The reality of Run India; It's about to begin

It is now two weeks before we fly out to India, the reality has set in. I can hardly grasp the concept that my 77 day run from West to East of India is about to begin.

Photo Credit: Ilana Rose, World Vision (2015)

It's been two years of preparation with the idea of Run India being just that, an idea. The early formation of running across India began when I was in India in 2011. It started to take shape into 'Run India' after catching up for coffee with a friend who worked at World Vision.

Flights are booked, the packing has begun and I can now countdown to standing by Jaisalmer Fort, one of the largest fortifications in the world, and taking those first few steps into a VERY long run. I constantly feel overwhelmed with the never ending to-do list which includes training, meetings, logistical preparation, media engagements and fundraising. The thing that grounds me and keeps me calm is that I am so close to meeting the very people that I have been talking about and raising funds for all of this time. It is now time to meet them and hear their stories.

People keep asking me how I can fathom such a distance and a run of this duration. To be honest, I can't. The distance is an arbitrary figure to me. Something I can reel off when asked what Run India is. I can see the distance as I have plotted the route and I have memorised the spreadsheet of daily distances. But really I have no context for what a 77 day run will actually feel like. It is over double the distance and time frame from what I've ever done before and by far, my biggest challenge yet.

The team component of Run India is really coming to life and it's amazing. Initially we had such a small and nimble team, and now it's grown. The expedition team and project team has expanded and everyone is working so hard, to bring Run India to life. You can't do things like this alone and I'm so grateful to have this team with me on the journey.

Photo Credit: Ilana Rose, World Vision (2015)

We are now at a stage with Run India where it is a lot more about the wider community and how other people can experience what Run India is and use their own footsteps to make a positive impact to the lives of children in India. This initiative is not just about me - it's about you, your friends and your community and how you can come along to this journey. This is the major difference with any other project that I've ever done. I'm excited to share it with you all.

By having so many more people taking part, whether you're running at home, during your work break, or on holidays, it makes it more meaningful. You can also experience, on whatever level you choose to do a physical challenge of 12 weeks. That is a big deal!! It will be a challenge that will be both physical and mental. However, through the stories the Run India team will share, you will have a point of reference to a far greater challenge experienced by individuals in India. We are learning about the barriers to education that children face in India, and we are moving for them; for social change.

Photo Credit: Ilana Rose, World Vision (2015)

This is the perspective that I will draw upon when the going gets tough for me in India. We all of us will be pushing for something beyond the physical achievement and for something bigger than ourselves.

I warmly invited you to follow us here on the blog and through our social media channels; Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Photo Credit: Ilana Rose, World Vision (2015)

For those who choose to sign up to the 12 week challenge, I would ask you to consider what your WHY is!

  • Maybe you're getting fit.
  • You're inspired by India.
  • You are a teacher and want to see education for all children around the world.
  • Your friend challenged you to sign up.

Whatever it is that has inspired you to take on this challenge, tell your friends and share your personal story.

It will be your WHY that will help you through the ups and downs. Write it down, stick it on your fridge, tell your friends and keep going back to it.

Photo Credit: Ilana Rose, World Vision (2015)

You are also part of the Run India team, so make sure to share your story with us too by tagging #runindia in your posts.
I'm so excited to see where Run India takes us and to see #howfaryouwillgo. Thank you for joining me on the journey and I'll have more updates for you soon.

Photo Credit: Ilana Rose, World Vision (2015)

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