|Harold is the NZ Life Education mascot;
I thought it was only appropriate to have a photo with him
About 3 weeks ago I had my third and final go at donating blood. This year I’ve tried 3 different times to give the gift that can save lives, but every time I’ve managed to pass out either after or during. It’s been dramatic and draining for all of us involved, and this time the lady suggested that I ought to find a new way to give back and do a good deed.
Last Sunday after returning from home from a weekend in Christchurch, I wished that I’d thought of signing up for Do It In A Dress earlier, since I was already registered to run the Kerikeri Half Marathon on Saturday November 18th.
After a tweet from One Girl saying it wasn’t too late and encouraging me to do it, I signed up on Monday afternoon. I was already planning on doing the Kerikeri Half Marathon anyways so why not do it in a dress? With only 5 days to go I was a bit nervous committing to a fund-raising goal.
I opted to set the minimum goal of $240, which is enough to pay for one girl’s tuition in Sierra Leone. I hadn’t left myself much time, and I didn’t want to not make my goal.
Upon signing up, I quickly took to Facebook and Twitter, promoting my efforts to my family and friends. I wrote a post describing my newly decided mission
. Within the first 6 hours of my initial announcement, I had raised $100.
Whew. Maybe I could make my goal after all.Tuesday was a slower day, which saw no increase in donations. I started to panic. I personally messaged friends and family that were online after school ( and with the time difference, those friends were up pretty late). I had few say they were keen, and that was enough to leave me feeling reassured again that I just might meet my goal.
With still a little more than 24 hours to spare, I met my goal on Thursday afternoon! Even though I knew that ANY money I raised would be a benefit towards these girls education, I was so relieved that one girl would definitely be going to school. All my fretting eased, and I relaxed again.
But it didn’t stop there. Leading up to the actual race, my friends and family continued to blow me away with their generosity and my level of pride and appreciation for them continued to escalate.
Before I knew it, Friday night had rolled around and I was packing my bags not only to rise at 530am on SATURDAY morning, but to also spend Saturday evening in Auckland. I went to bed far too late, and despite my alarm not going off, I was still up at at 5.20am.
I wouldn’t do this on a weekday, so it was quite a miracle it happened on a weekend!
Before I knew it, we were on the road, and then at the start line, waiting in anticipation.
Thom was an amazing support team, dropping me off at the start line and then driving round to pick me up at the finish. He was there waiting to take my photo crossing the finish line.
|21.5km later, crossing the finish line in my dress!
The race itself was good. My main goal was to FINISH it
, especially considering that I hadn’t been very good at training regularly. My bonus goal was to do it in under 2 hours 58 minutes, which was my previous halfmarathon time in Dunedin
I’m not Usain Bolt and I’m okay with that.
Running is such a mental battle for me, as I do tend to get bored quickly and resort to walking. I made lots of ‘friends’ along the way, telling people about my dress, fundraising and just chatting about being an expat for the past 4 years.
I was ecstatic as I crossed the finish line and saw that my time was in fact 3 minutes under my old time ( the chip results later revealed my official time was 2:53 – a whole 5 minutes less!!). I’m not even hung up on the fact that it took me ages. Not only did I do it, but I improved my personal best.
|Post-race goodies from the boy
Thom being the awesome boyfriend that he is, had gone to the supermarket while I was running and stocked up the truck with a whole heap of various post-run supplies for our 3 hour drive down to Auckland. What a guy!
So there you have it, folks; my first charity mission was a success! But I can’t take the credit for that – I owe my friends and family that supported me the biggest, most heartfelt thank you of all time!
So I’d personally like to say a big thanks to Melissa Shearer (at The MellybooProject), Briar Lissington, Dave & Brenda Clarke, Margaret Clarke, Jenna Clarke, Heather Hewitt, Andrew Walker, Erik Smith (from On My Feet Or In My Mind), Anna Kerr, Genna and Dave Gillespie, Linda Huntley, Mel & Chris, Chloe Wyeth, Sharon & Dale Arnburg, Mike Bradford, Connie Ann Burton, and Margaret Anderson.
By the time I finished the race, my donation total was upwards of $500, and TWO girls were now able to go to school! THANK YOU just doesn’t do justice to express my gratitude towards everyone.
Thank you so much not only for donating, but for your kind words as well. I have to say that it feels absolutely wonderful to have your support from literally all over the globe.
To everyone who shared and retweeted my fundraising page,
I owe you a great big thank you as well, for spreading the message and awareness about the awesome work that OneGirl is doing.