Why I'm running

The idea for Raise Your Hands 1000 (@run1000k) came from the work that I do at Raise Your Hands. Just a bit on that briefly.

I used to work in a bank in London, and then moved on to set up a hedge fund in 2009. It was a roller coaster ride, we did quite well but ultimately it didn't work out as we planned. Winding it down was hard for me, and made me think about what I really wanted to do with my life. At the same time, a friend of mine was wanting to give some money to charity, but wasn't sure who to give it to. He knew about the big charities because they had big marketing budgets, but (after I'd offered to help him) we decided that there must be loads of smaller charities doing amazing work that we didn't know about. 

So we started a search. 

And during that search, we came across hundreds of charities across the UK that were doing amazing work, in particular with children, that we had never heard of. These organisations were struggling for funding, had limited reach, little resources, and a narrow support network - but were being run by selfless, salt of the earth people who were genuinely making a difference to young peoples' lives. It dawned on me during the search process that I had discovered that I wanted to spend my life helping these people. And so my friend and I set up Raise Your Hands to help raise awareness and money for small charities that work with children. Our model aims to make philanthropy youthful, fun and rewarding, so that it is appealing to the next generation. You can find out more here

This year, I wanted to do something myself that would raise awareness about these charities and raise money for them. So I decided that one way to achieve both of those things was to visit all of the head offices of the small charities supported by Raise Your Hands on foot - and take as many people with me as possible, so that they too could show their support for the unrecognised stars of the charity sector. And obviously in Raise Your Hands style, make it fun for everyone invovled. 

I fell into running about 4 years ago when i was living with an incredibly competitative flat mate. He was doing the Barcelona triathlon, and persudaded me that I should join him. I knew he only invited me because he wanted to beat me, but to be honest I didn't mind that much. I just wanted to go to Barcelona and get some sun, see what the whole triathalon craze was all about and try my hand at something new. 

I didn't like the training much. I really couldn't swim, so I decided to take some lessons. That was hard; swimming is really technical and for some reason my leg/arm coordination meant that i spent most of the lesson flayling around out of breath. The cylcing I was ok at, I really enjoyed being out in the open and spending time doing laps of Richmond Park. I wasn't that fast, but I had fun. But when it came to the running, I could just sort of do it - I found it quite easy, and I enjoyed testing myself, seeing if i could go faster and further with every training session. It didn't seem like it was that much effort, and I loved it.

The triathlon came around, and I got beaten by my friend as expected. But I did pretty well on the run. 

Since then, I've done a few organised marathons, but to be honest I really got a lot of pleasure out of organising my own runs. Over the last four years I've run 300 miles across Eastern Europe, run Hadrians Wall, the three peaks, up the Portuguese Coast, from London to Oxford and a few others. All these runs have one thing in common - creating experiences; seeing parts of the world that you might not otherwise see on foot, and having fun in the process. 

Join me on my run and let's take on some beautiful trails.