One Slam came back for 2022 as the only virtual event we retained after the 'end' of most of the covid restrictions here in the UK. All of the virtual events that we held prior to this one, were across periods of lock-down or where restrictions prevented in-person events from happening.
But one of the silver linings of the pandemic for us, was an ability to reach our community a different way, a way to involve a much broader spectrum of runners. For all sorts of reasons our events are not accesible to all. Either through geography, distance or age limits, many people simply cannot or will not ever be able to run one of our races. But they can take on something like the One Slam and be part of something special involving our community remotely.
We looked at the Slam as kind of 'pre-season training'. As runners ourselves, we got so much out of the experience of the two month long initial slam which ran February through March 2021. By extending it and adding other distance options we tried to engage an even broader audience this time and that seemed to work well.
598 runners took part in one of the five distances on offer, from 100 to 1000 miles over 100 days. What a journey it was. The Bolt On events gave us some additional focus at regular points along the way and most of the runners took part in at least one of the five challenges.
Several things make this event so fulfilling despite it's unique and almost exclusively remote set-up. People sharing how much faster and stronger they have got through the consistent running that this challenge requires. Watching people aged 4 to 84 taking part in one of our events and achieving such a tremendous long term ambition. Plus of course on the charity side, this event raised £2500 spread across NHS Charities Together and MIND. Two causes which have been the recipients of our virtual event takings on each occasion since the initial One Community event in May 2020.
We will hold this again in 2023, possibly with some minor changes and we'll be asking our 2022 runners what they would like to see in terms of the Bolt Ons and Distances on offer, so that we can continue to refine this and give people the maximum benefit from taking something unique like this on.
Thank you to all who took part and we hope you go on to your best ever athletic year after the foundation that the Slam provided!
Project Pillock: Kate Anna-Louise Jayden and Gareth Allen with Jonathan Rolinson
Bradley Joel Earwaker
Graham Carter and Zoe Norman
Gabrielle Yates and Verity Tudor