Last Sunday (30 November), SAMH Get Active programmes manager, Maurice Donohue, completed his challenge to run 100 half marathons in 100 weeks. He spoke to scottishrunningguide.com about the highs and lows of the last two years.
How did you come up with the idea for the challenge?
The idea of the challenge all started when it was announced that Scottish Athletics/jogscotland had created a partnership with SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health). At the time I was a sports development officer for West Dunbartonshire Leisure Trust, where part of my role was to co-ordinate the jogscotland programme within the local area as well as having links with the local athletics clubs.
The aim to raise awareness of SAMH and promoting physical activity to improve people’s mental health and wellbeing started with my MO GO 50 Challenge. I thought this might capture the imagination of the local community and beyond and of course as I was reaching my 50th birthday in January 2014, what better way to prepare and challenge myself, was to take on the 50 half marathons starting from 6 January 2013. It was also a time where there was still the feel good factor stemming from the London Olympics.
Why did you decide to continue past 50?
As I completed the 50th half marathon, I thought it would be best to continue the quest to take me through to 2014 and try and encourage more people to take up walking, jogging and running as we had the Commonwealth Games coming right on our doorstep. What better way to try and inspire adults and children to look after their health?
At the start of the year I joined SAMH to take on the role at the Get Active Programmes Manager, where the aim is to encourage everyone to look after their mental and physical health by being more active. So, it was from here that the MO GO FIFTY MORE Challenge was developed to reach the target of 100 Half Marathons in 100 Weeks.
What’s been the hardest part of the challenge?
Over the course of the two years I have had great support from family, friends and the running fraternity, which has been fantastic . The challenge has been setting aside the time required in order to complete the 13.1mile distance each weekend.
What were the highlights?
The highlights were undoubtedly the local training runs that were set up to allow participants to join me in my half marathon challenge. People could take part in either a 5k, 10k or the half marathon distance. This type of event created a sense of community spirit and hopefully gave encouragement to people that they can achieve their goals.
To sponsor Maurice visit his Just Giving page.