Our Very '2020' Virtual Marathon

On Sunday 4th October, YMCA Crewe held our very first virtual marathon with the hopes of raising some money to support our work with young people at risk of homelessness, and also to raise awareness for the cause.

The inspiration came from the cancellation of the London Marathon for amateur runners. We wanted to hold an event that was inclusive for all with no minimum sponsorship or sign up fee- just a common goal to complete a marathon and raise money for a worthy cause.

The rules were simple- participants had 24 hours to either run, walk or bike 26.2 miles from anywhere they liked and the distance could be completed either individually or as part of a relay team. We had over 30 participants including YMCA staff members, some of our residents and also some amazing volunteers. In true '2020' style, the marathon was completed from a number of places ranging from right here at YMCA Crewe, various gyms, on a treadmill whilst watching Star Wars and even all the way in Italy- all whilst maintaining social distancing, of course!

Despite the marathon taking place in various parts of the world, there was still a real community feel to the event, and seeing everyones wonderful pictures via social media from throughout the day meant that we were still all able to share a sense of achievement. Everyone who took part will be receiving a YMCA Crewe marathon t-shirt (as modelled by Lisa, Rachel and Mike below) which were designed by Ali Draws and printed by the The Printing House Ltd- both of which are small local businesses! It was an added bonus that our marathon was able to support local businesses at a time like this, as well as raise money for young people at risk of homelessness.

We were very fortunate to receive many generous donations and as a result we managed to raise over £1,000!!! Which we cannot thank you all enough for!

In case you missed them on our social media, below are some of the lovely pictures from the day, with a few quotes from participants about their marathon experience!

As always, thank you for reading our blog post- we hope to see you here again soon!

"Not my usual Sunday morning thing, but being in lockdown it was nice to get out and do some exercise for a good cause" (Sarah Hills, who cycled the marathon with her husband, Mark)

"I've never taken part in a marathon before and wouldn't have ever thought to even try had it not been for the option to join a team and do it virtually. It was great to be involved in something good and meaningful from the comfort of home in the midst of everything that's going on this year. Who'd have thought me watching Star Wars on a treadmill would help raise money to support the work we do at YMCA Crewe?!" (Josh Walker, who completed the marathon as part of a relay team)

"It was really great to note that with every rotation of my peddles I was one step closer to making a difference" (Mark Hills, who cycled the marathon his wife, Sarah)

"I was so glad to raise money for such a worthy cause, and fitness is a passion of mine so to be able to make a difference whilst doing something I love was a very rewarding feeling- even if I did finish biking the marathon 3 minutes outside my personal target of 1 hour!" (Brad Hopwood, who cycled the marathon from his local gym with me!)

"We all run together but sadly have not been able to do that at present, so it was nice to meet up for the special run!" (Sylvia Smallwood, who ran 16 miles with her friend Tina and then walked the remaining 10.2- not bad considering Sylvia is in her 70's!!)