Hi My name is Zoe Elliott and I have recently taken part in my first triathlon raising money for MS-UK. The whole thing came about by chance – but it was one of those times in life when the stars align. I had been looking to get fit for a few years as my children get older and I can no longer use ‘babies’ as an excuse. My husband is a marathon runner and most years does the London Marathon and has raised a fair bit of money over the years, so I felt it was about time I joined him in the fitness stakes. I decided to do a triathlon mainly because it is a multi-sport event and a bit different to doing fun runs. It was also a suitable challenge to work towards for an unfit mum of two!
When I entered, I saw that MS-UK were one of the charities on the list that you could fundraise for and it was an obvious charity to raise money for having lost my cousin to MS just five years earlier. I have never raised money before for charity so it was about time I did. Thinking about Robin as I trained was also a huge motivating factor – I literally thought about him every time I went out – particularly when I ran as I really am rubbish at running and don’t enjoy it at all!
In terms of my fundraising I mainly canvassed friends and family on Facebook and colleagues at work through internal emails. It was amazing to get donations from people at work that I have never even met whose lives have been touched by MS in some way.
I think people donate for two reasons – one for the charity in question and two, to show support to a friend. Most of my friends have wondered how the hell I have trained for a triathlon – I work full time, travel all over the country, deal with a four hour round trip commute to London twice a week and juggle looking after my two young boys (7 and 4), two dogs and three horses. I guess it’s the old saying ‘ask a busy person’. And to be honest if I had not decided to make the commitment to MS-UK it would have been easy to give up.
So if you are fundraising and thinking of a challenge, think of one that will impress your friends (!) but also one that is going to be good for your well being too. I am now fitter and stronger than I have been in years, and found space for a bit of me time in my hectic schedule – I might even be able to go for a run with my husband someday soon!
So how did it go you ask? Well I came 4th out of 26th in my category – a super sprint triathlon of 200m swim, 18K bike and 2.5K run. My competitive spirit kicked in and I had a great day with all my family around me in support! I have raised over £1000 and the money is still coming in…. I will keep the page open and do a few more triathlons this year – including my 7 year old who will do his first in June! www.justgiving.com/zoe-elliott7