2,020km Challenge for Alzheimer’s Society – September Report

2,020km Challenge

As I’m having a much needed rest day today, it seems like a good time to get this month’s report out! These months are flying by at the moment but in September, I wanted to really push on and get ahead of the curve in the 2,020km challenge, but what is it? Let me tell you!

At the beginning of the year, I was talking with some friends about a potential challenge of getting to 2,020km in 2020 by a combination of running and hiking to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society (United Against Dementia). Considering I’ve not done anywhere near half this distance when training for marathons, it seemed like a step (or steps) too far! Nonetheless I dived in and am giving it a jolly good go! Here’s the full criteria of the challenge:

  • Total distance: 2,020 km / 1,255 miles in 2020
  • Hiking: “cross-country” or “cross-terrain” walking
  • Running: putting one leg in front of the other quickly
  • Daily required distance: 5.52 km / 3.45 miles per day

At he end of each month, I give a run down of how it’s all progressing by analysing those stats from one of my many beautiful spreadsheets! Let’s check them out 🤓

September Progress

This was the month that I knew would be the last throw of the dice to get a good lead on the distance needed to complete the challenge. With a two week holiday in Cornwall, it was hiking galore across the South West Coast Path and I’ll be writing more about these travels as time goes on.

One of the many paths hiked in Cornwall in September

Although the hikes themselves were really strenuous and my legs were already battered from the year’s endeavours, it was important to push through and make the most of the days off work to get longer hikes done on the trip. This is reflected in the graph below where the red line (required distance each day) drops as I ramped up the distances.

September Progress

When I went on holiday in mid-September, you can see the required daily distance (red line) drops quite dramatically, even on the zoomed in scale! It’s been getting lower and lower this month which is a very good sign and exactly what I was looking for at the end of September after struggling a bit in June and July to really push on!

Overall

I haven’t had the red line down this low in the year at all so I’m really happy with how it’s gone! I said I wanted to get a big gap between the red line and blue line…well, mission accomplished – so far! The effort has been worth it although my legs are definitely feeling the strain and they are kinda screaming out for rest days!

As we’re going in to Autumn and Winter, the additional challenge will be to stay injury and illness free so I can get over the line with the evenings noticeably drawing in – just over 430 km to go now!

So let’s see how all the stats add up!

MonthAccumulative Distance
Completed, km (%)
Should Be At,
km (%)
Difference km
January138.78 km
(6.9%)
171.09 km
(8.5%)
-32.31 km
February298.99 km
(14.8%)
331.14 km
(16.4%)
-32.15 km
March473.82 km
(23.5%)
502.23 km
(24.9%)
-28.41 km
April644.88 km
(31.9%)
667.80 km
(33.1%)
-22.92 km
May841.38 km
(41.7%)
838.89 km
(41.5%)
+2.49 km
June1,012.30 km
(50.1%)
1,004.46 km
(49.7%)
+7.84 km
July1,180.26 km
(58.4%)
1,175.55 km
(58.2%)
+4.71 km
August1,381.22 km
(68.4%)
1,346.64 km
(66.7%)
+34.58 km
September1,584.14 km
(78.4%)
1,512.21 km
(74.9%)
+71.93 km

Wow! In the overall picture, the last 2 weeks have really been noticeable to drive the daily average down and for the first time, below the psychological 5 km mark! Considering it took 5 months to recover my daily average (blue line) above the required amount (red line), I’m so happy to have clawed my way back to this position! Now I have a real chance being about 15 rest days (72 km) ahead but it’s not over by any stretch! Staying injury and illness free is key now, don’t want another “blue line dip”!

Let’s look at the activity count and breakdown and see what activities contributed to the distance count:

MonthRuns (%)Hikes (%)Active DaysTotal Days
January16
(73%)
6
(27%)
2231
February14
(70%)
6
(30%)
2029
March15
(68%)
7
(32%)
2231
April10
(45%)
12
(55%)
2230
May10
(39%)
16
(61%)
2631
June10
(48%)
11
(52%)
2130
July9
(39%)
14
(61%)
2331
August3
(12%)
22
(88%)
2531
September3
(12%)
22
(88%)
2530
Total90 
(44%)
116 
(56%)
206244

Well, that’s uncanny, exactly the same activity count in September as was in August although August had an additional rest day due to being a longer month! Certainly made the most of the hikes judging by the effect is had on the graph above.

Let’s see how the hikes have affected the distance:

MonthDistance by Running (%)Distance by Hiking (%)Total Distance
January86.54 km
(62%)
52.24 km
(38%)
138.78 km
February84.14 km
(53%)
76.06 km
(47%)
160.20 km
March93.15 km
(53%)
81.68 km
(47%)
174.83 km
April67.14 km
(39%)
103.92 km
(61%)
171.06 km
May69.3 km
(35%)
127.2 km
(65%)
196.5 km
June59.52 km
(35%)
111.41 km
(65%)
170.93 km
July60.27 km
(39%)
107.68 km
(61%)
167.95 km
August22.02 km
(11%)
178.94 km
(89%)
200.96 km
September18.64 km
(9%)
184.28 km
(91%)
202.93 km
Total560.72 km
(35%)
1,023.42 km 
(65%)
1,584.14 km

Another personal best in terms of distance achieved this month with 200+ km clocked up for the 2nd successive month but don’t get used to it! October may be a slightly quieter month now and I will be doing what I can to keep injury free with more runs in the evening but shorter distances now required. Time will tell but we’re in the final quarter now!

Charity Fundraising

I’m aiming to raise as much as I can for the Alzheimer’s Society, which is dedicated to researching, supporting and caring for families affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

This is a debilitating condition that slowly erodes the brain, affecting memory, awareness, personality and ability to communicate. Simply put, it’s horrible for both the patient and family and my Nana suffered from it in her final years so the motivation for me is as strong as it has been to do this challenge.

I have set up a Just Giving page here where you can donate and the money goes straight to the charity. I’ll also donate half the post payouts from whatever this report gets as well! Thank you to everyone who’s supported this and let’s get to that target of £2,020 together hey!

If you have Strava, feel free to encourage or banter with me on there – here’s a link to my profile! My activities also are now linked to the Justgiving page to track progress.

Until next month’s report, take it easy and catch you soon!

Nicky

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