Race the Distance (‘RTD’) was an organisation created to motivate everyone to participate in exercise, by any means, to improve their health, fitness, reach goals, improve mood and increase energy levels and wellbeing.
They are keen to introduce ways to get children into fitness, given the unfortunate UK child obesity statistics, and firmly believe that by involving children and making them understand the causes they’re running for will help them a great deal.
RTD contributes to charity, with a vast selection of their virtual races donating a percentage to relevant charities. As of the end of 2020, Race the distance had raised just shy of £300,000 for charity and have supported a vast array of causes.
The 2022 2022 Mile Annual Challenge is a virtual challenge which can be completed from any location, using any form of exercise- run, jog, cycle, swim, wheelchair- whatever you chose and however you chose to complete the distance (2022 miles) there is no restriction on discipline. Participants can keep trach of their progress in real time, includi9ng tracking ‘journey’s’ with a fully interactive map.
First across the finish line, Ngaire tells us about her experience with the 2022 mile challenge.
Early January 2021 I suffered an unfortunate incident involving my, then, 1 year old jumping off a sofa onto my knee, causing a dislocation. I didn’t deal with it appropriately and 8 months later I had to undergo intense physiotherapy. The physiotherapist was pleased with progress, even suggesting I’d be strong enough to run a marathon in no time. I don’t think she expected me to take it quite so literally.
Fast forward to December 2021 and I logged onto Race the Distance, deciding I needed a new goal for 2022. Having already completed a few of their challenges, I saw the 2022 mile and it seemed the perfect option.
The new year saw a new routine. At 4.50 am, I would start the day with 20 minutes intense cycling on an in-home exercise bike. Over the weeks, I steadily increased this to half an hour, then 45 minutes then an hour. As the days turned into weeks, I started cycling in the evenings too. I found reading or texting whilst exercising a therapeutic way to spend my time, it almost felt like cheating! My target went from 10 miles a day to 15, then 20. Every week I seemed to be able to add another five.
Four weeks in and I discovered the interactive map, it became my new homepage and I became obsessed with seeing where I was in the UK. I definitely improved my geographical knowledge of the UK as a bonus, whilst also learning of some hilarious names of villages/ towns along the way!
One of the biggest challenges I found was keeping up my calorie intake- I recognise it sounds like a First-World problem but I often found myself dizzy and shaky, having to reach for an energy bar.
I had originally set out to finish in June, but every week I seemed to manage to somehow stay ahead of my target, and as the miles clocked up the target kept being brought forward. Somewhere around Aberdeen I started to feel the finish line was actually within reach. As I began the descent and entered back into England I set the target end date as 23rd March (the day before my works 10 year anniversary, so I could double up on the celebration), meaning an average of 33 miles per day was required. By Newcastle, with 6 of my toenails having fallen off completely, I had managed to set a new completion target date of 17th March, which became the final target.
Then on the 16th of March disaster struck and my husband and 4 year-old daughter tested positive for Covid, with my 2 year old showing symptoms too. I had 28 miles remaining until Mayfair. I slept downstairs with the windows open in a desperate attempt to avoid catching the ‘rona.
So on the 17th March having tested positive I refused to admit defeat, having spent three and a half months working so hard it all boiled down to this one, final push.
It was the hardest ride of my entire journey, my lungs felt like they were working at half capacity, it took me twice as long as it usually did, I was tired, I ached and I was overcome with flu symptoms. With every ounce of energy I could muster I could finally see the virtual finish line, and with one decisive push I made it over the line. How poorly I felt was overshadowed with the enormous sense of accomplishment and achievement, I couldn’t believe it had come to an end!
I would strongly encourage anyone thinking of taking part in a challenge to do so. If you’re on the fence or have any self-doubt I can only attest to my own experience. Aside from the pride experienced in completion, I’m also in much better shape and the positive endorphins resulting from exercise have certainly helped me be a more fun mum to my two girls. Whatever your age or current health status, if I can do it, anyone can. (And who doesn’t secretly love a shiny medal?).
Well done Ngaire! We are very proud of you!
Go to Meet the Peruvians for further information on Ngaire and the rest of our expanding team of highly experienced Consultants.