Run, Jim, Run!
Posted: Wed, 22 Nov 2017 08:58
Imagine running 10k, is that easy or like me, does that sound really difficult? Now imagine running 10k every single day for nearly 5 years! Now it sounds impossible to me at least.
One man has done it - Jim Gump, his now adopted mantel, was invited to Waingroves Primary School this week to tell his amazing story of how he has run at least 10k every day since 01 January 2013.
Jim, from Somerset, like most of the country, sat on his sofa watching the 2012 Olympic Games in London. He was so inspired though he asked himself what he could do, how he could challenge himself in the way the athletes had? He, along with his lovely dog Alfredo decided to run 10k (6.2 miles) each day during 2013. He celebrated achieving his goal by running a 46-mile ultra-marathon on New Year's Eve that year!
He then decided to carry it on throughout 2014, celebrating again with the ultra-marathon, before upping the ante and completing a triathlon every day during 2015, again rounding off the year with the now annual ultra-marathon. Alf, however did not complete the triathlons each day as Jim couldn't get him to ride a bike.
As word spread of Jim's determination, he was invited to visit a school with his story, he didn't think they would be interested but was blown away by their engagement and enthusiasm for his challenge. He wanted to inspire children to get more active and be physically active every day.
As Jim said; "just do a little bit of something active every day and do it outdoors if possible".
Jim started to do work with more and more schools, setting up their own challenges. He was then invited to the US and travelled all over the country, visiting schools, running and meeting new people. His adopted last name, Gump, comes from the fictitious Forrest Gump, who ran 19,000 miles across the states. Jim now aims to complete the same distance by 2020. He has already run 18,000 miles but need to run on average of 17 miles each day to complete his new goal.
Jim's weaves a magical tale of his journey so far with some funny stories of the things he's seen and the places he's been. He spoke about how running has helped him personally, he has Asperger's Syndrome and finds conversations difficult and doesn't like to be touched, but through his running, he is able to make conversation more easily and is an articulate and fascinating speaker.
He engages with the children, asking questions, making them laugh and helping them to understand how they can achieve anything they want in life.
He said to them; "There is nothing special about me and my body, there is no reason why you can't all achieve amazing things in your life".
Jim visited each of the classes to reinforce his physical activity message and also led the students on a run.
He is hoping to visit more schools in Derbyshire to encourage more physical activity and can work with them on an ongoing basis. If you are interested in hearing more about Jim's journey or inviting Jim to speak, his website is www.jimgump.com