Suzie Mills - 12 Marathons in 12 months!
Updated: Feb 8
After meeting Ben during the early days of the 401 Challenge, and being there on day 401 when I heard that he was setting up a foundation, I knew that I wanted to put my full support behind it. The goals and the vision of the 401 Foundation was something that I believed in, they struck a chord with me and the work that Ben wanted to do with the Foundation was again inspiring.
I decided I wanted to do something that would push me, and something that friends and family could get behind, but also something that I could have fun with; that would also help my physical and mental wellbeing. I decided that I would try to run 12 marathons in 12 months.
Before meeting Ben I didn’t want to do 1 marathon and at the point I said I would do this I had done 7 marathons over 2 years - so 12 marathons in 12 months was definitely going to be a challenge. I planned in a few extra marathons just in case, and on January 1st 2018 I completed the first of 12. I ended up smashing both my fundraising target and my marathon total for the year.
After a DNF (did not finish) in March due to trying to run with the Flu, I had a bit of a wobble wondering if I could actually get this done. July saw me complete 3 marathons in 4 weekends and in September I completed the 12 in 9 months. I didn’t stop there though, I had additional marathons booked and completed a further 3 marathons for a total of 15 in 12 months finishing up in Leeds running with 2 great friends that I had met through the 401 challenge. A perfect ending to my year of marathons.
Raising money for something you believe in, means knowing that all the potential pain you are going through is so worth it. Ben was so supportive as was the 401 Family. The encouragement that I got from people that had got involved with the challenge but I hadn’t actually met was amazing, and it really did lift me and help me keep going when I started to have doubts; it really is an amazingly supportive community.
My biggest tip for anyone wanting to raise money for the foundation is do something that pushes you out of your comfort zone, that people can get behind, that makes you feel good and that you have achieved something you may have thought you could never achieve. I created a Facebook page specifically about my 12 marathons and I would post regularly to that about how it was going how I was feeling, what I was worried about; use social media and bring people along on the journey with you.