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

A Little Late…

Sorry about taking a little longer to get November’s report out, my website has been down and there have been a few things happening in 3D life dictating play, leading to a big burnout which I’m still recovering from now. However, I have still kept up with the 2,020km challenge, which has been a great outlet to vent that excess energy from being stressed!

GPS Issues

The other reason is that I’ve noticed quite a lot of disparity between the distances I’ve actually been doing when tracking manually vs what’s been tracked by my GPS. Seems that GPS can’t be completely relied upon as it was cutting out corners, sometimes even whole sections and I know for a fact I wasn’t running through people’s houses and back gardens mostly every run this year! The difference was between 0.1-0.5 miles on average, some were more than a mile!

So I had to painstakingly go through all 240 activities I’d tracked already and at one point, I’d done 60km more than GPS lead me to believe! After finishing the tracking, it turned out I’d done 30km more so now, I’m manually tracking everything to see me through the finish line.

If you’re going to do something, do it right!

2,020 km Challenge

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 the 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  😃

November Progress

Now any activities in the evening are pretty much ruled out because we have no street lighting in our neighbourhood and I’m not too keen on running with a head torch, the mornings and weekends are where its been at for me since the clocks went back. I actually preferred it with not having to worry about getting a run in after a stressful day of work but there’s definitely been a noticeable change in the scenery now.

The leaves are no more

Yes winter is now gripping us and the leaves that were once brown and giving those Autumnal colours are now condemned to mulch on the ground. The low Sun casting these long shadows across the paths as the trees now let in more light from above – although when the Sun sets at 16:30 and getting earlier, there’s not much time to get these activities in!

So how did November go?

November Progress

Last month, I said that the target was to stay under 5km but that was before “GPS-gate” so once I had tracked all the activities, it shifted my red line (the required daily average distance to complete the challenge) down even more to below 3km per day at one point!

This has come to some relief as my legs have been in a lot of pain through November and so I tapered off the distance to run on the tarmac and concrete, keeping it at about 4 km per run just to keep the red line in check and making the most of the weekends to get some big hikes in.

Overall

No wonder my legs are in tatters as it turns out I had actually done about 30 km (3/4 of a marathon) more than what GPS would leave me to believe! This meant that at one point in the year, I was actually well over 100 km ahead, a nice buffer to go in to Winter with. Now that the red line is looking a lot more manageable thanks to the stoic efforts of this past year, I’m definitely going to be taking a few rest days that I’d built up over the year with that nice feeling of, “if it’s pouring with rain, I’ll stay inside, thanks very much!”

With the additional km factored in now, I only have 91 km to get through in December! Here’s how the year has stacked up with the correct, manually tracked distances in:

MonthAccumulative Distance
Completed, km (%)
Should Be At,
km (%)
Difference km
January145.00 km
(7.2%)
171.09 km
(8.5%)
-26.08 km
February312.46 km
(15.5%)
331.14 km
(16.4%)
-18.68 km
March495.32 km
(24.5%)
502.23 km
(24.9%)
-6.90 km
April672.26 km
(33.3%)
667.80 km
(33.1%)
+4.46 km
May877.14 km
(43.4%)
838.89 km
(41.5%)
+38.25 km
June1,054.37 km
(52.2%)
1,004.46 km
(49.7%)
+49.91 km
July1,226.64 km
(60.7%)
1,175.55 km
(58.2%)
+51.09 km
August1,433.41 km
(71.0%)
1,346.64 km
(66.7%)
+86.77 km
September1,627.87 km
(80.6%)
1,512.21 km
(74.9%)
+115.67 km
October1,795.58 km
(88.9%)
1,683.30 km
(83.3%)
+112.29 km
November1,928.67 km
(95.5%)
1,848.87 km
(91.5%)
+79.81 km

Below is the chart I shared last month before manually mapping all the activities. The crossover happened around June time when I finally caught up. However, the 2nd chart below with everything manually mapped shows that I actually achieved it a LOT sooner, shifting everything over by a month and seeming to accelerate the effort as I believed I was still not out of the woods… jeez, that GPS…

When only using GPS tracking, the crossover was around June
When tracked manually, the crossover actually happened a lot sooner

Even though the illness and injuries that happened in the early part of the year still had a big impact and I needed to catch up a few months, the impact was only a setback of 3 months, rather than 5 that I was living under the impression of! I’m pretty happy with that, I didn’t know until the end of November and was still going hammer and tong!

Now to think that I’m less than 100 km away from what has been a massive challenge, wow, I can’t put it in to words!

Here’s a breakdown of what contributed to the distance count, these will still remain as they were for the rest of the year:

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
October13
(52%)
12
(48%)
2531
November13
(57%)
10
(43%)
2330
Total116 
(46%)
138 
(54%)
254335

Another win for the runs in November with 13 vs 10 hikes, bringing the total ratio of runs to hikes ever closer to 50:50, purely due to the running in the mornings and getting the quick distances in, keeping it all ticking over. I probably won’t be able to get it all the way to 50:50… no way I’m doing 24 runs in a month, not with these shins haha!

Let’s have a look at the distance contributed per activity, which would have changed with the manual tracking:

MonthDistance by Running (%)Distance by Hiking (%)Total Distance
January90.99 km
(63%)
54.02 km
(37%)
145.01 km
February89.82 km
(54%)
77.63 km
(46%)
167.46 km
March99.41 km
(54%)
83.46 km
(46%)
182.86 km
April71.7 km
(41%)
105.23 km
(59%)
176.93 km
May74.45 km
(36%)
130.43 km
(64%)
204.88 km
June63.9 km
(36%)
113.33 km
(64%)
177.23 km
July64.16 km
(37%)
108.11 km
(63%)
172.27 km
August23.34 km
(11%)
183.42 km
(89%)
206.77 km
September19.15 km
(10%)
175.31 km
(90%)
194.46 km
October79.36 km
(47%)
88.35.19 km
(53%)
167.71 km
November59.26 km
(45%)
73.82 km
(55%)
133.09 km
Total735.55 km
(38%)
1,193.12 km 
(62%)
1,928.67 km

It was the runs that I seemed to lose a lot of the distance from GPS from January to August which saw the distance go up and turns out I did over 200 km in May which wasn’t the case with GPS tracking. I lost quite a few kms from manually tracking in September and October though as September lost its 200 km club status and October dropped down too.

November’s lockdown couldn’t keep me away though and although it was the lowest distance I’ve done in a month this year, considering the crap we’ve been through, I’ll take that distance no problem! To the finish line!

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. 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, it’s a shame I only found out about that in July…oh well!

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

Nicky

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *