Worthing runners launch virtual Advent challenge Run Up to Christmas 2019

Runners around the world are signing up for a virtual Advent challenge that was started in Worthing two years ago.

The annual Run Up to Christmas aims to support people with mental health problems during the festive season and encourage people to stay active when they might easily over-indulge.

It was the brainchild of keen runner Clare Rixon and personal trainer Kev Betts, business partners at Worthing-based company Run Things.

The friends started with Marathon in a Day and followed it with other running challenges, including RU2C, launched in 2017 to provide a support network at what is often the hardest time of the year.

Worthing runner Clare Rixon, front, with, from left, Martine Rossiter, Michael Rix and Hilary Spicer. Photo by Derek Martin DM17735585a

Kev said: “For us, the #RU2C is a reminder that during the festive period, people struggle. Whilst a great many of us are lucky to be in good health, surrounded by family and friends and looking forward to Christmas, there are some who can’t say the same.

“We’re there for those people, to keep them active, to talk to them, to encourage them and to raise money for Mind, who do such a great job for people with such a huge range of mental health issues.

“Our events are based around community, support and participation. By taking part in our little event, runners across the world are helping and supporting people without even realising it.”

Run Things gives a minimum 50 per cent of event profits and 20 per cent from other sales to Mind, last year raising more than £20,000 for the charity.

The RU2C runs from December 1 to 25. Entry is £14, or £12.60 per person in a group of eight or more.

Clare said: “The RU2C is inclusive and available worldwide. People can take part wherever they are, however they like, so long as they use their own legs. Participants can link their Strava to their own account area or upload runs manually, giving them a league table position, too.

“We do not actively promote talent-based competition or elitism, instead preferring to instil a sense of shared responsibility and enjoyment in everyone who takes part, regardless of their ability.

“We are particularly successful with people who have experience of mental health issues and those who value charities who offer support to people during challenging times.

“As with all our virtual events, we hope to engage runners of all ages and abilities to come together as a community, focus on a common goal and support each other along the way.”

Visit runthings.co.uk for more information and got to Run Up to Christmas 2019 to sign up.