It's done. I've done it, most importantly we've done it.
What a year that was.
Well… I'm not really sure where to begin. It was just over a year ago I think, every race I’d entered had been cancelled and I was frustrated and probably a little down. It was clear to me that we’d be waiting forever for “permission” back then and so I dreamt up this idea. It had to be hard, but also had to be something that anyone could join in with along the way.
If ever there was proof that to get the most out of life you have to show up, I think that this year has shown it. To all the “maybes” that became a “yes” - well done. Those fences aren’t very comfortable to sit on anyway. It’s only by showing up and committing that we really find out what it’s all about.
For many reasons apathy was a general trend in 2020. I simply refuse to let this rot set in and, along with every single person that showed up to an event or joined in from afar, we showed that we can can reverse that - taking that simple action of "showing up". Let's all remember to carry it forward every day.
It’s a sport that for decades I disregarded, for numerous excuses and internal dialogues… and then I found it. It’s not love at first step that’s for sure. It takes time, determination and a certain amount of blind faith. But stick it at and the rewards are bountiful. Now I consider myself a runner, not a fast one, not a good one, but a runner nonetheless.
In the constant noise of life, running is possibly one of the most peaceful places to immerse yourself within.
We are social beings and yet we are bombarded by endless “online” alternatives to the simple act of being in someone’s company.
Early on in this campaign, we asked ourselves “what will make this a success”? The total number of participants was never the aim. The goal was simple - to create a positive impact on those that do come, to make sure that everyone feels a part of this community and that they get the chance (if they want) to share their story.
I don't think it's right to name people, but we’ve have had the most remarkable stories through the year. People who had been too scared to come out of their houses post lockdown join in with us. We’ve have heart-rendering stories of overcoming deep entrenched fear and depression. We’ve had endless amazing stories of “I didn’t believe I could go that far .... and I did”. To summarise the impact is too reductionist… we achieved what we set out to do. To make a positive impact on everyone that showed up.
The most important outcome here is what people took away for themselves; not a medal , but they took away a memory of accomplishment, of overcoming some barrier or hearing a story, making a friend; whatever it was - it is perennial and it is powerful.
Glance back to remind yourself how far you have come, to show yourself that obstacles are overcome.
Look forward to know where you are heading but do not obsess over the goal.
Most importantly, focus on this very moment, work hard when you need to, dig deep when you must and never give up.
I did all the running and a fair amount of admin and lugging kit about. But I was not alone in this, a huge number of people have helped along the way. SO here are some names, focussing on those who have helped throughout the year.. so, in no particular order:
Paul - pivotal from the start, always on hand and selflessly supportive.
Will - you stepped up for the very first HH100 run and you were here from day 1, eternally grateful.
Laura M - it's no understatement to say I wouldn't have been on every start line if it wasn't for your treatment(s) over the year.
Nick - you show up, you deliver, you make no fuss. You are the definition of a true friend.
Brad (James) - the rock-solid-right-hand-man, eternally appreciative for your support.
Han - you know me and logos(!), things are looking rather better with your creative input.
Pete - an inspiration to me and many more; onwards mate.
Robin - proud to have you alongside me on the team again. Let's see what we can do.
There are many more people along the way: Neil, Bruce, Tim, Lyndsey, Glen, Tom, Phili, M&D (it must be genetic!), Luke and Brad S (I know I might grimace during the massages but it's 'welcomed').
Rach - almost everyone through the year will have met Rach; a lot of you will count her as a friend and so will know exactly what I am talking about. Rach is a complete superstar - events and campaigns like this happen because of people like Rach. Thank you Rach, it's great to have you as part of the Allegr Crew,
So what's next?
Without doubt the most common question of Thursday. What next? The truth is, I don’t yet know. I have some ideas, some are probably stupid, some certainly are. I know it won’t be something every month, I know it will probably be a lot longer than 12hrs but most important of all… I know that I want it to be something that you can all be a part of.
Thank you to each any every one of you for showing up and joining in. It’s been a really epic adventure, let's get ready for the next one.
And finally, if you find yourself sitting on that fence, hesitating about that run or that ride, questioning if you can? Take a step, maybe 12 more ..... then 12mins and from there you can do anything - because I am no different to any of you.
Remember, we are all simply Better Together.