Festive running challenge receives global support

Clare Rixon, centre, with supporters of Marathon in a Day. Picture: Derek Martin DM17735585a
Clare Rixon, centre, with supporters of Marathon in a Day. Picture: Derek Martin DM17735585a

People from all over the world have signed up for a festive virtual running challenge, organised by a Worthing marathon runner and her coach in aid of Mind.

Clare Rixon and Kev Betts set up Run up to Christmas following the success of their {https://www.worthingherald.co.uk/news/runner-s-marathon-idea-backed-by-olympic-hero-1-8065057/Marathon in a Day scheme}, backed by British Olympic hero Dame Kelly Holmes.

The aim is to raise more than £6,000 with a festive challenge that can be run anywhere and in any way.

Clare said: “We love running, we love a challenge, we love quirkiness and we love being inclusive.

“This is not a run streak challenge, you do not need to run every day but you obviously can if you want to.”

Five milestones were set to be completed by Christmas Day, ranging from running 50km to 250km in 25 days.

Clare, who lives with her husband in South Farm Road, has been running a marathon each month during 2018, with her last one of the year planned in Portsmouth on Sunday.

She said: “Running was a game changer for me, is a game changer, and I’m working hard every day to get better at it.”

She has the support of her proud mum, Lee Spicer-Howard, who has seen her daughter battle with depression.

Lee said: “Clare and her friend and coach Kevin came up with an idea to get more people running and at the same time raise money the charity Mind.

“They have both suffered from depression and Mind was a source of help when they were at their lowest.

“Having this in common and wanting to do something to give back, earlier this year they designed a virtual marathon that anyone, any age, any ability could do, either on their own or with friends. They helped to raise more than £3,000 for Mind.

“The new event is Run up to Christmas and having had no publicity, only their own Twitter account and Clare’s blog, it is completely full. They have more than 1,500 people signed up to take part, people from all around the world, including a ladies’ running club in Saudi Arabia.

“People can run on their own or in a team or a club. Run up to Christmas, like Marathon in a Day, is fully inclusive and focuses on people taking part. It is all about community and support rather than speed and elitism.”

Those who complete the festive virtual running challenge will earn a unique medal, designed especially by Clare and Kev.

For more information, visit runuptochristmas.com