The PB Challenge : One Month To Go Update!

This is the text of the email I just sent out to the 100+ people on the PB Challenge mailing list. Please do get in touch if you’d like any more information about the Challenge!

“With just over 4 weeks to go until 4th July I wanted to give you all an update on what’s been happening and the plans for the day.

Firstly, thank you again to everyone who is joining in and/or who has pledged. We now have people taking part in Cameroon (Noela and the ‘youths who run the world’) ; Beirut (Ghia and the Bedayati team – a couple of whom will also be in London) ; Ouagadougou (Pie and friends) ; Rome (Daud) ; Virginia (Josh) ; Washington DC (Charlotte & Sam) ; Berkeley (Charis). We also have people taking part in various locations around the UK.

Many of these people taking part aren’t targeting PBs – they’re just going to run or walk or cycle to show support.

I love the idea that we are using exercise and physical activity to demonstrate global friendship and togetherness in these difficult days. Please do invite friends and contacts around the world to join in – I’ve added a summary of the PB Challenge below which can be forwarded to anyone you think might be interested !

OK, so how’s it going to work? Of course, the situation is still changing rapidly but the current plan is set out below. Needless to say, the idea is to have a great time whatever happens!

I Live in the US / the North / Lebanon / Cameroon / Afghanistan / Nowhere Near London!

While you’ll be doing your activity locally, in an ideal world we’ll all start ‘together’ at the same time i.e. 16.00 BST. Wherever and whenever you start – and whatever you do – please send us lots of pics and vids!

I Live In Or Close to London

The Venue (for runners / walkers / plankers / dancers) : Parliament Hill Running Track

The plan is to run / walk / dance / plank etc at the Parliament Hill running track – which is in a lovely setting on Hampstead Heath. I learnt recently that it’s also the place where the 10 000 metre trials for this year’s Olympics were going to be held to allow athletes such as Mo Farah to record their qualifying times. In short, it’s a good place to run!

It’s not 100% guaranteed that it will be officially open by July 4th but the officer I talked to is currently being positive about our plans (its already de facto open – plenty of people are jumping over the fence and using it). Use of the track will likely be subject to some form of social distancing guidelines – which we will be following carefully. More details to follow once the arrangements are confirmed.

Date and Timings

The current plan is to run on July 4th at 5.00 pm. The idea of the late afternoon start is to avoid the crowds & heat – and segue straight into the party! Depending on numbers, we may stagger some of the start times to maintain social distancing.

Running Distances

Most of you are running 5km or 10km – many for the first time! However, if that’s not your cup of tea then perhaps consider running the classic distance of a mile  – which is equivalent to 1609.34 metres or just over 4 times around the track.


Depending on the then current social distancing guidelines, we will be celebrating / commiserating in style after the run on the heath and/or back at ours. Details to follow.

Finally, I very much hope to see you on July 4th – either in person or on video from wherever you may be. We’re going to get a bit fitter, raise a good sum of money for charity – and have a wonderful evening!”

The PB Challenge in a Nutshell

Set your Personal Best on July 4th!

The idea behind the PB Challenge is to give us a reason to stay fit and active during these difficult times ; achieve something we’ve always wanted to achieve ; and raise some money for charity along the way.

How does it work?

  1. Set your own Personal Best goal. It might be to run your first ever 5km – or your fastest ever 10km. See how far you can cycle in an hour. Shoot a thousand hoops in a day. Wheel chair for a mile. Hold a plank for ten minutes. Whatever motivates you!
  2. Start training.
  3. Set up a fundraising page for your favourite charity (optional).
  4. Attempt your PB on July 4th – either on your own or, lock down restrictions allowing, with others.

Alternatively, and many people are taking this option, show your support for global friendship and togetherness by simply going for a run, a walk, a cycle (any form of exercise!) at 16.00 BST on July 4th.


About Run the World

I'm running 10 km in every country in the world - a total of 205 countries - by the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. I'm doing the Run the World challenge to promote the benefits of sport and physical activity and to raise money for cancer research following the death of my mother from cancer. If you'd like to donate to Cancer Research - - then I know they'd be very grateful.
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