Running Tales
Susan Wheatcroft: ‘The mad idea was a virtual race… within six months we were getting well over 1,000 people’

Susan Wheatcroft: ‘The mad idea was a virtual race… within six months we were getting well over 1,000 people’

April 24, 2020

When Susan Wheatcroft decided to run the London Marathon, she needed a sure-fire way to reach her funding target.

What she came up with was offering people a reward to take part in a virtual race. The money they paid to do so went to her charity.

The idea was such a success that 400 people took part.

It was the start of Virtual Runner UK. These days Susan holds virtual races all over the world, with people's entrance fees going to charity.

Virtual running works in the same way as any other type of running, but the difference is that the entered race can be run at any location, at any pace, inside on a treadmill or outside in another country.

All people have to do is enter a race and provide evidence that you have done it; and Susan will send them a medal in return.

I spoke to her about running virtually during the coronavirus crisis, her own running journey and how Virtual Runner can work for everyone.

 

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Leo de Awa: ‘Race walking was funny… then it became my Olympic dream’

Leo de Awa: ‘Race walking was funny… then it became my Olympic dream’

April 17, 2020

This week I spoke to one of favourite people, Leo de Awa.

He was responsible for the start of my own running journey, persuading me during a meal in Seville that I could run a marathon.

I trained pretty hard for that I can tell you, but nothing like as hard as Leo trains.

That's because he's a race walker with his sights set on the Olympic Games.

He also makes me laugh. A lot... I hope you enjoy his story.

 

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Deon Ehlers: The ultra marathon runner who took on South Africa’s toughest race

Deon Ehlers: The ultra marathon runner who took on South Africa’s toughest race

April 10, 2020

Imagine running almost 90km and then not getting a medal or finishing time because you missed the cut off point by 33 seconds?

That's what happened to Deon Ehlers when he took on the gruelling Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa.

Fortunately for him it wasn't his first go at the race - in all he's officially completed it five times.

I spoke to Deon about his numerous Comrades experiences, as well as being a parkrun event director, running for fun and working as a policeman in South Africa during the coronavirus outbreak.

 

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Carole James: The ‘Maverick’ whose love of wheelchair racing beat depression

Carole James: The ‘Maverick’ whose love of wheelchair racing beat depression

April 3, 2020

Carole James was left wheelchair bound after a car accident, suffering from constant pain, PTSD and depression.

Her competitive streak wouldn't allow life to keep her down though and before too long she was trying all sorts of wheelchair sports. At first archery proved most attractive, but ultimately it was wheelchair racing that became her passion.

Through Northamptonshire Sport and Northampton parkrun, she started to love life again.

These days, she's one of the faces of Sport England's This Girl Can campaign, promoting women in sport. This is Carole' story.

 

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