What is the “24 miles in 24 hours” challenge?
24 miles in 24 hours is a fundraiser that my friend and I created to raise money and awareness for the current crisis in Yemen. We ran 1 mile, every hour, on the hour, for 24 hours; a 10 minute run with 50 minutes of rest, 24 times.
I was motivated to do this because I was shocked by the lack of media coverage on the war and crisis in Yemen that has been going on for the past five years. In light of the millions of people who have been displaced and are in need of humanitarian assistance, we wanted to put ourselves in an uncomfortable and unpleasant situation – to be out of our comfort zone and away from some of the everyday privileges we take for granted.
While this is far from comparable to what the people of Yemen are facing every day, we wanted to raise awareness and money for the people who need it the most. By updating our friends through social media, we encouraged them to donate and share our story to reach as many people as possible.
What were the best and hardest parts of the challenge?
The challenge was tough. We mentally and physically pushed ourselves to the limit, running all day and all night, rain or shine. We battled sore legs, blistering feet, fatigue, as well as the hurdle to get up every hour to run.
The hardest part was getting through the night without any sleep and running in the dark and rain. The best part was seeing how much we raised so quickly – nearly £1000 before even running our first mile! Everyone was extremely supportive and the constant flow of donations and encouraging messages was a big motivator to get us through those 24 hours.
Although it was challenging, it was an incredibly rewarding experience, and it makes me extremely happy knowing that the money we’ve raised will go on to help so many people.
What’s your next challenge?
My next challenge is a little broader and less concrete. I would like to start volunteering more and giving up more of my free time to help those less fortunate than me. Whether that is going to talk to refugees, helping out at a soup kitchen or supporting homeless people, I believe that by making small changes and giving up snippets of our time we can really make a difference to the lives of others.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to support worthwhile causes in this way?
I think the more unconventional your fundraising method is, the more people are willing to donate and support your cause. Also, do your research to make sure you know exactly where the money is going!