Compete for something more

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Berlin Marathon Alvarum Challenge

Kirk Mitchell participated with the Alvarum Challenges to the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON for the Charity Terre des Hommes. Thanks to his friends, colleagues and familiy he collected € 4.000 in only 2,5 months on his Alvarum page. With his charity place he run the 42.195 km in the German capital as ambassador for Terre des Hommes.

How long have you been running and how often have you been participating in organised events?

I have been participating in endurance events for 25 years. Mostly triathlon (ironman) and the odd marathon.

Why did you choose to run the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON?

My family and I have just relocated to Berlin.

How did you learn about the Alvarum Challenge?

All slots were sold and I realised a charity slot for Berlin was available . I much prefer to race for a cause.

Why did you chose the Charity Terre des Hommes?

In 1996 my wife and I spent 4 months in India backpaking and I realised that kids there need greater choices.

What made you decide to do it?

Marathons are a very self centred endeavour… they need a bigger purpose.

What was it like to fundraise and run for a charity?


Was it different from your former races?

Yes, the Alvarum tool makes it super easy. Raising money for charity was a lot more difficult when I started racing.

How was it for you personally as a runner/fundraiser?

I actually had a sub-par performance (wont go into reasons why).

…but I walked away still happy with my performance as I knew it was for a greater benefit.

To what extend has this project an influence on you personally (for example when you train)?

Hugely motivating to know you are running/training not just for yourself but for all of my family and friends who have donated and to the cause.

You reached €4.000 with 77 donations!!! What did you do to raise funds?

Emailed my friends and family regularly seeking their support

How did you contact people?

Email initially, then Linkedin (I have a reasonably large following), twitter (although I don’t have much of a following on twitter). Finally I sent direct SMS to friends I felt could have donated but hadnt the week prior to the race. Also put up posters in my office.

How did you motivate them to support the charity?

Told the story of Terre des Hommes!

Was it hard to convince people to help you?

Not really, but it took constant effort and reminders

What 3 tips would you give to the other fundraisers?

(I) Be sure you tell the personal story of why you are competing for your chosen charity – you need to connect with authenticity;
(ii) Send regular updates to your friends as to your progress in training and remind them to donate each time;
(iii) Send personalised SMS to those who haven’t donated the week prior to the race.

Is there anything you would like to say to other people who are thinking about running for a

There is nothing more motivating than elevating the reason for your chosen challenge to a greater cause.

Don’t just compete for yourself, compete for something more. Make a difference not just in achieving your personal goals but for something larger that will have real impact. Not doing so is a wasted opportunity.

See Kirk Mitchell’s fundraiser on Alvarum

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