#Run1000 Battle of the Nations Challenge - by Claire Wright

03 February 2021

Claire Wright running during the snow for the Run1000 Challenge

CLA South West Rural Surveyor, Claire Wright, donned her running gear for a good cause at the turn of the New Year. Here she tells us more about the #Run1000 Battle of the Nations challenge which raised a staggering £18,081 for FCN.

"I’ve been a runner for around the last 4 years. In more normal times I would usually be found training for some sort of a race or sweating my way around the local Parkrun.

Lockdown has made it much harder to get motivated, virtual races are all well and good but I need my cheering crowd and my goody bag of stash at the finishing line! The dark mornings and wet weather means January is normally my worst month for wanting to drag my carcass out of bed, lace up my trainers and hit the trails.

Haphazardly searching online one evening for a challenge to keep me focused I ended up having a chance conversation with a CLA member over Twitter who told me about the #Run1000 Battle of the Nations challenge in aid of charities focusing on rural mental health. I was hooked and signed up shortly afterwards.

The challenge comprised of five teams (England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland & the Rest of the World) battling to run or walk at least 1000 miles for the month of January whilst raising money for selected rural charities. As part of Team England I am fund raising for Farming Community Network, an organisation which needs no introduction. We smashed our 1000 mile target before lunchtime on New Year’s Day which was a phenomenal effort.

As the challenge drew to a close 371 runners for Team England had raised £18,081 for FCN and clocked up 20356 miles! My contribution was 77 of those miles. In total, the five nations logged 64,885 miles which would have taken us twice around the globe!

Knowing that this challenge raised cash for a cause that is close to my heart has certainly made getting out of bed to run by the light of a head torch so much easier. The weather conditions have certainly been varied ranging from deep snow and ice to torrential rain and trainer sucking mud. My sister even queried whether I was training for Tough Mudder after I’d negotiated one footpath swamp.

Now to find something to keep me running on through February!"

Well done Claire and to everyone who took part, an amazing result for important rural mental health charities!