I’m not the hero of this part of ‘The 153 Mile Challenge’ story

I read recently that the secret to a great story is to make sure you have three key parts – ‘challenge, struggle and resolution’.  Add to that a ‘hero’ and you’ve got yourself a great story.

Well I realised easy enough that I needed to set the challenge part.  I wish someone had told me sooner about the struggle bit though.

Since 2009 whilst there have been huge positives, the bit we choose to focus on, there have been a number of tremendous struggles.  Not least real illness, lost miles and the need to make choices that kept us going one step at a time.

We’ve definitely been through the ‘years of struggle’.  I’m not sure they are even over yet.  This is the biggest challenge myself and Kirst have ever faced (by far).  As I have said many times before this is our “Everest on our doorstep”.

Why am I writing this post today?

Kirst is travelling to London today to celebrate being nominated for a prestigious national award for her day job.  I am incredibly proud of her given the extreme pain she has suffered and the struggles we have faced together recently.  With a bit of luck she will win but we are happy with just being nominated.  She is the real hero of this part of the story not me.  Without her I would not have continued many, many times.  She has been the one even in the midst of her own pain that has said “where is the adventure”; “it’s too late to turn back now” (that’s the clean version) and many more motivating comments.

Whilst I am on the subject of the most important comments ever said to me another was by Kevin McIntyre our charitable partner at MPAC.  He said “I realise the sacrifices you and Kirst have made to make this happen”.  I definitely know you understand my feelings on a delayed train journey Kevin.  Thank you, your comments keep us both going.

Wondering what has happened to the 153 Mile Challenge in 2011?

In 2011 we licenced the format to a number of other organisation.  We didn’t do any direct challenges.  One of the licenced events was with Dukes Theatre, Lancaster and there Creative Learning Director Guy Christiansen.  Guy said the following about our input:

“The 153 challenge is a brilliant, simple and accessible idea which we wanted to adopt for a youth based project up in the Lancaster area. As a co-producer for the Cultural Olympiad Programme for Lancashire on the lead up to 2012 I was looking for a large scale project which would unite ideas of art and sport with a personal challenge and the 153 concept seemed appropriate.

The 153 challenge enables people to achieve their own personal bests whilst being a part of something larger than themselves.  This offers a certain kudos and status to people’s individual challenges. The online support and activity packs also enable individuals and groups to reach a far greater range of people and create an interactive blog/diary of their experiences.

Our version of the 153 Mile Challenge which we developed with Tyrer Sorrel was called ‘The 360 degree challenge’.  It came about through a formal partnership between Dukes Theatre, LCC Young Peoples Service and Blaze – Cultural Olympiad Programme. The three partners invested cash and in-kind donations to the tune of £30K which enabled the programme to have a direct contact with nearly 400 young people across the Lancashire County and indirect contact to over 8000 young people and community members through the facebook and web based interfaces. The project supported 16 young cyclists who completed 218 miles of cycling”

Find out more at the http://yps.lancashire.gov.uk/360-challenge

When you visit the site you will see the influence of ‘The 153 Mile Challenge’ immediately.  We can do the same for you.  Contact us now and we will help you set up your own personal or organisational challenges.  It all adds to our challenge of generating “£20 million for 20 charities over 20 years”.  We are happy to share and inspire.  It can be “one of the most worthwhile experiences you will ever have”.

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