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Images clockwise from main photo (left): Kevin at New York City marathon; the Arc to Arch team in Paris; Kevin (left) with two Arc to Archers; Kevin’s stag do - a marathon of course at Orange County in the USA; and Kevin promotes his favoured charity - Rethink.


My family have also been huge support- ers of mine. Before doing anything, I spoke to my mum, brother and sister to make sure they were ok with me talking publically about my dad. With that in mind, if you’re thinking about running for someone who has a termi- nal illness, ask for their permission first as they may not want people knowing.


BLOGGING


FUNDRAISING HAS almost become like mar- keting - you need to come up with various strategies on how to spread the word and pro- mote yourself. Blogging is a great way to con- nect with people. I read a few blogs on suicide and mental health and they were quite sombre so I wanted to do one that was more light- hearted, as strange as that sounds. Through my blog I was able to show my personality and that helped attract more people. My blog was mentioned in the Guardian and that had a snowball effect of bringing lots of new people to my page.


GETTING PRESS COVERAGE


WHEN I first started doing the marathons I got a bit of coverage in the local press and I started contacting sports editors and building a relationship with them. Writing press releases


is also important and don’t send them to a generic address like ‘info@’, try and find out people’s names and send them personal emails.


GETTING THE PUBLIC’S ATTENTION I THINK fundraising is predominantly about the stories you tell. My friends and family’s support is important, but about 75% of the donations I re- ceive are from strangers. You’d be amazed at how generous people are. I did a Q&A session online and someone asked me what my dream marathon would be and I said New York. Afterwards, some- one who’d been reading from America emailed me to say they’d bought me plane tickets to New York. So I phoned the organisers of the NY mara- thon and told them that I’d been given tickets to New York but I didn’t have a place in the race and they were able to arrange for me to enter. It was a dream come true!


FINDING THE NEXT CHALLENGE


AFTER THE 52 marathons I took some time off and thought about what I could do next. Arc2Arch has been incredible but has also been the most chal- lenging experience of my life. When you’ve finished your event, you probably


won’t want to do anything similar again, but once the pain eases your thoughts will turn to the next challenge, trust me!


NORTHERN RUNNING EGUIDE 19


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