With the racing calendar bare, parkruns cancelled and club training put on hold, the runners of Sperrin Harriers have had to think big. The virtual race around the world challenge will see the club travel across the globe with the miles logged by members each week.
Like most things in the current climate, the challenge is virtual and is carried out in accordance with current guidelines and regulations. Nevertheless, it has provided a great opportunity for the Harriers to connect, have a common goal and log some eco-friendly air miles.
The club challenge has seen Harriers collectively run a total of 6700 miles. This has seen the club cross Europe, Asia and beyond. Currently we are navigating our way through Oceania, as we run along the Southern coastline of Australia from Perth to Sydney.
Club chairperson Maureen Mallon commented, “No one ever expected this year to be so strange, scary and stressful. To keep the running community’s spirit up, the virtual running round the world is, in my opinion, the best way to try and keep members motivated. The best part of it is that it doesn’t matter who does what miles, speed, or how the miles are done it’s about members getting out. We all know the benefits of exercise both physically and mentally and it’s good to have something to focus on. No one knows when we will get back to group training or racing so for now it’s about supporting each other and working towards our virtual goal.”
Soon the club will head to New Zealand and then on to South America.
From the start of the challenge around 50 members have participated. For some members, the break from racing has provided the perfect time to build a solid training base for future races. Whereas for others, the priority is to get out and get some fresh air. Nevertheless, the club is connected by this common goal.
Joe Curry’s Marathon fundraiser
Spring time marathons, for many, are the climax of months of hard graft and training. Unfortunately, events such as the London and Belfast marathons have not taken place this year.
However, Joe Curry made sure his winter training would not be wasted. Back in April, the Cookstown man ran the landmark distance of 26.2 miles in his back garden!
Joe ran 1310 laps of his garden to raise funds for The Intensive Care Society. To date he has raised nearly £3000. Joe paid tribute to NHS staff, saying his past marathon and ultramarathon exploits would be easy in comparison to the challenges of frontline workers.
Mental Health Week
The club was proud to support mental health week. It’s no understatement to say that for many, running provides an opportunity to escape life’s problems. The exercise and club comradery is a great setting for members to help boost their mental health.
The club’s welfare officer, Briege McCann reaffirms the club’s position to support the mental well being of the club’s members. She said, “Mental Health week is a great opportunity to pause and reflect, not just to look after ourselves, but all around. Sperrin Harriers is much more than just a running club, but a community where each member is highly valued.”
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