By Shane Roberts.

Going for a run rarely comes easily to me. Neither does writing, which is a problem, seeing as I’ve been involved in that profession for well over a decade now. With running, the clouds will no doubt open up the very moment I’ve pulled on the running shoes ready for a vital 12K jog (vital because I’d decided to go to the pub when I should have been out training earlier in the week), or my knee might ache, or I just, well, can’t be bothered.

As for writing, sometimes the words won’t come to me, other times, I can’t find the inspiration, or decide what I have written is trash (like this) or I just, well, can’t be bothered.

Running for a Reason

So? What do my repeated failings at being both a runner and writer have to do with anything? I’ll tell you, and it’s not really as complex as the long-winded intro above might have you believe.

Last year, I signed up to run Round The Bays, as I have done a couple of times before. This time, though, I was going to run it for a charity – guess which one! – to try and raise a few bucks for them (and also get a free t-shirt). My partner, Katie, was diagnosed with the condition in 2021, so it’s a cause close to my heart, and I was going to run the course anyway, so I thought I may as well have a go at earning a little for MS Auckland on the side whilst I was at it.

Fundraising funnies

The problem was, I’d never done any sort of fundraising before, and didn’t really know where to start – I’m not Bob Geldof. So, I did what I always do in such situations where I don’t have a clue – try and be funny, and see if that works.

It did. I wrote a series of Facebook posts explaining what I was doing and why, and please send me a few pound/cents/dollars if you can afford it. There was no real concerted effort or thought behind these posts – it was just me writing ridiculous stuff with attempted humour, really – but they must have struck a chord, because I ended up raising over $1,000 for MS Auckland – without properly trying.

Sign (up!) O ’The Times

Anyway, because I’d been tagging MS Auckland in my posts, they got noticed by the good folk at that organisation. MS Auckland got in touch with me and asked if I’d write a feature for their quarterly magazine on the event last year, which I did, and now that Round The Bays is on the horizon again (Sunday, 3rd March!), I’m dusting off the keyboard once more for MS Auckland.

I’ll be writing a fortnightly blog series detailing why you too should sign up for this wonderful event, how to raise money for it (not that I’m the expert!), training tips, and a little bit of mine and Katie’s story along the way, too. This is the first one – let’s hope you’re still around to read the second!

Maybe I’ve already convinced you – sign up here!