Fundraising: How to run 1,000 miles for M.E. The Virtual Runner Challenge | 22 December 2018

December 22, 2018


Helen Hyland, Fundraising Manager, ME Association.

For people with M.E. completing a 1000-mile challenge even over the course of a year can only be an aspiration or dream (perhaps even a nightmare). They are simply not well enough to take on such a feat and to do so would not be advisable.

But I know that there are people out there who will leap at the chance of doing this because the people they care about cannot or because they enjoy helping to raise funds for a good cause and love a physical challenge.

This is exactly the kind of event that will appeal to keen or budding athletes who cannot commit to organised races on set dates, but who can safely aim to achieve a good level of fitness in 2019. It will also appeal to people who are able to walk, run, swim or cycle for pleasure as well as who already exercise on a regular basis.

The 2019 Virtual Runner Challenge

The ME Association is thrilled to announce that Virtual Runner is promoting a 1000-mile challenge throughout 2019 for M.E.

The aim of the event is simple – to challenge people to run, walk, swim or cycle the full 1000-mile distance over the course of the year. And if you can substantiate your distances at the end, you will be awarded a Virtual Runner Medal.

Virtual Runner works with over 50,000 runners worldwide, encouraging them to enter virtual races that they can complete anywhere, anytime, and at their own pace.

A proportion of entry fees is paid to nominated charities and a huge number have already benefited from significant donations – including the ME Association.

To learn more about the challenge and to join in the fun, please click here. Once you have chosen your discipline – walking, running, swimming or cycling – enter your details on the Virtual Runner website. But register early as there are limited places available!

How to run 1,000 miles

One of our fundraisers has already, comfortably, achieved that distance. David Fardon writes:

David Fardon at The Longworth 10k. Photo courtesy of Barry Cornelius.

“In 2017 I set myself an ambitious target of running 1,000 miles to raise awareness and funds for the ME Association.”

“My reason for selecting this charity is that my wife is a sufferer of this cruel invisible illness for which there is currently no cure.”

“I booked myself into various races from 10k right up to my first full marathon. This gave me something to focus on and train for and also gave me reason to report my adventures via social media with a link to my JustGiving page.”

“It also meant I got to speak to many fellow runners about M.E. and raise some awareness that way.”

Enjoy your running…

“I aimed to run about 4 times a week recording my mileage via my GPS sports watch. I varied my routes and speed of running to keep it interesting with one longer run on a Sunday. There were days when I didn't much fancy a run but thinking about the valuable work of the ME Association and of my wife who would dearly love to run usually spurred me on. Once I was out of the door, I nearly always enjoyed the run!”

“The best advice I can give us to simply enjoy your running. Run your way because everyone needs a different approach. It really doesn't matter how fast or slow it is – every mile counts. I met someone on a run once who told me “It's not the time you run in, it's the time you have,” and that's stuck with me!”

Great advice…

“The ME Association were very supportive along the way. I was put in contact with other fundraisers and got great advice about tackling my first full Marathon. When Radio Oxford and BBC South Today showed interest in my involvement in the Oxford Half they provided great advice on how to best present myself and the work of the charity.”

“The feeling of achievement in completing the 1000 miles challenge was immense. I have many  great memories of the various races I attended along the way and of course the assortment of medals. I had run on various terrains from roads to trails and even a tank training ground raising awareness and funds from the vital work of the MEA. I would most certainly do it again!”

Help and Support

If you would be interested in joining in the challenge to run 1000 miles for ME in 2019, then simply sign up to Virtual Runner.

And if you would like to help raise funds to support people with M.E. who can only dream of a challenge over such distances, then please get in touch.

Helen Hyland via email, or phone (01280 838964).

Support Our Christmas Appeal

Help us do more for M.E. research in 2019

  • Donate online via our JustGiving page or to start fundraising,
  • Donate by phone using a card to head office (01280 818964).
  • Donate by cheque payable to The ME Association (with a note saying that it is for the Christmas Appeal) to ME Association, 7 Apollo Office Court, Radclive Road, Gawcott, Buckinghamshire, MK18 4DF.

If you have any questions about the Appeal, then please contact our fundraising manager, Helen Hyland. Thank you.

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