Race to The Stones: The Dixons Carphone Story
Race to the Stones is an award-winning 100km ultra-challenge which takes place on 14-15th July 2018. The route starts in Lewknor in Oxfordshire and ends at the ancient stone circle in Avebury. You can choose to complete the whole 100km non-stop or camp overnight and tackle 50km each day. The Ridgeway is recognised as the oldest path in the UK. Along it’s length you will find traces of generations stretching back over 5,000 years. It is lined with Bronze Age hill forts, neolithic burial chambers and Roman river crossings, culminating in the largest neolithic stone circle in Europe.
All Dixons Carphone employees that take part were asked to raise £300 for charity, 50% for their charity partner (The Mix) and 50% for a charity of their choice. Since they took the headline sponsorship in 2014, over 600 employees have conquered the 62 mile course and have raised over £1.15 million for a variety of good causes. We take a look at why some of the employees are taking part;
I’ve always fancied it since hearing about it the first year I worked at Carphone in 2013 but I never had the courage to sign up for it. This year is my twins 10th birthday and I wanted a big event to commit to, mainly raise money for The Neonatal Ward at Royal Preston Hospital but also as a fitness goal as I enjoy keeping fit. I am planning to run it but would definitely settle for a jog pace. If there are some really steep hills I may walk those sections.
Committing publicly to raise money for the ward is keeping me motivated as is seeing all my kids healthy and happy everyday due to their care. The ward are desperate for funds for equipment which the government won’t fund so knowing this will all help is big boost for motivation. I always try and run different routes and go off road whenever possible. I find you get more injury through pounding the pavement as opposed to trails etc. I either listen to music, e-books or podcasts. Getting to a healthy weight and getting fit is also a big motivator for me.
Doing the event with other likeminded people is really going to help but I’m looking forward to the challenge and doing it with all those other people battling together on the days.
A little worries about blisters or injuries to be honest. I really do hate being held back due to little injuries when your cardio and mental stamina is ok. Like now I have 3 blisters from a 10K I did in the Lakes at the weekend and I can’t train until they are healed. I will be using as much advice from anyone/anywhere I can on injury prevention and healing/recovering etc.
I have always wanted to run a marathon. I enjoy running and wanted to set myself a challenge. A message had gone out on workplace about Race to the Stones. I figured it was a marathon of sorts so why not. I struggled to get started with my training but because I am joining other people to do this race that's helping to motivate me. I don't want to feel like a quitter so I will just push myself on the day.
I would love to have a mixture of running and jogging throughout the 100k over the 2 days. I think the stop over would be hard, from my experience when I run and stop the 2nd part is worse. I'm a little bit worried that I will struggle on the 2nd day because I have stopped overnight. At the moment thought I'm mostly looking forward to the feeling at the end knowing I have just completed a massive 100k race!
I wanted a challenge and I've been forcing myself to just say "yes" more. After losing some weight, I already knew that I wanted to focus more on being physically fitter but I didn't have any goalposts to aim for. I still don't know what being physically fitter means to me but, RTTS gives me something to work towards. I plan on getting my body across the finish line - if that means crawling the last 10k, I'll do it. Realistically I want to complete the 100k with a mixture of jogging and walking to give myself a realistic and attainable goal. Based on the fact, I've never ran further than 10k in one go, saying I want to run 100k over 2 days would be setting myself up failure.
My training focuses on what I find fun to minimise the chore of exercising. I thought I'd be jogging more but through the process, my partner and I have found that we both really enjoy walking. Because of this, we've been spending more time together outdoors and I've been getting more miles under my feet without it feeling like work. Podcasts also really help, without them I wouldn't be able to exercise by myself. I listen to hours and hours of podcasts each week whilst in the gym, on the treadmill or outdoors. I mix up my training by doing walking, jogging, gym and football help to keep things interesting each week. I intend to go swimming and climbing as well, just to keep myself from getting bored.
Training is hard as I don't enjoy running for the sake of running. Football gets me running, as do other sports but moving from points A to B without a ball/shuttlecock/Frisbee for motivation sounds tedious. But by doing something new, I've already found a new pastime in walking. I might find I like camping or organised outdoor events or races or anything through the process.
I have already completed races at all distances from 5k to Marathon but I always knew deep down that I needed to complete and Ultra Marathon to truly tick every box. I plan to jog a large part of this and I am aiming to beat my previous marathon time and then see how I feel after this target has passed.
I didn't train well enough for the marathon so I know the previous mistakes I made and will be just focusing on getting more miles in my legs between now and July. I think the mental fatigue and the training is the most difficult part so I am really looking forward to crossing that finishing line.
Help Paul reach his £300 sponsorship goal here