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THE 153 MILE CHALLENGE (2009 – 2015)
“The BIG difference between one who just “tries” & one who accomplishes their dream is PERSISTENCE. When everyone else quits – keep running!” – Sandi Krakowski (1)
Update Nov 2014: One of the first projects/organisations we inspired and gave the idea of the 153 Mile Challenge to has since gone onto win Sport England’s top award for ‘Sportivate Project of the Year’. They also told us they generated £30,000 of sponsorship (including Gifts in Kind) in the first year alone thanks to our input.
The winning project ‘Lancaster Youth Challenge’ grew out of http://yps.lancashire.gov.uk/360-challenge.
This is what Guy Christiansen, then Creative Learning Director at Dukes Theatre in Lancaster, said about our input at the time:
“The 153 challenge is a brilliant, simple and accessible idea which we wanted to adopt for a youth based project up in the Lancaster area. As a co-producer for the Cultural Olympiad Programme for Lancashire on the lead up to 2012 I was looking for a large scale project which would unite ideas of art and sport with a personal challenge and the 153 concept seemed appropriate.
The 153 challenge enables people to achieve their own personal bests whilst being a part of something larger than themselves. This offers a certain kudos and status to people’s individual challenges. The online support and activity packs also enable individuals and groups to reach a far greater range of people and create an interactive blog/diary of their experiences.
Our version of the 153 Mile Challenge which we developed with Tyrer Sorrel was called ‘The 360 degree challenge’. It came about through a formal partnership between Dukes Theatre, LCC Young Peoples Service and Blaze – Cultural Olympiad Programme. The three partners invested cash and in-kind donations to the tune of £30K which enabled the programme to have a direct contact with nearly 400 young people across the Lancashire County and indirect contact to over 8000 young people and community members through the facebook and web based interfaces. The project supported 16 young cyclists who completed 218 miles of cycling”.
The 153 Mile Challenge
‘The 153 Mile Challenge’ began life in September 2009. Initially it was launched as a ‘Run/Walk Challenge’ by Mark Bryce and Kirstin Burke (http://6000miles.tsconnected.com/). It was linked to Mark’s personal challenge to walk the equivalent of ‘Round the World’. Mark and Kirstin provided participants with a pedometer, activity pack and sponsorship listing and asked them to “travel 153 miles by human power, raise money for registered charities and tell the story of what you did”. This really simple idea grew to include long distance bike rides (Beaver’s Big Ride Home – http://bigride.tsconnected.com/), sponsorship of baby cows (Baby Moolicious), kung fu clubs (Kung Fu Pedometers) and even the local Starbucks team (Team Riverside). In the first year Mark and Kirstin also introduced Storywalks (kids reading their favourite books and getting out walking/recreating them). The ‘Run/Walk Challenge’ still remains the best starting place for 153 Mile Active Participants.
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(1) Sandi Krakowski is one of Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers & Top 20 Women Social Media Influencers. She is a happy entrepreneur with 11 successful companies under her belt. She is a Facebook Marketing Expert. Social Media + Blogging Coach For Large & Small Business and a PPC Marketing Consultant. Visit http://www.ARealChange.com