Dietetic student, Olivia Hill, wanted to raise money for charity creatively whilst also motivating others to keep active and try running.

Virtual MarathonBeing an active member of the Instagram running community herself, she saw that virtual races were starting to become very popular. After watching one race called ‘Marathon in a day’ take off raising lots of money for the charity, Mind, she decided that it was a great way to bring runners together whilst also fundraising for charity. However, Olivia wanted to attract a different audience, the “I have never run before” crowd or the “I only run 5k” runners. She wanted to prove to them that they can become marathon runners.

“I found running a year ago whilst living in Hong Kong where gym membership prices were outrageous, and I have never looked back. Running has changed me in so many positive ways and I am now training for the London Marathon 2018. So many of my friends say to me “I wish I could complete a marathon” and I truly believe that they can, and that you can! So I wanted to create something accessible to everyone. The Twelve Day Marathon is a 26.2 mile challenge that takes place over 12 days, the 12 days of Christmas. Participants can walk, jog or run the distance, and split it up however they choose. For example, my mum will walk a little over 2 miles each day to complete the challenge. I am planning on running two half marathons a few days apart to achieve the distance. Dominic, my partner who also helped create this challenge will be running it in 2 mile chunks as fast as he can to hit new PBs. The options are endless. The whole idea is to keep people active over the festive period, where we are all guilty of indulging a little too much and perhaps not getting any exercise in. I also hope that it sparks a new hobby for people. We have had whole families enter to complete it together, making sure to get quality family time over the holidays which I think is great! All finishers receive a marathon finishers medal, which is winter themed and just as all marathon completers deserve, nice and chunky! All profits made from the challenge are going to Variety – the children’s charity. Variety support children and young people in the UK who are sick, disabled or disadvantaged and the money we raise will help buy specialist equipment, so that they can gain the independence, freedom and dignity they deserve to make the most out of their childhood. We have now gone global, receiving entrants from 8 different countries, which is fantastic and we have had some amazing support from BounceUk and Running Monkey, providing us with prizes and giveaways. We still have spaces left, so please get involved and become a Twelve Day Marathoner!”

The Twelve Day Virtual Marathon will be taking place over the 12 days of Christmas, December 25th – January 5th and is open internationally. Go to www.twelvedaymarathon.org for further details.

You can also like the Facebook Page and follow @twelvedaymarathon on Instagram. You can follow Olivia on Instagram at @thenutritiousrunner.