Meet Alice Leadbeter - Our Amazing Member Fundraising for MU!
Hi Alice, we know you are running the London marathon but we believe that is the culmination of your challenge. Can you give us basic details of each run you are doing, where, how far, date and any interesting facts?
Throughout February and March I have been running around my diocese (Ely), visiting as many different branches of the Mothers’ Union as possible. This will turn out to be around 100 miles so we have called it the hundred mile marathon. In some cases, I have been running with ‘local’ people and so I have been learning about the local environment as I run and getting to know new people. As I have been going around there have been coffee mornings and lunches held and I have talked a bit about why I am running for Mothers’ Union, my training etc. I have also been trying to video members talking about why they are members of The Mothers’ Union. This has been interesting as there are so many different reasons and different favourite projects. I will be posting these videos onto YouTube.
How much money have you raised already and how much in total are you hoping to raise?
I have raised nearly £600 and am hoping to raise £2000. To be honest my challenge is more focussed on raising awareness about the Mothers’ Union as so many people don’t know about it. I feel that if I can spread the word about it, this will hopefully get more people involved which will have a longer lasting effect than a set amount of money. Running the marathon itself is a perfect opportunity to spread the word as people always ask you who you are raising money for when they find out you are running the marathon! To help my fundraising I have set up a challenge for children where they pledge an amount of time that they are prepared to give up on screens for a week to spend reading. Through sponsorship they will then raise money to help teach adults to read in Ethiopia. (This only costs £20 per adult.) I am also running a virtual running event in September where people can sign up to get a special bespoke medal based on The Mothers’ Union logo which again should get people talking. The more buzz I can create the better!
What first got you into running and how did you get the idea for this challenge?
Running has been a part of my life for 20 years or so. I am your typical person who hated running at school and did everything I could to get out of cross country to not being able to live without it. It is my reboot time where my head resets itself. Thoughts run around in my head, problems get resolved and my productivity levels increase once I get back. Without running I get all out of sorts, so much so that my children and husband have been known to say to me….."do you need to go on a run"? This challenge found me! My Mum forwarded me an e-mail saying that you had a charity place in the marathon and were looking for the right person and I couldn’t resist! To be honest the running is just the icing on the cake. I am more excited about all the opportunities that it brings for spreading the word. The idea for the 100 mile marathon came about because you have to run miles when training and doing this is a way to get publicity and a way for me to make the runs more interesting.
What part of the challenge have you found the hardest?
The long runs are a challenge. The week I had to run 13 miles, the last mile was hard and I couldn’t run a step further (yes, my husband had to come and collect me!). The next week I had to run 14 and the same thing happened but this time after 14. The hardest part is therefore the mental challenge. I know I can do the distance, I know it is going to hurt but I need to convince my brain that I can do it. I am trying to practice positive thinking rather than negative which tends to be my fall back, but at the end of the day I remember that I am lucky to be able to do this. Also, I am very privileged where I live and the opportunities that I have and I am running to help all those in a far less fortunate situation than myself. That usually gives me a bit more energy to carry on a bit further.
What would you say to any other Mothers’ Union members considering a similar challenge?
If you have the passion, do it. I had always said that I couldn’t train for a marathon as well as do a job, run a house and be there for my family AND raise money for a charity. I just didn’t think I had it in me but when you find the right charity it turns out that you can. I am thoroughly enjoying every step, the running, the fundraising and the ‘spreading the word!’ Get out there and be awesome.
If you would like to support Alice her fundraising page is: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/running4familiesworldwide
Alice's YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkV544gjyuonzFZrHDJ9txA