THIS weekend! #7 Jacks Point 21km Trail Run

Hello Spring! (Almost! well it will be when event #7 is happening THIS Saturday!)

The Jacks Point Trail Run here in Queenstown, is this Saurday, 2nd September and you can still enter on the day. The online entries unfortunately have closed however, if you were interested in running or joining as support for myself running for RunThe12 and our charities –  KidsCan, Make A Wish and Variety in this event, let me know 🙂

The sun is warming up Otago, and we could not be happier! this means more training sessions, more events, more encouragement, more vitamin D and the sudden thought of Summer being on it’s way, to get everyone motivated to be out in the sun and enjoying the most beautiful natural offerings that there is, the mountains, lakes, beaches, sand between the toes or cobblestones underneath your feet, dryness of the mountain air and bluebird days to get exploring, there is something about sun and warmth, it’s so encouraging!

Especially when you love the outdoors, hiker/swimmer/tramper/cyclist or a runner, especially when you’re running for more than just yourself, when you have a personal goal – be it a simple jog around the corner or a hearty run to the next city, more importantly, when this goal becomes something separate from benefiting only you, to benefit others, what is more important than ‘just, others’, when those others are those in need, children and their families who may have lived a life of illness or may have suddenly been struck down with illness, these families may be living in a situation of poverty, and below the acceptable living standards of a basic house hold in New Zealand. Once you start hearing these, you become concerned as this isn’t something you normally think of, or maybe you do.. because yes, we have a beautiful country with opportunity and growth, but when we forget or become desensitized when it’s ‘not our problem’, but it IS our problem, this is our country, these are our families, in our communities, in our cities. We are so often caught out by unexpected illness or tragedy, whether it be personally, or through a friend’s hurt, or a families friend of friend that you may have heard of, surely you would have at one point, especially in these moments, felt a great sense of helplessness but a will, an urge to help these people.

One thing is for sure, we can do something to help, we can reach out, through donating, through volunteering, through community work, lending a helping hand wherever the opportunity arises, something here, encouraging too, through doing something you love. If you have a heart, which each of you reading this do, you can help in some way or another.

That is powerful, that is a powerful ‘WHY’, that is a powerful motivation, that is RunThe12’s purpose, we see people running for not only themselves anymore, but to raise money, to raise awareness and build momentum, to connect, and drive this great movement in sporting events in New Zealand, beginning with runners in running events.

Less rambling, because I could talk on this for days on end, there has been years long of passion for this building. As cliche as it sounds, and upon how many times you may have heard before, I hold a strong sense of belief that you are given a talent, some have many and we wish we could be that guy sometimes! but you are given a gift which you are given as desire to pursue for goodness. It may even be something you initially disliked, a hobby that begun as a challenge for you, you may not even know it yet, you may HATE the idea of running, but love the idea of helping kids, and struggling families in our country, you may be an athlete, and completely over just running for yourself and your title and want a greater purpose for it.

Whatever your gift, or talent is, it’s there.. my little sister hated piano when she first started, and as the years went by, and the encouragement and support from others grew, so did her passion, so did her talent, and so did her vision for where it could lead, she now has sights for one of the highest musical universities in London, UK, she’s ticking off her boxes towards her goal, lesson by lesson, exam by exam, and I couldn’t be more blessed to walk down our driveway and hear the sound of the piano as she either greets you, or doesn’t want to be disturbed so she swallows your voice with the sound of her music.

Running even started further back than what I’ve told most, at fifteen years old was when the passion for it grew, the idea that it may become a passion was earlier on.. Cross Country, in primary school, year four, I was the round kid, bullied for being tubby and not being able to keep up physically because of my asthma. Halfway running up the daunting Blackburn hill an asthma attack took over and I had to be removed from the race, when results came out, my name was at the bottom.. this was humility, and shame more than anything that changed from there, making sure that from then on I’d go for short circuit runs, my step dad and brothers pushed me to keep fit and really try hard in our cross country sessions. The year after, ended up coming fourth and they sent me to the interschools. Going from the only kid who had to forfeit the race because of an asthma attack, to going to inter schools, this was a small seedling of momentum and drive.

From then it’s been contagious, for every person in each social circle, meeting with girlfriends, friends or trainers to gym together, to run together, to bake and have cheat days together, to train as a team for volleyball games, netball games, the motivation was the sense of fulfillment, from winning together, from getting better at something you may initially not have been great at but working towards it, to building that sense of community and ‘togetherness’, or if you do solo sports, you find your niche, you find your gifts, strengths and talents, even through weakness and challenge.

By all means, I was, and never am the best, a team player ya for sure! but the bench in rugby was where I lived when the girls convinced me to join our rugby team in our last year of high school – definitely not my strength. But running was, so winger when they needed a cover they’d placed me, was a nightmare being ran at too, then tackled but there is always a place in each team for every team player, that’s all we are right, apart of a team, whether it be in sport, in your family, work, school, council, board of trustee group, church or social group, it’s social, it’s a sense of benefiting not only ourselves, but a team and similar vision, mission. movement or goal as a whole.

If we can find a passion, a gift, or a talent and link it to creating a positive difference, go out there, do it. With RunThe12, this is what it’s about.. encouragement and purpose! One day, RunThe12 may not only be RunThe12, we may have a CycleThe12, SwimThe12, VolleyThe12, one thing is certain, we have 12 months of each year. We start each year with some ideas of what we may like to do for the year ahead, a challenge, it may be the commitment, a bit of fear or anxiety, maybe humility, because your school friends saw you fall halfway up the hill, what are you going to do next year? fall again? or, do anything you can to make sure that doesn’t happen, take it month by month.. an event by event.. you may start with a 5km run in January, 5k run in February, 10km run in March, each month until September comes by, and you’re eight months into the year, with eight running events behind you, you may have set your September run to a half marathon, come by December, it is very likely that combined with your training and realistic goals, with a motivation to not only push yourself, but to be motivated by running for children’s charities, committed to making a difference in our communities and for the lives of those in need, you could raise hundreds, thousands of dollars for these people, complete a full marathon, or two, depending on your fitness levels, it is possible.

Through reading this, if this has resonated with you in any way, we would love to hear from you. It has been a beautiful, consistent array of supporters, runners, donators and viewers come through so far and it has been great to see what the year has built, for supporters, ofcourse, for RunThe12, most importantly, the amazing work our children’s charities do in our beautiful country.

In one week, next Saturday, we’ll be running in the seventh event for 2017, and you can donate to support me running for our children’s charities here! through our Give A Little Page.

If you own a business, have a family member or friend in a business who you think would like to support RunThe12 and our charities, please get in contact with us here to sponsor us or donate directly to our Give A Little Page.

Thank you for your support, I’m excited for what is to come 🙂

Jog or run with us at these events and keep updated through this blog website, or through our Instagram page to see how you too can get involved and run for RunThe12 in 2018 and next years to come, to help those in need in our beautiful country and share your own RunThe12 journey, soon!

Be kind, have purpose.

Anya Alessandria

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