These last couple of months have been challenging. We have witnessed illness and death, job losses, depression and loneliness. Even for those not affected to such an extent, life has definitely been different – we have been unable to hang with friends, there’s been limited exercise options (many of us getting used to running and cycling around in circles) and, of course, we’ve had no events.
Who knows when we will be able to safely get back to the events we love? Here at Yondering, we’ve made the difficult call to cancel the 2020 editions of both the Manawatu Moonlight Madness series (July) and the North Range Trio (August), and in general the winter events calendar is looking pretty barren. A small number of winter events around the country haven’t yet pulled the plug, but there are certainly no guarantees that we will see many events before spring.
But all is not lost, and it’s not all bad
Thinking about it, we still have so much to be thankful for, to be happy about, to celebrate. It is in this spirit that we’re launching the Celebrate Life Virtual Run or Cycle series – three events to get you through the cold months of winter.
So get your sneakers ready (or grab that bike) and dig out your warm layers – have we got some chill challenges for you! And of course there will be rewards for your efforts, including the coolest one-of-a-kind, locally hand-crafted participation medals.
“What day is it?” asked Pooh.A.A. Milne
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.
Three events, three celebrations
Event 1 (June):
For June, we are celebrating health – even in the midst of a global pandemic, we are doing pretty great here in Aotearoa. Infection numbers are low and staying low, most of those who were infected are recovering, and the death-toll is one of the lowest in the world. And with all this handwashing and social distancing, other illnesses like the flu should have less of an impact this year too. That’s well worth celebrating, right?
Event 2 (July):
While we, and much of the rest of the world, were in lockdown, Mother Nature had a critical opportunity to catch her breath, to heal, to get stronger. In July, let’s celebrate this amazing fact, and together look forward to a future that is a bit less crazy, a bit less destructive, a bit more natural.
Event 3 (August):
For the third and final event in the series, in August we celebrate perhaps the most important thing getting us through lockdown – our amazing friends and loved ones. Being reduced to life in our immediate bubbles clearly highlighted the importance of friends and friendship, and as we head back into a higher level of social interaction, we should view our friends and loved ones with a new level of appreciation.
“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”Arundhati Roy
How to participate
The events in the Celebrate Life Series are time-based. Anytime that suits you during the month each event is active, you are required to run/walk or cycle for a set time:
- During the Celebrate Health event in June you will be required to run/walk or cycle for a one hour period.
- In July, if you do the Celebrate Nature event, your challenge is to do a continuous run/walk or cycle lasting 1.5 hours.
- Finally, during August’s Celebrate Friends event, you need to do a continuous run/walk or cycle lasting two hours.
In the month of the event, make sure you do a running, walking or cycling activity lasting for the required time in one continuous session, record it on GPS and share your activity in the Celebrate Life Facebook group (or email us with the details of your activity if you’re not on Facebook).
A leaderboard will be maintained and regularly shared in the Facebook group of the distances that participants achieve in the specified time of the event. If you share your run/walk or cycle, and later in the month manage to run, walk or cycle further within the specified time, you can share your new and improved activity and this will become your new entry on the leaderboard. Final positions once the event has ended will be acknowledged on your finishers certificates.
Using the ratios set out in the Charities section below, the distance you cover by foot or by bike during the allotted time will determine how much gets donated to the charity associated with each event. In a nutshell, the further you go, the bigger the donation.
If you’re not the fastest or fittest person in the world, and you don’t personally manage a massive distance, don’t fret – rather see this as a personal challenge to post an increased distance before the end of the month, or be clever and encourage all your speedster friends to join, who can slam out crazy distances and boost that charity donation in a big way.
You are encouraged to share photos and comments from your activity on the Celebrate Life Virtual Series Facebook group – we’d love for everyone to share what you have been up to with your fellow virtual participants. Throughout the three months of the series we will be awarding random prizes in response to the photos of your activities.
Pimp your bib challenge
Finally, there will also be a competition each month for the most awesomest decorated and customised bibs. Add your favourite race number, add your name or nickname, go crazy with colour and other decorations, add motivational messages – the options are endless! So get creative and pimp those bibs. And remember to share them in the Facebook group.
“You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down.”Charlie Chaplin
You can enter the event or series using the entry links provided on this page.
Entry to each of the individual events is available at a cost of $30 per event. This entry fee gets you a unique locally produced, hand-crafted medal (no mass produced bling), a generic digital race bib that you are encouraged to decorate and customise, plus a personalised digital finishers certificate to all finishers who share their run/walk or cycle on the Celebrate Life Virtual Series Facebook group. (If you’re not on Facebook you can also email us a link to your run/walk or cycle to qualify for your finishers certificate.)
For those who want to enter the whole series, build up their running/walking or cycling time over winter and collect the full set of medals, a series entry will be available at a discounted cost of $80 per series.
A component from each entry will be donated to charity.
Customisable race bib
At the end of your online entry process, the entry confirmation page will contain a link to your downloadable race bib (you can also download it via the link below if you miss it during entry) which you can customise to your heart’s content. For each of the events, we will run a competition in the event’s Facebook group for the most awesomest customised bibs, so get pimpin’. 🙂
In keeping with the spirit of this series, we will not be offering standard mass produced medals. Instead, the medal(s) you earn when you participate in the Celebrate Life Virtual Series are lovingly handcrafted, made from wood, locally printed and hand-painted to be one-of-a-kind mementos of the events and the unique time we find ourselves in.
Participation medals will be posted to participants after the end of the month of each event. Series participants will receive all three their medals posted together after the end of the series.
All finishers of the events in the series will receive a personalised electronic finishers certificate. To earn your certificate, you need to share your run/walk or cycle on the Celebrate Life Virtual Series Facebook group. If you don’t use Facebook, you can also email a link to your activity to us.
Finishers certificates will be emailed to qualifying participants at the end of the month of each event.
Spot prizes and hand-outs
Throughout the three months of the series, we will be handing out various spot prizes on the Celebrate Life Virtual Series Facebook group to participants sharing their pimped-up race bibs and photos from their runs, walks and rides.
More details about the spotties and hand-outs will be shared in the Facebook group.
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”J.R.R. Tolkien
Three events, three charities
Celebrate Health – The Malaghan Institute of Medical Research
The Malaghan Institute is New Zealand’s world-leading independent biomedical research institute, harnessing the power of the immune system to improve human health..
During the Celebrate Heath Virtual Run or Cycle, 50c for each kilometre you run/walk in an hour, or 17c for each kilometre you cycle in an hour, will be donated to the Malaghan Institute. For example, if you run 10km, or cycle 30km, that’s approximately a $5 donation to charity.
Celebrate Nature – The Backcountry Trust
The Backcountry Trust funds and supports volunteers to maintain huts and build tracks for outdoor enthusiasts including trampers, deerstalkers and mountain bikers.
During the Celebrate Nature Virtual Run or Cycle, 36c for each kilometre you run/walk in an hour and a half, or 12c for each kilometre you cycle in an hour and a half will be donated to the Backcountry Trust. Running 15km or cycling 45km, for example, will generate a $5.40 donation to charity.
Celebrate Friends – The Mental Health Foundation
The Mental Health Foundation works towards creating a society free from discrimination, where all people enjoy positive mental health & wellbeing.
During the Celebrate Friends Virtual Run or Cycle, 27c from each kilometre you run/walk in two hours, or 9c for each kilometre you cycle in two hours will be donated to the Mental Health Foundation. For example, if you run 20km, or cycle 60km, that’s a $5.40 donation to charity right there.
“Life has no remote… get up and change it yourself!”Mark A Cooper, Operation Einstein