Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Half marathon madness

Three key messages in this post:

  1. I've been inspired to do a half marathon

  2. I want your sponsorship money

  3. I'll give you advertising in return

The Half Marathon

I was watching coverage this morning of last weekend's Great North Run - a half marathon in the north of England which this year had 54,000 registered entrants, making it the world's biggest half marathon.

Whenever I've watched one of these mass participation events, I have found the people who do it to be truly inspiring. Both the people at the front who are supreme athletes, but perhaps even more so the people in the midfield and at the back who have had to fit their running training around busy work and family schedules, and who most of the time don't have the expert coaching that the elite runners get.

Historically, I have rationalised the fact that I don't enter by telling myself that I'm not built for running distances. Well this excuse is starting to feel a bit thin. I'm The Fat RUNNER after all - not The Fat COUCH-POTATO!! And my recent 5k personal bests, strength training and weight loss all points to the fact that it's time for me to do something a bit more challenging than a 5k.

A quick chat with a marathon-running friend confirmed my suspicions that it would take at least 4 months of training led me to look into 2010 for a suitable event, and I am now registered to run the 2010 Adidas Half Marathon at the world-famous Silverstone racing circuit. I've got to admit that my childhood dreams involve me racing around Silverstone, but not without a car!! But I'll take what I can get...


I'd like you to sponsor me. I've set up a sponsorship page at JustGiving which administers the payments and allows you to pay with a credit card or even a paypal account, meaning that it accepts payments from all over the world. And if you're a UK tax payer, then they can even claim the tax back on your donation.

The charity I've chosen is Save the Children. Save the Children is the world's independent children's charity. They are devoted to helping the millions of children are still denied proper healthcare, food, education and protection and are working flat out to get every child their rights.

Furthermore, as a large and professionally-managed charity, more of your money goes directly to helping children. In fact, 83% of all donations is spent on charitable expenditure directly benefitting children.

Finally, although the charity is headquartered in the UK, it acts on a global basis, so wherever you are in the world there is a reason for you to sponsor me.

Advertise your product or blog or whatever

And when YOU sponsor ME, then this is what I will do for YOU.

If you have a blog or a product you want to promote, I'll do it for you in the box on the right.

You can promote anything within reason - as a guide, look at what Google excludes from their advertising network here. If they're happy with it, then generally I'll be happy with it.

So how do you do it?

Firstly, go to the Fat Runner sponsorship page and follow the instructions to sponsor me - even the smallest amount is very gratefully appreciated.

Secondly, come back to this blog, and go to the Contact Me form and let me know the text you want and any links (if you know html, then just send me that). I'm happy with up to 100 characters in your blog mention or product advert. You should also include your email address on the contact form - that is my way of matching your donation against your promotion request.

Finally, hopefully within 24 hours your text will be up on this blog. The adverts/mentions will be ordered according to the size of the donation (biggest donation at the top, obviously), giving you the incentive to dig deep and support something truly worthwhile.

So, I think that's it. The donation page is already live, and as soon as I get some sponsorship (even if it is only 1 cent!) I'll start putting adverts up.

Let me know if you have any questions, but in the meantime, please give generously.