#NHS1000Miles - what a year!

Monday 31st December 2018 by @KathEvans2

Goodness it’s hard to believe that a whole year has passed since a few of us came up with the idea of giving the NHS a gift in its 70th birthday year of being a bit more active, here’s the blog that started it all off > http://wecommunities.org/blogs/3338


There have certainly been a number of achievements in 2018, Nicola Jackson, @NicolaJackson13 came up with the concept of bringing ParkRun and the NHS together with a birthday celebration run. The founder of Parkrun Paul Sinton-Hewitt @paulsintonhewitt reflected on this in his recent end of year blog http://blog.parkrun.com/uk/2018/12/28/reflecting-on-the-2018-parkrun-year/ Volunteer Race Directors Marc Harder @marcharder  Becky Hepworth @hepworth_becky and Marcia Fisher @marciaF_MQ would encourage us all to volunteer at our local ParkRuns whilst getting in a bit of ParkRun tourism. I was delighted to celebrate my 100th Parkrun this year and Tricia Handley @TriciaHandley tweeted that she got @Rosamund100 to her first ParkRun too!


Twitter is full of wonderful pictures and stories about #NHS100miles, do check out the hashtag for inspiration and wonderful people to follow.


Here are some Twitter highlights!

Catherine Wilson @wilsoncat became an ‘iron man’.

Antony Tierney @antonytiernan kept us on the edge of our seats with the anticipation of would he reach a pure 1000 running miles?

Jackie Smith @JackieSmith_nmc  has been our consistent ‘chief coach’ and cheerleader!

Fiona Holley @fiholley reflects ‘its been as unbelievable year, I’ve achieved a half marathon, I love that it’s been inclusive and inspiring regardless of ability or speed!’.

Philip Smith @research Phil shares that ‘NHS 1000 miles has been good for the heart, mind and body, it’s been lovely to get to know people in this community’.

Amy @Amyfrounks  and Sian @Spencer_sian have been an amazing dual, showing us all anything is possible!

Dr Hannah Baynes @HLB27 has diligently kept going throughout the year, reaching 1000 miles!

Prof Tony Warne @warnetony has walked 2,500 miles this year and shared amazing photos along the way whilst Jen Kenward @JenKenward and beautiful Pads her dog have walked over 1,500miles this year! 

Nick Chinn @NRCUK not only packed in the miles but also banked sub 25min 5Ks!

Ruth Norway @NorwayRuth shared ‘I started the year as a new runner hoping to run 600 miles and 2 x 10K races, I’ve run 780 miles, 8 x 10ks, 1 half marathon and I’ve joined my local running club too’  

Leigh Kendall @leighakendall posted  ‘well I didn’t reach 1000 miles due to bookending the year by two mega viruses …but I’m not bothered because I’ve achieved loads this year, far more than I dreamt I was capable of, lots of bling, Parkruns, 2 x 5ks, 3 x 10ks, 2 x half marathons and raised money for Tommy’s Charity in Hugo’s memory. Completing these races has helped my mental health immeasurably.’

And initially ‘reluctant runner’ Teresa Chinn @AgencyNurse achieved an impressive total of over 1,355 walking and running miles, blogging that we all need to take getting active seriously, linking #NHS1000miles to Public Health England’s initiative #AllOurHealth


And some Facebook stories!

Facebook has been alive with stories too.  Bill is our resident GP on our NHS1000miles FaceBook page and along with Beryl, they lit up Facebook with their stories of getting out & about, as for Kath Evans’s mum she loved sending messages of encouragement to others, celebrating successes and willing people onwards!


For some the physical activity and support #NHS1000miles has been very meaningful at difficult times. Lisa Crichton-Jones, @CrichtonJones Director of Workforce Transformation in North Cumbria shares When I first saw the NHS1000 miles challenge last December, I remember thinking ‘can I do that?!’.  I’m sure it was in between Christmas and New Year, during some rare ‘desk time’ in the office and I sat with a calculator thinking how does that break down per week…… As a Director of Workforce for a large mental health trust in the north east, the importance of health and well being and being proud of our beloved NHS, wasn’t lost on me but it felt like quite a challenge.  One of my ‘best friends’ is a 4 legged handsome cocker spaniel and I knew that walking him would take me well on the way, but it would need extra effort. 


Another one of my best friends was a wonderful lady called Linda; we had been the best of buddies for over 25 years when she suddenly passed away in October 17.  In those first early weeks of her not being there, it had become apparent how important fresh air, tranquillity and reflection time was going to be as I adjusted to her not being there for me, always at the end of the phone, listening to the ups and downs of NHS days and day to day life.


So, I made the commitment and by June I had walked up and down many country lanes and over Northumberland fields on extra dog walks (in all weathers!).  There was one happy cocker spaniel…..!  I tried hard to get out on the bike more ( ‘fair weather’ cycling!) and in July bought an indoor exercise bike and ploughed through a number of box sets!


In reaching 1000 miles in June, the lovely Kath Evans then set me a 2018 mile challenge which I achieved at the end of November.


NHS 1000 miles has brought a real sense of community and virtual friendship.  It’s kept me more active than ever before and most importantly as I have trekked those fields, I have treasured and valued the time I did have with the most amazing friend, whom is missed on a daily basis and for once, I have done a little more to practice what I preach on wellbeing.  What are we doing next year?!’


Lynn Turner on Facebook posted some thoughts to carry us into 2019 as we reset the clock… ‘A marathon is an event where everyone is equal and ordinary at the starting line but a legend is born at the finish’ We’ve all completed many marathons when we total our mileage in 2018 for #NHS70 and we’ve all become legends and created our own wonderful memories. We’ve celebrated #NHS70 in a phenomenal way and given it the best present possible, a fit and active community, let’s keep going in 2019 and encourage others to join us as we journey onwards.


And finally...

Be proud of your achievements, we have really shown that as a health community #thisgirlcan and #thisboycan  

As Michelle Young @youngphysio posted on twitter ‘see you in 2019’ are you in?



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