Mark Kirkham, originally from Paisley who now resides in Pembrokeshire has created a running challenge this year to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. It's called 50 at 50 for 50. He aims to run 50 10K races over the course of his 50th year (between 1st May 2019 and 30th April 2020) and hopes to earn £50,000 for this fantastic organisation.
“I've been wanting to do something to say thanks to Macmillan Cancer Support for being there for both my parents in the last stage of their lives. They provided support and comfort, not just for my mum and dad, but also for my family during these times and beyond. Our Macmillan supporter workers gave us all kinds of support from physically helping, giving advice to access other forms of support, right down to offering a shoulder to cry on.”
Mark claims he’s not a runner, “that’s more my wife’s specialism”, he says. But he believes that there’s no challenge in doing something you do all the time. He has only every run one 10K race once before, when he lived back here in Scotland. He swore then that he would not do another one, let alone 50 in 12 months. However, he can’t swim, he doesn’t ride a bike, he says, “to be honest, there’s little that I do that qualifies as challenging.” But he wanted to do something, and running is easy enough to get into, and relatively inexpensive, so the 50 at 50 for 50 was born!
The challenge is not just running 50 races. He has to find events and try to get entry into these races, which itself can be very expensive. So, another challenge is to get free entry into as many events as possible. Travelling around the country to get to the races every weekend is just another challenge, that will also incur quite a bit of expense.
The most significant challenge, however, is the target Mark has set to raise £50,000 for Macmillan. This will be tough. He says,“I might be able to raise a few thousand pounds from friends and family, so I need to attract sponsorship from organisations who are sympathetic to this amazing organisation.” He will be utilising social media and traditional media to generate as much coverage and interest in the challenge as possible. In this, Macmillan are helping too. He is reaching out to businesses in all the areas that he will be running to offer opportunities for sponsorship and to invite like-minded people of all ages to get involved and even run with him.
Mark has already covered 3 10k races so far with numerous races also lined up for the the next couple of months, including returning to his home town to take part in the Paisley 10k on the 18th August.
We wish Mark the very best of luck on his running challenge! if you want to help support Mark meet the £50k mark, visit his fundraising page here www.justgiving.com/fundraising/50at50for50
You can also keep up to date with his challenge on his Facebook page.