A group of more than 240 people challenged themselves to finish 2020 with their hearts pumping whilst raising money for us, and other local charities.

Participants in the second Tinathon challenge ran, swam, cycled, worked out and power walked their way through December. They committed to exercising for half an hour every day, including Christmas Day, and paid a fine if they didn’t.

The Tinathon challenge was initiated in 2019 as a tribute to Tina Jury, a popular local marathon runner, who lost her life to cancer. It was organised by local PR consultant Miranda Rock Smith, who was supported by PT Heather Terry and a group of local fitness coaches.

The challenge helped people finish 2020 on a high. Many wanted to escape their sedentary home offices. Others were missing indoor sports facilities, shut due to lockdown. Some people used the challenge as a chance to get the whole family involved, whilst others used it to kickstart their new fitness regimes. A dedicated Facebook group and Instagram feed provided home workouts and fitness tips to keep everyone motivated. There was much camaraderie as members shared their achievements and encouraged each other. There were also offers to try new activities like wild swimming and paddle boarding, all at a safe social distance.

Currently Tinathon has raised £2.5k for us. The number of participants and the fundraising has doubled from last year. There were also many more people joining from outside Winchester. This included international participants from Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada and America.

Speaking about the success of this year’s challenge, Miranda said:

“I feel overwhelmed by the huge success of Tinathon 2020. All of us who have participated have enjoyed the benefits like less seasonal weight gain and less festive stress, thanks to the endorphins released through exercise. Most of all though, we have made some great new friends and finished a difficult year strong. It’s a perfect legacy for Tina and I can’t wait to see the group grow ever larger for Tinathon 2021.

Taking on a challenge can feel a bit daunting, but it doesn’t have to be as rigorous as this. You can challenge yourself to take on something that will benefit your own mental or physical health, whilst doing it all for a cause which helps others.  A lot of things have been taken out of control at the moment, but challenging yourself to step out of your comfort zone just a little bit can be an incredibly good focus, and great for your wellbeing too.”

Last year, many of the participants joined together for a final joint run on 31st December. Due to Tier 4 restrictions, that was not possible and instead a finishing post was erected at The King Alfred pub in Saxon Road for runners to get a finishing photo.

A lot of things have been taken out of our control at the moment, but challenging yourself to step out of your comfort zone just a little bit can be an incredibly good focus. It’s great for your wellbeing too, as well as rewarding to know you’re raising money to help others.”

Miranda Rock Smith, Tinathon 2020 organiser