Every year we are all totally astounded by the remarkable lengths people push themselves to in order to raise money to help bumblebees, so when our colleague, Claire, suggested this year (the Trust’s 10th anniversary year) was the ideal time for us to get involved and challenge ourselves to raise some money for bumblebees too – we thought we owed it to all of the amazing fundraisers to give it a go. Before we knew it Claire had enlisted us to join her fundraising efforts and run the Breathing Space 10K in Callander – dressed as bumblebees! She quickly set up a Just Giving fundraising page for team Bumblebods and donations started rolling in. We set a target to try and raise £500 on behalf of the Trust; an amount we agreed would be amazing to be able to raise to help bumblebees.
At the time of writing the amount raised currently stands at a staggering £760.60 (plus £151.25 Gift Aid)! This is absolutely fantastic and we are incredibly grateful to everyone who donated, helping us smash our target and provide the Trust with essential funds to carry out its important work; protecting bumblebees.
Sadly, before the event Claire suffered a bad knee injury while undergoing her mountain leader training course and was unable to take part. We are all wishing Claire a speedy recovery – and are extremely grateful for her encouragement and incredible work fundraising.
Unfortunately, Claire’s absence also meant that her newly bought bumblebee suit had to be handed down to one of the team. By this time Helen had already fashioned herself a wonderful Great Yellow bumblebee themed outfit, meaning the bumblebee suit baton had been firmly handed to myself! Luckily the costume was much more wearable than some of the extravagant numbers seen in the London marathon.
So last weekend my colleague, Helen, and I, AKA the Bumblebods, joined a hundred or so other participants challenging themselves to run the Breathing Space 10K. It helped that the conditions on Saturday were ideal for running – a cool, bright and crisp autumn morning set against the stunning backdrop of hills, woodlands and the River Tieth. For two rather inexperienced runners like Helen and myself, the course represented a real challenge – the first of which came right at the start. At the sound of the claxon we crossed the starting line, turned right and went over the road, straight on to a steep climb through a woodland path at the foot of the Callander Crags. The incline was unexpected and exhausting. ‘What have we let ourselves in for?’ I seem to remember was the dominant thought at the time.
Once at the top we followed a series of roads down and up and then down again. The course took us through the town, past cheery crowds of spectators, before leading over the river and up to a fork in the road: 10K runners turn left, 5K runners turn right. That right turn was tempting, especially after such a taxing climb over the first kilometre. The only option though, was to power through and meet the next steep climb up into third and fourth kilometres as the course stretched out into the beautiful countryside. Past the halfway point and thankfully the trail took in some gentler downhill slopes throughout the sixth kilometre, leading to a much-needed water stop on the 7K mark. From there we ascended the final slightly kinder inclines, along the hillside and then down on to the home straight – a nice flat kilometre to finish on. Crossing the finishing line was such a rewarding feeling, doing it dressed as a bumblebee is something I will never forget.
Massive thanks to everyone who donated and spurred us on, to my team mates Helen and Claire (who was with us in spirit), and to the organisers, Skidaddle; an incredible not-for-profit enterprise group which aim to get more people outdoors, promoting mental and physical health and well-being across Scotland. This year they have been collaborating with Breathing Space, which offers free counselling and information for people experiencing mental health issues in Scotland, to promote Scotland’s Year of Listening – a campaign well-worth reading about.
I can see quite a bit of synergy between the work of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Skidaddle and Breathing Space. Bumblebees are key pollinators and safeguarding their future means ensuring our natural outdoor spaces continue to be the rich and diverse places we see today. These outdoor spaces in turn are key in helping us to feel well; physically and mentally – something which Skidaddle and Breathing Space are doing their best to promote. So it was really good to be able support three important and intrinsically linked causes by taking part.
Thanks again to everyone who supported us!
If you or someone you know would like to challenge themselves to fundraise on behalf of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, you can set up a fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/bumblebeect. For more information get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.