vikkidenny-2018bigfunrunmaidstone245

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Fun Run to Give Bereaved Parents the Precious Gift of Time


Denise Kelly is proudly running 5K at Big Fun Run Glasgow as part of a series of fundraising challenges she is undertaking on behalf of SiMBA to support their work as they create a new Family Room at the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital in Glasgow to give more bereaved parents the precious gift of time.

Denise will be completing her Big Fun Run alongside family and Chloe, mum of baby Ivy-Rose who they are fundraising in memory of. Ivy-Rose was born on 14th November 2017 at the Queen Elizabeth Maternity Hospital in Glasgow with an Exomphalos Major and severe Kyphoschiliosis. Due to her conditions, Ivy-Rose sadly survived for only 11 hours and 39 minutes, passing away in her mother’s arms.

Chloe had to make the heartbreaking decision to turn off her daughter’s life support. “What should have been the most amazing time in Chloe’s life was what no parent should ever have to go through” Denise explained. “She got to spend extra time making memories and saying goodbye due to the hospital having a Family Room”.

After being offered use of the hospitals Family Room Chloe said: “l spent my last night with Ivy-Rose in the family room and I literally just held her in my arms for the whole night. To be able to get my own space with my girl meant the world to me. It was just like we were at home; we had everything we needed in that room and it was the perfect last night together”.

Chloe wants to give something back and help develop a Family Room for the nearby Princess Royal Maternity Hospital to help even more bereaved parents have the extra gift of time. “The staff at Queen Elizabeth Maternity Hospital were amazing and gave me a chance to be a mum to my baby. They did everything they could to bring me peace and comfort during the worst time of my life” Chloe explained.

Denise is taking on her Big Fun Run challenge to support Chloe’s fundraising and said “she has already been fundraising and currently planning more. She really is an amazing young woman and I would like to help her in any way I can to support the Princess Royal Maternity Unit”.

To find out more about Denise’s fundraising challenge in memory of Ivy-Rose please visit:  https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/denise-kelly-2

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Baby Franklin’s Fun Run


Along with their friends Spencer, Lauren and Jade, Shaun and Dani are fundraising for SANDS to help them continue to provide bereaved parents with essential support.

“Until this happened to us, we were completely unaware of the extent of this situation and everything bereaved parents have to go through” Shaun explained.

Shaun and Dani were given a Bereavement Pack created by SANDS which includes essential information and advice when needed the most. They also received a “Remember Me” Box to save treasured memories of their son. The couple were also welcomed to support groups both in person and on Facebook. “Dani has been using the Facebook Group she is part of a lot and is really benefiting from it with people putting her mind at ease by sharing their stories too. The help and support on offer is truly amazing” Shaun said.

Having never completed a 5k run before, the group are currently taking up some training to complete their Big Fun Run the best they can.

“We see this as a challenge and are doing so to try and raise as much money as we can to help this charity and raise awareness of what they represent” Shaun explained. “Any donations would be greatly appreciated not only by us but by SANDS and Franklin too… you’d also be paying to have a little laugh on our behalf”.

Good luck to this top team in their Fun Run for Franklin. To support their fundraising visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/s-adams5

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#GivingTuesday – A Global Movement


We’re grateful, humbled and proud that our event provides a fundraising platform for so many runners each year. Every act of generosity counts, and each means even more when we give together.

Sean McAllister ran this year for our official charity partner Cancer Research UK, here is his story:

‘Cancer is a subject very close to my heart. When I lost my dad, I lost my best friend. It’s a horrible illness and I would like to do anything I can to prevent others going through what my dad, myself and my family went through during his illness.

At the beginning the prognosis was positive, as they believed the cancer was only in the prostate. A further scan showed something the doctor described as “suspicious” on his liver. But they focussed on treating the prostate, initially with hormone treatment and later with chemotherapy, resolving to revisit the liver after the chemotherapy was complete.

My dad only managed three sessions of chemo and there were further complications. His health went downhill rapidly and sadly throughout his illness he was in a lot of pain. When tests showed it was terminal the doctor said he had possibly six to eight weeks, but he died seven days later at home surrounded by his family.

This year was my first experience of fundraising, but I am looking to do more in the future. I felt a lot of pride running so close to the passing of my dad. It was a great way to remember him; the devoted, hardworking, family man.’

Cancer Research UK is dedicated to finding kinder, more effective treatments for cancer. If you’ve been inspired, why not make your next challenge really count by signing up to run for charity at a Big Fun Run near you in 2018 when entries open. Click here to find out more.

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Family take on fun run together to help beat best friend Catriona’s cancer

Family take on fun run together to help beat best friend Catriona’s cancer

Katy Rogerson, her husband Steve and their two children Jessica, aged 9 and Benjamin, aged 6 are taking part in Big Fun Run Crystal Palace this weekend to raise money for family friend Catriona’s cancer treatment.

Katy and Catriona have been best of friends for nearly 25 years and have remained close ever since they met back when they were teenagers.

Catriona lives in Ireland with her husband Jon and has 4 children aged between 10 months and 8 years old. Aged only 37, Catriona suffers from aggressive osteoporosis which has resulted in her developing serious spinal fractures after a complication during one of her pregnancies. As well as a blood clot on her lung Catriona has devastatingly found out she has cancer with a large tumor growing rapidly on her kidney.

Catriona’s family and friends are rallying together to raise funds to help her complete life-saving treatment in Germany and hopefully save her kidney. The treatment Catriona requires is currently unavailable in the UK.

“Catriona doesn’t focus on her problems and continues on with a positive attitude. She is always smiling and is a great Mum to her lovely children. She has always been there for me over the years and is an amazing friend. I would do anything for her and this little bit of fundraising I can do will really help” Katy explained.

The Rogerson’s wanted to do something together as a family and they love spending time at Crystal Palace Park making Big Fun Run an ideal fundraising challenge for them.

Reflecting on their 5k challenge Katy said: “This is quite a big challenge for us as we are a family who loves staying at home and watching films. We have been doing a little training trying to get more active by visiting our local green space, outdoor gym and taking the kids out on their bikes to prepare for the challenge. To all those who would do anything for their best friend, we would be so grateful for your help”.

You can support The Rogerson’s fundraising for Catriona’s cancer treatment here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/katyrogerson

To read more about Catriona’s story visit: https://www.gofundme.com/help-my-mammy-get-well

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