It has felt, and still feels strange, to believe that the hardest part is now behind me. Only a year ago the initiative was but an idea on paper; for 309 days it has been a reality. 309 days of my life that I will never get back, nor would I want to have spent them any other way.
On January 7th 2017, I took to the floor at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool to compete in my first challenge and on November 12th 2017 I crossed the line at my last. At the Champions of Tomorrow National Ballroom Competition I was nervous beyond belief, having come only with the experience of competing in a local charity competition less than a year before. Fast forward to November 12th 2017, and I find myself equally nervous in the starting area of the Las Vegas Marathon.
It was 4:30pm on The Strip, flames spouting dramatically from the start line, the glaring lights of MGM Grand, New York, New York and Excalibur lighting the area and the 8-hour time gap between me and the UK becoming woefully apparent (jet lag was not my friend). I would love to say that my last event went as smoothly as the three marathons that preceded it, but like everything else this year, the idea of the event is much more romantic than the reality. A late start on a marathon is usually enough to disrupt a runner’s routine on its own, but the time zone adjustment ensured that my mind only wished to shut down for 3 hours a night. Outside of The Strip, much of the route was complicated and dark – always a first time to experience wanting to fall asleep while still running. All factors considered, it meant that the end of a hard year was far from rainbows, flowers and dancing. Shocker. Not gonna lie though, Vegas was almost worth it for things like this.
Click: Bellagio Fountain Show
Nonetheless, I have embraced the difficulties I have had this year with open arms (Vegas included… seriously), reminding myself that if this were to have been easy, it would not have been a challenge: I mean, that is kind of the point. I have said it the entire year and will continually repeat myself: what are tired muscles, an inability to eat for an entire evening or mild dehydration, when the outcome is the opportunity to put more names on a register to save lives? Even economically speaking, it’s a good investment. Pain fades; blood disorders do not.
Due to the efforts of my brother Martin and seemingly unending determination of his own, some statistics of my own have been calculated. Of the many prominent figures this year, the main points are as follows for your
- Calories burned – A grand total of 133,679 calories burned in events alone. An average of 432 calories every single day since I started, or the consumption of 515 Mars Bars (Milky Way if you are from the US).
- Total Elevation (ft.) – During my events I have climbed 51,632 feet, or the Burj Khalifa 19 times.
- Miles Flown – My aviatory exploits have carried me 39,741 miles around the world, enough to get 1 1/2 times around Earth.
- Miles Driven – 8722 miles (13,955km). Enough to get you from Copenhagen to Johannesbourg with miles to spare.
- Total Miles Run – 794 miles, the distance between London and Madrid.
- Total Time Run (HH:MM:SS) – 161:48.42, an entire week of non-stop exercise. Eurgh.
As a final statistic, our cause has had a little over 200 donations made this year from some very generous donors. Our total is enough to sign up over 100 new lifesaving donors to the Bone Marrow Register.
On Tuesday I will be attending the most exciting event for me yet – the Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards in London. Due to the generous written contributions of an unknown but wonderful number of people, I have been nominated for the Shirley Nolan Special Recognition Award – an esteemed accolade that was won last year by a far more deserving nominee than myself: Alice Byron. I am flattered and honoured to have even been considered for the same category, but also deeply grateful that Anthony Nolan have invited me to an event that does not involve planes, trainers or an early start.
For more about the inspiration behind this year, you need look no further than alicebyron.com. If you are between 16-30 and want to give somebody a second chance at life, you can find out more at Anthony Nolan.
Lastly, with a little over £250 left to our target for this year, please consider donating what you can, or sharing to those who may not have heard what we are doing. I am truly appreciative of all those who come to read this (I know the humour is often painful), and those who have been hugely generous in donating to our cause. You can find my JustGiving link at the top of the article.
44 events, and 44 reasons for you to consider saving someone’s life. Be a part of the Bone Marrow Register today, because somewhere in the world, there may be someone who needs you to be.