This year’s challenge

In 2017 I will be hoping to raise money for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal by undertaking a challenge I shall call ‘#PeoplePowerRun’. The Jane Tomlinson Appeal was launched as a lasting legacy to Jane Tomlinson CBE who died from cancer in 2007, raising money for for children’s and cancer charities.

#PeoplePowerRun is very simple. But it needs *you*.

My challenge is to run with 50 different individuals / groups in 2017. That’s it. It is not about speed, it is not about mileage. It is about you.

The rules are simple (the logistics a little less so).

  1. We have to run a minimum of 5K together (ideally nothing over half marathon)
  2. You set the pace (my fastest pace is 8min/mile so please don’t break me!)
  3. You have to consent to a post run selfie which will then be used on here and social media (smiling is not compulsory)

Who’s in?

If you’d like to get involved and help me complete my challenge drop me a line (you can do this at the bottom of this page) to discuss where and when. I envisage I will run with friends locally, but also friends (including Twitter friends) across the country too and even perhaps people I don’t really know.

If you’re not (yet) a runner but wish you could be involved that’s great too. Why not do the successful ‘Couch to 5K‘ and we’ll run together later in the year? Book in with me now and set your own goal.

Want to donate?

Whether you’re going to be running with me or not, if you’d like to sponsor this year’s challenge making a real difference to children’s and cancer charities, and keeping the legacy of an incredible woman alive then you can do so at A big hearty thank you.

The faces of #PeoplePowerRun

#PeoplePowerRun 28
Date: 20 November 2017
Name: Heavitree Running Group
Story: My chum Catherine (#PeoplePowerRun number 2) has started running with a group in Exeter called Heavitree Running Group. She asked them if I could run with them one week and they not only agreed they, led by Emma, threw open their arms and welcomed me in. They shared my blog/Justgiving link repeatedly and generously donated a proportion of their collection. On top of that everyone I spoke to was really lovely and encouraging and they all support each other from Couch to 5K and improver. The run itself was great, including a sprint section which I loved, and I hope to run again with them if I can in the future

#PeoplePowerRun 27
Date: 20 November 2017
Name: Jacqui
Story: I met Jacqui through my best friend and it is great to know a driven and focussed woman who had the self confidence recently to go self employed and unsurprisingly is, by all accounts, doing amazingly well. Jacqui and I have run together once before and it was lovely to do so again…even if this one was a frightfully early morning.

#PeoplePowerRun 26
Date: 19 November 2017
Name: Lisa
Story: Lisa has been working in Devon’s libraries since 1997 and is now Supervisor of Northam. Lisa runs a bit on and off including whilst on holiday in New York a year ago a jaunt around Central Park which I think would’ve been amazing. She’s done the Great West Run (Half Marathon in Exeter) three years ago but as we both agree, a job in libraries keeps you fit enough as it is.

#PeoplePowerRun 25
Date: 19 November 2017
Name: Richard
Story: When I started working for Devon and Cornwall Police Authority in 2009 Richard was my boss but since then quickly, and more importantly, he has become my friend. I don’t see all that much of him now but he is special to me. I learned a lot about strategic working from Richard and learned a lot (though not quite enough to fully understand it) about American Football too. We went together to Wembley to see my first ever live NFL game, a memory I hold very dear. It was at this time I realised how useful it is to have tall chums too – when he caught prizes they were throwing into the crowd!

#PeoplePowerRun 24
Date: 11 November 2017
Name: Debbie
Story: For three years (around 2008) I worked on a national criminal justice project (based in Devon). Debbie was my Ministry of Justice contact at that time and we haven’t seen each other since then. Having become Facebook friends since we now consider each other running chums. Debbie runs. I run. Online we swap encouragement and recommendations. I was pleased when Debbie was very quick off the mark in January to say she’d like to run and even more pleased when I was able to find myself in Crawley to run with her.

#PeoplePowerRun 23
Date: 10 November 2017
Name: Pete and Tom
Story: Pete is an important face on the Exeter running scene. Having run the (only) specialist running shop, Ironbridge Runner, for years he now works for Exeter City Football Club’s Community Trust encouraging participating in sports and activity for all. It was a huge privilege to run with Pete who has always been supportive of my efforts and is hugely generous with his time and contacts.
Tom is works for Active Devon who aim to get at least 125,000 people in Devon get more active or stay active. It was good to chat to Tom with my professional head on too. Pete picked a great route for us, showing us trails and beautiful views within ten minutes run of Exeter … and some mud and hills too. Really lovely to have the selfie pitchside too at St James’ Park. Up the Grecians!

#PeoplePowerRun 22
Date: 5 November 2017
Name: Shelley
Story: Shelley…well, #ThisWomanDoes. Shelley started running in her mid 50’s. Started. It is never too late. Since then she has done a number of 5Ks, a 10K and is currently training for her first half marathon. She has also, in this time, trained for and completed the London Triathlon supersprint. (And she’s only been able to swim freestyle for about three years). Shelley is a woman that says “ah yes, a new thing, I’m going to own that”. And does. She also found time to write about it (and it turns out many others, myself included) prefer #ThisWomanDoes.

#PeoplePowerRun 21
Date: 5 November 2017
Name: Matt
Story: Matt contacted me saying he’d like to run together. He then added some information about a zombie running app (Zombies, Run!). So, I’ve had my first zombie run. The gist is that you become the hero in a post apocalyptic survival drama. I really enjoyed it! The story arc is written by Naomi Alderman (of The Power fame) and it really engaged me. I’ll definitely be doing more runs accompanied by the app and it was great hearing Matt’s enthusiasm for it and his running in general.

‪#PeoplePowerRun 20
Date: 5 November 2017
Name: Helen
Story: Helen is better known to me as @thecoffeerunGB as prior today I’d never met her and only shared running chatter via Twitter. When she said she lived near Clapham Common, and I’ve never been there (though heard of it obviously) the venue was set. Great to meet another Twitter runner and chat about all things running. Helen is doing her first marathon, London, in 2018 and I’ll be watching her training keenly. Full marks to her for picking a well named finishing selfie spot!

#PeoplePowerRun 19
Date: 31 October 2017
Name: Stella Duffy
Story: Stella Duffy wrote ‘State of Happiness’ in 2004. I read it shortly after and read it every year. It was a book that really had an impact on me and I love it. Sometime after that I came across Stella on Twitter and discovered what an utterly inspiring woman she is. Professionally she is a multi novelist author, theatre maker, Co-Director of Fun Palaces and so much more. Personally she is warm, motivating, honest, open and energetic (and so much more). I am a HUGE fan.
When she said she would be up for running a 5K with me I was so excited. Stella has only recently got into running and there are so many (very valid) reasons why she could not run, but she does. And frankly I lack the words to express how special this run was.

‪#PeoplePowerRun 18
Date: 22 October 2017
Name: Beginner runners, new runners, returning runners
Story: When I announced my challenge of People Power Run at the beginning of the year a couple of people replied saying they, as complete non-runners, were going to start on a Couch to 5K in order that they coukd run with me later in the year. this date was set and shared on social media. More people said they would come along. We ended up with sixteen runners, three of whom were doing 5K for the first time, one had come from Dorset just to run! It was great also to see returning (from injuries or breaks) runners too. I am very proud of all their efforts and success. This was the best of running. #RunningIsFunning

#PeoplePowerRun 17
Date: 20 August 2017
Name: Jasmine, Matthew, Lewis, Clare, Victoria, Cooky – and seated, cycle support Chuffy and buggy riding funner Ines
Story: The reason for this group choosing to run a People Power Run with me was different for each of them and very special, so for this reason there will be an entire blog post about it so I can honour them. But for the purposes of this record suffice to say there were a number of the posse that had come down from Kent, two were doing their first ever non-stop 5K, it was very wet and windy and they have raised over £300 for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal.

#PeoplePowerRun 16
Date: 17 August 2017
Name: Zoe
Story: Zoe is a colleague that works at St Thomas Library. It’s taken us ages to finally get out on a run, which is all the more surprising as we both enjoy running so much. Zoe also partakes in the odd triathlon too. She ran her first marathon at Brighton this year raising funds for Force Cancer Charity showing support for a close friend of hers who has incurable cancer.

#PeoplePowerRun 15
Date: 3 August 2017
Name: Beth, Charlotte and Suzanne (from left to right)
Story: These three smiley woman are exceptionally hardworking colleagues, all involved in the most innovative sides of Libraries Unlimited’s work and fundamental to us being a library service with such a reputation. The most important element of this selfie though is the horse! Beth and I have inexplicably started taking #MeAndAHorseSelfie’s and sharing them on Twitter. It was inevitable that our #PeoplePowerRun would therefore include a horse. Very grateful for this one to oblige.

#PeoplePowerRun 14
Date: 24 July 2017
Name: Susie Chan
Story: Susie is an awesome runner. I’ve been following her and admiring her on Twitter for years. I never thought I’d get a chance to meet her in real life, let alone run with her. It was a really privilege and the stuff great memories are made of. And it was all the fabulous I thought it would be. She was lovely and chatty and generous with her time. We also had a bonus tour of London and saw camels and giraffes! Her favourite event is the Marathon de Sables considered to be the toughest footrace on Earth, six marathons in five day in the Sahara desert. And she’s completed it three times! Says all you need to know really.
#PeoplePowerRun 13
Date: 22 July 2017
Name: Estelle
Story: I’d never met Estelle before today and never even heard of her before she contacted me via this page wanting to get involved with the challenge. Estelle is a relatively new runner, using it to help maintain her generally fitness. When she emailed she apologised in advance for being slow, I was pleased to tell her at the end of our run she is being harsh on herself. It is a great part of this challenge that I get to meet new people. An added bonus today…running over Tower Bridge.
#PeoplePowerRun 12
Date: 9 July 2017
Name: Danny Mills
Story: Danny is a very active Patron of the Jane Tomlinson Appeal and I’ve seen him at all the events I’ve done. Danny enjoyed a successful footballing career including a special time at Leeds United and was England’s first choice right back at the 2002 World Cup. Since retiring achievements include runner up in the 2012 series of BBC Television’s Celebrity Masterchef. At the 2017 Leeds 10K runners could donate to be paced to a sub 60min finish by Danny and I joined them. It was great to see so many achieving their goals.

e#PeoplePowerRun 11
Date: 8 July 2017
Name: Leyla
Story: The Jane Tomlinson Appeal included a piece about my challenge in an e-newsletter and Leyla (front and centre) contacted me after reading it. I have no more connection with her than that. Which is a great by product of #PeoplePowerRun, I’m getting to meet new people that also love to run. Leyla is part of a group called Team Barnsley which enables members of Barnsley’s different running clubs to get together and enjoy running. She put a call out to them and it was great to be joined by others.

#PeoplePowerRun 10
Date: 8 July 2017
Name: Jane Tomlinson Appeal Team (some of)
Story: One of the reasons I enjoy being part of #AppealTeam is the sense of family. Whether it’s with people like Jenny (2nd from left) who works for the Appeal or fellow fundraisers (from left to right) Matt, Carol and Robbie, there’s great support, motivation and a bit of banter too. There’s of course many other people involved but these are the ones I know best (through Twitter) so it was such a wonderful humbling thing that they would give up their Saturday morning to run with me.

#PeoplePowerRun 9
Date: 7 July 2017
Name: Siobhan
Story: Siobhan has been part of my life for almost nine years. Until recently she worked for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal and now works for their events company, Run For All. She has supported and encouraged me through my years of fundraising for the Appeal and I’m always sad that I don’t live nearer Leeds so I could see more of her. She’s had a huge influence on me and got me through more than she probably knows. A bonus of tonight’s run was her sharing stories of how the money you all donate when you sponsor me is being used, and the real difference it is making. Siobhan is training for a marathon at the moment and I’m particularly enjoying her tweets of training runs that include her cute doggy.

#PeoplePowerRun 8
Date: 24 April 2017
Name: Gen
Story: Gen and I met (properly, having met briefly before) when I worked for Devon County Council. We now cross paths every now and again but mainly following each other’s activities via social media. Gen is a cyclist, currently training for a 100mile gruelling event over Dartmoor, the “Dartmoor Classic” so it was great that she put aside her cleats (cycling reference) and cranks (another cycling reference) to run with me.
#PeoplePowerRun 7
Date: 2 April 2017
Name: Friday Night WRN group
Story: When I started running ten years ago it was a Friday night Womens’ Running Network group that taught me, nurtured me, and grew my confidence. As the years passed some faces changed, many stayed the same, all were supportive and encouraged me through challenges both running and health. The group has been disbanded a while now but to my utter joy they came together for #PeoplePowerRun, which means so much to me. Some couldn’t make it and some no longer run but the reunion was glorious.

#PeoplePowerRun 6
Date: 6 March 2017
Name: Exmouth Running Belles
Story: Clare (white top, next to me) is a friend of a friend and was incredibly quick off the mark when hearing about #PeoplePowerRun to invite me to run with her group the Exmouth Running Belles. The group is everything that’s lovely about social running. A range of paces, of motivations, of goals, heaps of chatter (except when we found ourselves going up Albion Hill!). Everyone took the time to talk to me and I heard some great stories about peoples goals and achievements. They all reminded me why I love running in a group.

#PeoplePowerRun 5
Date: 7 February 2017
Name: Philip — “Skedge”
Story: Skedge and his wife are incredibly supportive of all my challenges but took it to a whole other level in 2013 when we went to York and Skedge and I ran the first Yorkshire marathon, to raise funds for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal. Skedge is one of those frustratingly naturally lithe and fit people with (I believe) a very good marathon time within him.

#PeoplePowerRun 4
Date: 1 February 2017
Name: ‘The Old Cronies’
Story: ‘The Old Cronies’ (though its one’s availability to run on a Wednesday morning rather than age or employment status that dictates who takes part) meet to run socially every Wednesday morning. They cover around 8miles, whatever the weather, exploring the Essex countryside.

#PeoplePowerRun 3
Date: 31 January 2017
Name: Dad
Story: Chelmsford based (here in Central Park) runner of 14 marathons (including two Snowden marathons and seven Londons) with a PB of 3:35, one ultra marathon (Dartmoor) and winter ‘Tough Guy’ finisher my Dad is no stranger to a run. Now approaching his 70th birthday he still makes it look effortless and has comfortably paced me round a number of races.

#PeoplePowerRun 2
Date: 15 January 2017
Name: Catherine
Story: I worked with Catherine’s Mum in my first post Uni job back in 2004. I can’t remember when we first actually met but we’ve been Facebook friends ever since, largely sharing a love of musical theatre. Catherine is a new-ish runner and will be doing her first 10K in May!

#PeoplePowerRun 1
Date: 7 January 2017
Name: Paul
Story: I’ve been friends with Paul for years, though don’t see him (and his lovely wife Julia) as much as I’d like (my fault). He was one of a group that helped launch the Exeter to Leeds run in 2010, lovely that he accepted my invitation to launch this year’s challenge.

Want to join me?