Andi’s 2.6 Challenge

I have been fundraising for the Miscarriage Association since my own losses back in 2008. Since then I have ran several marathons and half-marathons to raise money and awareness about the work the charity does and the support they offer. I am very passionate about this cause and my friends and family are always incredibly generous when donating - knowing that it really does mean a lot to me and I can tell them what their money will be spent on and why it's needed.

When I sat down at the end of the day I had collected an incredible total of over £550 online with more promised to come in. I was absolutely stunned.

However, when I decided to take on the 2.6 challenge yesterday in place of this year’s London Marathon (which would have been my 5th VLM in aid of the MA) I had no idea that they would be so generous once again – particularly as many had already sponsored me for the race itself.

I decided to let them choose challenges for me and donate accordingly or challenge themselves to do something.

The challenges were a range of things and I started off by combining two of them and embarked on 26 minutes of skipping (Cheers Sam) whilst singing 26 renditions of ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’ (courtesy of Scotty who supports West Ham and knew as a Spurs supporter this would really get to me!!) 26min of skipping was actually really tough and burned more calories than 26mins of running. I highly recommend it during the lockdown!

I next decided to do the craziest of the challenges (possibly the one with the most potential for injury) and jump on my daughter’s pogo stick for 26 seconds. My mum and Elaine wanted to see that!! I did manage 26 jumps… Not sure if it was 26 seconds but I know the video I posted online made people smile! The kids make it look so easy and it’s really not!

That was followed by 26 Burpees – again very tough, thank you Kylie for that one, and 26 round kicks courtesy of my kickboxing friend Tasha. I had to do some practice beforehand for that!

All the time this was going on my friends were running, cycling and eating biscuits to support me in their own way and I am grateful to each and every one of them.

One of the toughest challenges for me had been set by my run club friend Gav – to run 2.6 miles up and down the high street of the town I live dressed as my favourite Disney character. Running 2.6 miles was obviously OK but running dressed up is way out of my comfort zone!!  And I had to knock up a costume in 24 hours with what I had at home. So in between the other challenges I made up a Frozen Anna outfit and finally talked myself into leaving the house!

It was incredibly nerve wracking. And there was more singing involved – thank you for that Karen! I saw several people I knew or recognised but just decided to keep smiling and singing like it was a totally normal thing to do on a Sunday afternoon in lockdown! Fortunately, soon I was home again- in 26mins as it happened. I’d faced some fears and I’d survived the experience!

All I had to do now was to write down 26 number one songs without help (great idea from Rob) – nailed it. And drink 2.6 glasses of my favourite drink (loved this one Steph) whilst wearing 26 t-shirts (ha ha Lisa!) – this I could definitely do (though getting the 26 t-shirts off afterwards required assistance from my daughter Lilia!)

Throughout this I clocked up 26 hugs with my gorgeous girls Indi and Lilia I have banked myself a 2.6hour nap courtesy of Helen as she knew I’d need it after all that!

The only thing I haven’t yet done is a big challenge from my Dad – to cycle marathon distance 26.2 miles. As I used up my daily pass to leave the house to do the ‘Anna run’ I will save the cycling for another day – but it will be done, and that will be my longest cycle ride ever.

When I sat down at the end of the day I had collected an incredible total of over £550 online with more promised to come in. I was absolutely stunned. I had no idea that me videoing myself doing silly things would amuse people so much and get them to donate so generously.

I am blessed with the most amazing people in my life that is for certain. Every time I pull on that vest they are always right behind me and that is the best feeling in the world. Thank you to everyone who supported me and contributed to a great 2.6 challenge, I almost enjoyed it as much as a marathon!