The poppy challenge is one of my favourite events that Virtual Runner hosts and 2016 has been no exception. The volume of support is amazing and I am very proud to say that we raised £7,600 for the Royal British Legion http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/. Each and every participant takes the poppy challenge very seriously, each aiming to achieve personal bests, furthest distances, more miles than they’ve ever done before (and that’s to name a few achievements!) so I am very humbled to be able to make this happen.
I have been brought to tears on a couple of occasions this month when special people have taken the time out to tell me what the event means to them including Neil Hodgson who set his own challenge as part of the event – here is part of the email he took the time to send me:
I am a serving Soldier at the Headquarters of the British Army in Andover. I have served my country for over 24 years and giving my time to help the Royal British Legion is the very least I can do to remember many a hero’s ultimate sacrifice.
When my wife suggested entering the challenge I searched my soul for a fitting way to raise awareness for such a great charity meantime fulfilling the needs of the challenge.
I worked out to Run from the Army HQ in Andover to the Somme Memorial, Thiepval was 401.6km. This became my run challenge – to virtual run equal distance to that and must run everyday during the month of November. It became apparent having front loaded the miles that, barring injury I would achieve this in the third week. Therefore, to continue with the challenge I set a further challenge to run thereafter to Compiegne. The significance of this is where the Armistice day treaty was signed. A further 82km. Therefore a complete target of 483.6km (according to google maps on foot).
I am pleased to announce and hopefully you can see from my evidence that I successfully completed the challenge both to run every day and complete the virtual run to Compiegne via the Somme. A fitting tribute on the centenary anniversary of the battle of the Somme and the many thousands of lives lost during the great war and every conflict since.
Wow! I know! Personally, I was recovering from injury so didn’t do half as many miles as I wanted to – but I know like many the promise of the poppy medal got me heading out of the door. Jo Watts really inspired me to get out as often as I can with the note I received from her. Jo completed 181km and was very delighted with this achievement (and so she should be) as she’d spent part of November having surgery to remove a cancerous lump in his ear. Jo herself has service related injuries and told me that without charities like the Royal British Legion, people like her would simply not get the help required to live full and independent lives.
A reminder about our challenge and what we asked you to do: In the month for November, run, swim, walk and cycle as far as you can to add to our collective km total. Our aim is to complete 88,824.6km. 888,246 is a significant number, as represents the number of poppies displayed at the Tower of London last year to remember the fallen soldiers in WW1. So the news you’ve all been waiting for… the 2016 poppy challenge results. Together we achieved
Almost double the target! A full list of the results can be found here https://www.virtualrunneruk.com/product/poppy-challenge-2016/. A final thank you to everyone who participated – every achievement is amazing and you should all be very proud. Here’s to the 2017 poppy challenge.
We will remember them.