It's been a busy but exciting week here in the mountains, so busy in fact that I forgot to write a blog on Monday! So instead of leaving you without anything this week I thought that i'd give you an update on everything that is going on at the moment. There have been a lot!
First up a huge thank you for everyone who voted in the running awards over the last 2 months. The shortlists are out now and the second round of voting has begun. It is great news that Spinal Research are again shortlisted alongside first timers for a running community, Run, Heifer, Run! The category that I was nominated in has been so hotly contested with so many great blogs that they have decided to keep the category open for another month before announcing the final 12, which means that you can now vote again for this blog and Spinal Research to help us complete the trifecta of shortlists! I have included the links below to vote again for each category <3
This week is also exciting as I have now booked my flight to America, so I now have a more solid timeline for starting the run. I will be flying into Boston on the 24th April and staying for a few days to make sure I have everything I need for the run before heading up to the Canadian border on the 27th April. The run will begin on the morning of Sunday the 29th April, and my first big checkpoint (I am hoping) will be Portland 10 days laster for my 30th Birthday. After almost 3 years of planning I am so excited that the start line is now a little over 4 months away!
Next up on the list of updates is my route. I am sure that a lot of you have seen the map on the front page and challenge page of the site many times by now, and that is still pretty close to the route i'll be taking. After a good year at searching through hundreds of possible routes and pretending I was driving through Google street view, I have finally managed to find myself a safe running route across the country. I say "safe" with a pinch of salt, but it is as safe as it possibly can be when you are running across a continent! If you'd like to have a look at the route then i'll link it below, although bare in mind that while it is the route that I will be taking, if a helpful local sends me along a better route then i'll be taking a small detour until I get back on track. Once the run starts I will have a live tracker so you can see where to I am at all times, just in case you are planning to come and join me for a brisk jog!
View the full route here!
A few of you may remember back in September I held the first Step Up Challenge, which was a great success, and now next month it is back and even better than before! There are a whole host of new features which you asked for along with 18 brand new badges for you to earn as you go along. The first day for you to start logging your steps will be the 1st January, which is perfect for those of you starting a New Year's resolution or who want to keep themselves active and moving in the New Year. Head over to the new site and get yourselves singed up and you'll receive an email a few days before the challenge begins and on the 1st of January to remind you to track your steps. As with almost everything that I do if you would like to raise money for Spinal Research whilst partaking in the challenge then I would love to have you on board. You will receive all the help you need from the guys at the charity and you can raise as much or as little as you'd like. Check your sign up email for more details on how to join in with the fundraising!
Last on the update front is something that I have been reluctant to do in the past, partly as I prefer all donations to go directly to the charity, and partly because I don't want think its right for people to pay for something that you actually WANT to do! But as people keep on asking I have created a page where you can now donate to help fund the run itself, although this one is slightly different to the normal GoFundMe campaigns. The site I am using lets me offer things to you, kind of like rewards for sponsoring me, as opposed to donating and receiving nothing in return. Some of the smaller donation tiers are just straight donations but further up you go you will receive things like A3 prints from the run, postcards, letters and Skype calls. This way I can give you something as a thank you for sponsoring me. One very important thing to note though is that any of the donations from this site that a left over at the end of the run will be donated to Spinal Research.
Fund the run here!
The blogs will be back on track next Monday (Christmas Day) with a guest appearance from Spinal Research frontman, Robin Plowman.