Pocklington School Lower Sixth pupils, Georgie Taylor and Amy Jordan, have smashed their fundraising target and raised over £2000 for Martin House Hospice for Children and Young People, by each running 100 miles during the month of February.
The pair decided to raise money for Martin House Hospice as it is a charity very close to them both, supporting Georgie’s sister and family, throughout her life.
To raise money, Georgie and Amy set themselves a challenge of each running 100 miles throughout February, which meant running 3.5 miles (5.5km) every day for the month. The girls ran around villages, along canals, and down country tracks, some days running a bit further than the daily minimum in order to give themselves a rest day at the end of the week.
Neither Georgie nor Amy had run regularly before lockdown, but they both started to run about once or twice a week to keep themselves fit and active which gave them the courage to set themselves the challenge of running every day for four weeks. They commented: “We wanted to push ourselves as we thought we needed a challenge, and it gave us something to work towards during lockdown to keep our spirits up.”
Running every day is no mean feat, and requires great commitment and resilience to get through those tough days when the relentless pounding of the paths starts to tell on aching legs or the weather outside is not that appealing.
Georgie said: “It was hard to motivate myself during the halfway mark but once I’d pushed through that, it was a lot easier, as well as having lots of people offering encouragement and support. The weather was also a challenge as each week we had to run through a variety of rain and wind, then snow blizzards and icy roads, then slush and mud, the odd bright sunny day then finishing with thick fog on the last day - which in total was pretty difficult!”
Amy commented: “I found the first week relatively easy and I was really motivated by the amount of money people were donating in the first few days. However, as the snow and cold set in I found it incredibly hard to get myself out running, but with the encouragement from Georgie and people around us, we both managed to get out every day and complete our miles. By the end of the four weeks, it became more of a mental than physical challenge as I was getting very sore and achy from running every day but I am very proud to say I ran every mile and never failed a run.”
The girls were a great support for each other, particularly as most of the runs were completed separately due to Covid-19 restrictions. Georgie and Amy received support from their families, friends and teachers who gave them lots of motivation and encouragement. Martin House Hospice shared the girls’ story and JustGiving fundraising page on social media, resulting in members of the public donating to the campaign.
Aside from the weather and aching legs, the girls both agreed that there are many positives to running every day saying: “It gave us a chance to get outside and get away from being indoors, sat at a desk . It helped clear our heads and let out all our energy if we had been doing schoolwork all day. It also made us feel much healthier in general.”
Georgie concluded: “I’ve really enjoyed doing this challenge for the past month as it has pushed me to do more than I thought I was capable of. It helped me prove to myself that I can achieve something great if I put 100% effort in and overcome mental boundaries. I’m so glad I got to do this with Amy, I think we’ve been a great team, and to raise over £2000 for a charity that means so much to me is incredible.”
Amy said: “At the end of January I was inspired to do something active over February and after seeing a few people doing charity things I thought they’d be great to combine. I thought asking Georgie to join me would make a good team between us and the fact we got to do it for a cause so close to Georgie really helped us to keep going. I am so proud of both of us for raising over £2000 for Martin House Hospice and I would love to try and do something like this again.”
On completing the challenge, Mr Lea, Head of Drama and Amy’s Form Tutor, Pocklington School, wrote the following in a congratulations message: ‘Massive congrats to Amy and Georgie for completing their epic February run for Martin House Hospice. Through the Baltic, freezing weather and deep snow, you did it with half a day to spare! Amazing work and so much money raised! I have huge admiration and respect for both of you. What an amazing achievement and a wonderful, selfless, generous and dedicated thing to do. Now rest those legs!’
When the girls began their challenge, they set themselves a target to raise £400 on their JustGiving page. A month later, their current fundraising total stands at £2075, which will be a very welcome help to Martin House Hospice for Children and Young People. The charity provides care and support, free of charge, to families in which there is a child or young person with a short life expectancy. They care for families throughout West, East and North Yorkshire, both at the hospice and in the community.
Well done Georgie and Amy!