Meet Joelle, one of only two individuals that decided to tackle the Virtual Great North Run for Family Fund this year. Joelle put her headphones in and her trainers on, and tackled the 13.1 miles completely on her own. Having initially signed up for the Great North Run in January she decided she was going to complete her challenge no matter what.

“I set myself the goal of training and running the Great North Run in January. I had trained for months when we went into lockdown and found out that it would become a virtual event. I couldn’t let all the hard work go to waste so I decided I would run regardless of it being virtual. It took a lot of motivation and dedication to continue training knowing I wouldn’t get to experience the real thing and have the crowd cheering me on, but knowing it was all for a good cause was what kept me training and fundraising”.

Joelle explained that she had chosen to fundraise for Family Fund because she had “been eager to run another half marathon for a while and when my sister mentioned that she was running a half marathon for Family Fund I wanted to join in. I learnt more about the charity and the work they do through my sister and found that it was a charity and cause I wanted to support. I follow the charity on social media and that encouraged me even more by seeing the impact Family Fund has on people’s lives.”

Running a half marathon is no easy feat. On keeping up the motivation, Joelle said “when I set out running the 13.1 miles alone there were a few things keeping me motivated and moving. Firstly knowing how rewarding it would feel to complete a half marathon, whilst raising money for a great charity that helps so many families, and secondly the thought of a very cold beer at the end of the race!”


Fundraising top tips

Joelle utilised the fundraising pack that was sent out to her to come up with creative and different ways to help raise as much money as possible. “I used the kit that Family Fund sent me to fundraise, I liked the idea of asking people to donate and guess my finishing time. The winner would get a bottle of wine whilst the rest went to Family Fund, win for everyone! Giving something back for a donation, like a raffle or prize seemed to work really and got more people involved and donating.”

“My top tips for anyone looking to fundraise and complete a challenge would be to not be too hard on yourself. Taking on a challenge and fundraising for Family Fund is amazing in itself without added pressure of having to be the best. Set yourself a goal, try and enjoy it and complete it! You will feel amazing in the end! Also don’t forget to drink plenty of water!”

Joelle managed to complete the virtual Great North Run along the coast of Blackpool. She didn’t let the cancellation of the main event stop her, and brought her own cheerleaders and finish line to her race.

Read more fundraising stories here.

If you think you could take on your own challenge, no matter how big or small, then get in touch with us at [email protected]