In this Fundraiser of the Month blog, Kimberley tells us all about becoming one of the first 500 people to enter the London Classics Hall of Fame...all in aid of MS-UK!
I’m a bit of a have a go girl…I’ve done marathons, swam up to 10km in a river, triathlons up to iron distance and I do love a challenge, particularly if you end up with some serious bling to keep! In among that, I am the sister/daughter of two amazing family members who lived their lives with multiple sclerosis (MS) and while they are no longer here I am still inspired by them to keep on ‘having a go’ and also raise awareness for MS-UK who offer amazing support.
Having completed the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2005 and 2006 and RideLondon in 2015 I was really excited to see the launch of the London Classics at the Swim Serpentine Event last year.
You could earn a fourth bit of bling – serious bling too – for swimming in the 2 mile wave of the Swim Serpentine event. So I entered! I was one of the first 500 to complete this spectacular trio and earn two medals in one day! We were also able to earn a place in the ‘Hall of Fame’, which will grow every year now.
So, if you have done one of the events, or two, then try to complete the third as a personal challenge and earn the most amazing bit of bling and bragging rights too!
It also adds a unique twist to your fundraising strategy as not many will achieve this goal very quickly. So just go for it and bring on the bling! Yours in sporting bling Kimberley!
In this guest blog things are getting brutal! Matthew Norris took on 'The Brutal Double', which is a double Ultra-distance event, based in Llanberis, North Wales. Here is his story of fundraising for MS-UK...
23 intrepid Double Ultra Triathletes took to Llyn Padarn at the foot of Mount Snowdon earlier this month for the first of 3 events. At 7:30am, we joined other athletes racing half, full and triple distance triathlons. The swim was 8 laps around the course for a total of 4.8 miles. The lake was hovering around 11°C as we entered the water, and 3 hours later, I emerged feeling cold, but relieved to have completed the first event with a smile on my face.
Next up, the bike section. Another 8 laps, on the road around Snowdon. Total distance covered; 231 miles with over 16,000ft of climbing (That’s the same as reaching Everest South Base camp!) What followed was 20 hours in the saddle, with stops for food and drink at the end of each lap. Temperatures dropped to around 4°C during the night, and there were some desperate, dark moments as the night rolled in, including tears, nearly falling asleep on the bike, lots of very lonely times and a near-intimate bike/sheep incident.
Around 6am on Sunday morning, I finished the bike ride and had 30 minutes sleep. Awake (ish) and partly refreshed, I began the ascent of Snowdon with my sister and best mate.
Feeling tired and a little lacking in energy, we made it to the top, got the all-clear from the medic and descended the mountain back to race HQ. I could quite happily have stopped there after 10 miles, but the run section was yet to come.
Another change of clothing into running shorts and trainers and the 8 laps of the lake began at about 11am. Each lap being just over 5 miles on and off road with 600ft of climbing on each lap. (Totalling more than the ascent of Snowdon). The laps wore on, and my support crew continued to provide amazing morale as the darkness once again descended. The last 3 laps were in the dark and to top it off, heavy rain started on the final lap! I didn’t care by then, it was done. I had conquered the Brutal Double.
40 hours 24 minutes. 11th out of 23 starters and my last ever Triathlon.
What a finale.
I can recommend this race to anyone, but make sure you have an amazing support crew. They were priceless.
Thanks to everyone who donated to my nominated charity; MS-UK, for which we raised over £800!
In this guest blog Kim Mangelshot tells us why she undertook the Outlaw Triathlon for MS-UK...
As I walked around the village with a friend, our doggies, and my hubby today I noticed a gorgeous blue sky. Two years ago, on the 17 March, we all said our formal farewells to Jeff, my brother – the bloke that added some ‘glue’ to our little family unit. Jeff would wake up every day and no matter what card was dealt to him he would see the blue skies and now his soul soars in the blue skies every day. Free as a bird; caught on the warm air that circulates above us; sending smiles into our hearts when we remember his ‘Jefferisms’, a phrase I coined on his send off and day of remembrance.
Jeff had multiple sclerosis – MS. Jeff was diagnosed in 1996, aged 24 and at the time his symptoms were fairly mild: fatigue, he dragged a leg, fell over occasionally. By the time his time to soar in the sky came he had changed his view on what was acceptable living standards, almost every day. Jeff could barely speak in the last year – the muscles allowing him to control his speech were weak. He had a peg feeding tube for all nutrition: he still loved to smell foods and drinks and it may seem as if he was being taunted but he would insist on sniffing a cup of coffee when we went out. He could not move by himself or do any of the normal functions that we take for granted. But every day he woke up and with the support of his amazing care team, he lived every day to end. A simple trip to the shops, a medical appointment, a day at the seaside watching others eat ice cream and fish n chips, his pop concert trips – all made him smile. His catch phrase became ‘whatever’ and he mouthed that with a cheeky smile right to the end.
What you may not know is that our Mum also had multiple sclerosis. She had a very different journey with her disease, via a condition called Arachnoiditis also she had breast cancer in the mid 80’s and was finally diagnosed with MS in 1993, age 53. She was told she had probably had it for 30 years. She fought to live every day – her pleasures were knitting, making pickled onions, keeping company with her pet dogs. She died in 2000, aged 60 from bronchial pneumonia associated with MS.
On the 23 July I participated in my second long distance triathlon – the Outlaw: a 3.8km lake swim: 180km road bike ride and 42km run – all back to back after 22 weeks of training. I hadn’t planned to set such a big goal this year as I have had 18 months where I have run very little due to a serious knee injury. I had surgery mid-December to sort out the four things inside and started rehabilitation. Then I won the space from a sponsor and the rest, as they say, is history.
This journey to Outlaw I decided to dedicate to all those living with and affected by MS. Everyone involved in the journey of MS – whether you are the patient, a family member, friend, or support network, medical teams, advise support teams – you make days easier for all. I want to honour them all by raising a little bit of money towards MS-UK who have supported our family – and families just like us. I completed the Outlaw in a new personal best time of 13 hours 19 minutes and 50 seconds.
We have an amazing range of challenge events that you can get involved with, from the Virgin Money London Marathon to Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 but we want to add even more to the list but need your help.
Are there any challenge events out there that you think MS-UK should have places at?
Personally I think we should have a few places at events like Tough Mudder and Spartan races, as they seem to be all the craze at the moment. Having done a couple myself I know how much of a challenge they are and how much fun you would have taking part, but I would like to hear from you first hand whether or not you think this is a good idea.
There are also many other events I am looking into and these range from the Royal Parks Half marathon to the Great Run Series. I would love to hear from anyone with any suggestions to what events you would like to see MS-UK attend in 2017!
Please do contact me with your suggestions as I am always open to ideas
Community and Events Fundraiser
Hi My name is Zoe Elliott and I have recently taken part in my first triathlon raising money for MS-UK. The whole thing came about by chance – but it was one of those times in life when the stars align. I had been looking to get fit for a few years as my children get older and I can no longer use ‘babies’ as an excuse. My husband is a marathon runner and most years does the London Marathon and has raised a fair bit of money over the years, so I felt it was about time I joined him in the fitness stakes. I decided to do a triathlon mainly because it is a multi-sport event and a bit different to doing fun runs. It was also a suitable challenge to work towards for an unfit mum of two!
When I entered, I saw that MS-UK were one of the charities on the list that you could fundraise for and it was an obvious charity to raise money for having lost my cousin to MS just five years earlier. I have never raised money before for charity so it was about time I did. Thinking about Robin as I trained was also a huge motivating factor – I literally thought about him every time I went out – particularly when I ran as I really am rubbish at running and don’t enjoy it at all!
In terms of my fundraising I mainly canvassed friends and family on Facebook and colleagues at work through internal emails. It was amazing to get donations from people at work that I have never even met whose lives have been touched by MS in some way.
I think people donate for two reasons – one for the charity in question and two, to show support to a friend. Most of my friends have wondered how the hell I have trained for a triathlon – I work full time, travel all over the country, deal with a four hour round trip commute to London twice a week and juggle looking after my two young boys (7 and 4), two dogs and three horses. I guess it’s the old saying ‘ask a busy person’. And to be honest if I had not decided to make the commitment to MS-UK it would have been easy to give up.
So if you are fundraising and thinking of a challenge, think of one that will impress your friends (!) but also one that is going to be good for your well being too. I am now fitter and stronger than I have been in years, and found space for a bit of me time in my hectic schedule – I might even be able to go for a run with my husband someday soon!
So how did it go you ask? Well I came 4th out of 26th in my category – a super sprint triathlon of 200m swim, 18K bike and 2.5K run. My competitive spirit kicked in and I had a great day with all my family around me in support! I have raised over £1000 and the money is still coming in…. I will keep the page open and do a few more triathlons this year – including my 7 year old who will do his first in June! www.justgiving.com/zoe-elliott7