Hello, and thank you for taking the time to find out about the ‘Stormrunning Challenge‘. So what’s the idea?
At the start of 2014 I started taking part in a number of long distance running events, from 10 kilometre and 10 mile events to half marathons and full marathons across the UK. But there’s a difference, because whilst competing in these challenging events I made things much more difficult for myself by running every single mile dressed from head to toe as a Stormtrooper from the epic Star Wars films.
Yes, I have been pounding the streets for mile after mile, often in hot weather, wearing a thick black body suit, armour weighing 25 lbs (about the same as a two year old child, or a 19″ flat screen TV), and of course a helmet which ensures I can barely see, breathe, eat or drink. It’s something of a challenge I believe, and one I have already been really enjoying.
Having now already got a huge list of runs successfully under my (utility) belt I am continuing this challenge throughout 2015. You can see both the completed events and the ones already booked for this year by checking out the calendar of events page.
Why am I doing this?
Why am I doing this? Surprisingly enough it’s not because of some strange masochistic drive I have – it’s for two reasons. One is for fun, because it will be I am sure (at least once I cross the finishing line) but the second and most important reason is because I am trying to raise as much money as possible for a hugely worthwhile UK charity – Kidscape.
I have partnered up with Kidscape and we are working together in a number of ways. I am aiming to raise both their profile and funds through my many running activities and other events, and I also be take part in a number of other events run by Kidscape as a kind of mascot with possibly the worst aim in the galaxy. (I think the reason Stormtroopers never hit anything is that it’s almost impossible to see anything whilst wearing the helmet – honestly, you have to try one on some time.)
As well as taking part in several long distance runs across the country throughout the coming year I will also be taking part in many running related publicity events at supermarkets, shopping centres, leisure centres and parks in various towns and cities. This will, for example, involve me running on a treadmill in full Stormtrooper costume whilst other people help collect donations, and afterwards there will be opportunities for children to have their photo taken with the stormtrooper.
2014 was epic, and I thiunk that 2015 already looks to be just as good, and through this website you can keep fully up to date with all of the planned events, activities and appearances, as well as my training and updates from Kidscape. To find out more about Kidscape and the vital work they do to protect children from bullying and abuse please take a look at the Kidscape page.
Get involved, and help support Kidscape
If you’d like to make a donation then that would be utterly brilliant. You can find out the various ways of doing this on the Donations page. But if either you can’t support me financially at the moment there may be other ways you can help out, either by helping to organise, plan and run events or helping out with publicity and advertising. From accommodation and transport to donation collectors, and from those who work in radio, TV, newspapers, magazines or other media to people who would like to join in the publicity events themselves, I’d love to hear from you – just take a look at the Get Involved page.
Once again, my sincere thanks for taking the time to stop by. Make sure you bookmark this site, and do come back often. I hope you enjoy reading the information and keeping up to date with news and events, but don’t forget to leave a comment, send a tweet or other update just to let me know you came. During these long hard hours of training every little bit of support helps!
About Justin Arnold
Hello, my name is Justin Arnold, and I’m the one who came up with the idea of completing a whole list of long distance running challenges dressed as a Stormtrooper in order to raise money for the charity Kidscape.
As each race day goes by I anticipate there being a good deal less of me than there is at the moment, largely due to a combination of having to run huge distances while carrying the equivalent weight of a two year old child, and sweating profusely. I get hot while running anyway, but wearing a thick black body suit and 25 lbs of armour, plus a full helmet, definitely makes life interesting.
However, my challenge pales into insignificance compared to the challenge thousands of children face every day through bullying and abuse. Please read through the Kidscape page to learn about why this campaign is so important, why so many thousands of children desperately need us to help provide them with support and advice.
My previous experience
I have worked with children and young people for many years as a school teacher. I taught English, Drama and ICT in secondary schools across the country for 12 years, before leaving teaching to follow my own dream of writing for a living.
For the past 8 years I have worked as a writer, author, ghostwriter and copywriter, although more recently I am moving again into schools, delivering writing workshops to children and training to teachers, combining my love of teaching and education with my love of writing and creativity.
Having taken part in long distance races for many years I came up with the idea of running in full stormtrooper gear partly as a result of my own 8 year old son’s love of anything related to Star Wars. He and I run together sometimes, and it seemed like a cool idea. We fathers are often trying to look cool, although it doesn’t always work. Which is why I never dance in front of him.
But the idea grew, and after approaching Kidscape with a suggestion I was fortunate enough to gain huge support, and the initial idea grew significantly. With extra support from companies and organisations, including jedi-robe.com, who are kindly donating equipment and costume parts, the idea has now become a full blown challenge that’s getting bigger by the day.
But this challenge isn’t about me – it’s about a growing community of people, companies and organisations all working together to help children enjoy being children.