Joanne & Damian do Raleigh

Exploring life from a different perspective

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£1 Supper Club

Our fundraising event for June was to host a supper club with a difference and we have to thank Thomas the Caterer for coming on board with this challenge.

Live below the line is a charity project where by people live on £1 a day for all their food and drink, for a week, to raise money for overseas charities and raise awareness of how there are still so many people that have to survive on this every single day. This was our inspiration for our event in June. We felt that by us living on £1 a day, nobody would be involved, so we decided to hold a supper club style dinner party with the principal being that the meal was costed at £1 per head. We did cheat a little on the £1 a day, as technically, the evening meal should have been 33p, but we felt it would still be a good talking point at £1 per person.

Knowing the challenge was tough, we asked Thomas the Caterer would he like to take it on for us and he surpassed our expectations. Eleven of us dined on Roast and pressed pork belly, with new potatoes, roasted beetroot and pea puree, followed by Floating Islands with honeycomb. It was delicious and our guests were thrilled to not only get a course that was more than beans and lentils, but also a dessert.

Our huge thanks goes out to Thomas for doing this for us. I can only imagine what he could create for your dinner party if you booked him for a special occasion. We were so impressed.

We raised £270 and to find out more about Live below the line, see the links below.

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Burpee Mile Challenge Video

Well the burpee mile challenge has been completed and I’m so excited to be able to say that!

At first the challenge seemed not that bad, then it seemed the most ridiculous thing I had agreed to, then it was exciting, then it was exhausting and finally it was incredible. I can’t thank those that took part and came to support us enough. It made the morning so much easier.

Be Fitter were the challengers of this event and Martine has created a brilliant video for us, that shows just a snippet of everyone’s achievement, but encompasses the feelings of the day.

I am thinking that Zack, Mubs & Wayne’s timing of less than an hour must be a record and it is undoubtedly, an incredible achievement. I have to say, that I am no fitness lover, so if I can train to achieve a mile of burpees, then it is down to the team of Be Fitter. Hats off to them for motivating me and I’m even still going to classes to keep up the fitness. Even their advice of the ice bath, meant I could walk the next day – now that was a surprise.

Big thanks to everyone for the donations & support. Fitness challenge completed – a big tick – yay!

Joanne x (One very happy bunny)



The Be Fitter Burpee Mile Challenge

After months of hard training, blood, sweat and tears, on a beautiful sunny day in Leicester, yesterday (Sunday 25th May) was the day that we finally carried out the fundraising challenge set to us by Be Fitter ……. yes the dreaded Burpee Mile!

Before that however, I’ll briefly step back 2 years when Joanne and I were two pretty unfit individuals flitting between fitness fads and classes in a desperate attempt to try and get fit, but more often than not getting bored and giving up. We eventually came across Be Fitter and started going to their classes and have to admit it was a total body shock at first. After a few weeks of getting used to the classes we soon began to feel the benefits and loved the encouraging atmosphere and sense of teamwork and community that the classes evoked. Two years later we are both fitter, leaner and stronger and it is a testament to Be Fitter that we are still loving going …… trust me, Jo in particular has an incredible low boredom threshold when it comes to anything “fitness”! Little did we know 2 years ago, when a minute of beginners style burpees would almost finish us off, that yesterday we would have achieved what we did!


In January we asked the guys at Be Fitter to set us a fundraising challenge, in order to avoid us picking something ourselves that would be easy, knowing full well that they would set us something that would be tough and a real accomplishment …… if we could pull it off! When they challenged us to do a mile of burpees, we thought ….. yes why not, we’ll give that a go …… we can share a mile in relay style. They soon put us straight, telling us the challenge was a mile EACH …… GULP! Too late ……. challenge already accepted!

Be Fitter company logo

Over the last few months we have both been training extra hard; especially over the last month where we have even been trying to eat extra healthy; yes …. no booze, caffeine, cake, chocolate, goodies etc …… just lots of fresh veggies, salads, fruit, protein etc. This alone has been a challenge in itself!

We approached Saffron Lane Athletics Stadium to see if they could assist with the venue, who were more than happy to let us use their facilities; so a big thank you to Clive for his help.

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Over the 4 month build there has been lots of training highs and lows, but yesterday had finally come around and we just hoped that we were ready! Yesterday morning at 8:30 we were driving to the track, and nerves had finally set in; “this was going to be really tough …… could we really do this??” Jo had been wondering this for the past few months, so was particularly pleased that I had finally joined in her apprehension, who herself was now feeling strangely excited! It was great however, to turn up and meet a whole host of Be Fitters and friends who had turned up to join in and support. After lots of nervous laughing and joking and a quick group photo, 15 of us carried out our warm up routine and got to the starting line around 9:45 and off we went!

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Fourteen of us eventually completed the full 4 and a bit laps, and another exceeded his personal challenge of more than 400m ……. but it was tough for everyone! For me lap 3 was the toughest when fatigue really kicked in, a few guys had already finished (three in under an hour …. Phew!), and knowing that I still had another lap at the end of this was mentally draining! Encouraged all the way around and eventually on the finishing straight, I tried to put on a spurt across the line. Looking back at a video clip it doesn’t look very “spurty”, but I can honestly say I gave it my all and had nothing left in the tank as I crossed the line after 2 hours of full chest to ground burpees! Jo wasn’t far behind, giving her all and crossing in 2 hours 36 minutes; also of full chest to ground burpees all the way around!

We are both so proud of what we achieved yesterday; and in times far quicker than we had expected. Two years ago I can honestly say that we would not have been able to do 50m without collapsing, let alone 1609m. We feel honoured that so many people came along yesterday to join in and support us and we cannot thank you enough …… you all know who you are! It was a great atmosphere, with everyone on the track completing such achievements and joining the very limited Burpee Mile Club! Well done everyone!


A final thank you to everyone who has sponsored us for this achievement; but for anyone who hasn’t, you can still do so on Just Giving until the end of July.


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Our first fitness challenge

When we were asked to fundraise for Raleigh International, like most people, our thoughts turned to a fitness challenge. Having both run a half marathon in the past, Joanne knew this was not for her, but we did want to do something that would not be chosen by ourselves, to make sure we were pushed. People are more encouraged to donate if they see someone being driven beyond their levels. Just look at the massive achievement of Davina McCall for Sport Relief recently – wow!

The team behind Be Fitter therefore came to mind. Take a look at their profile on the ‘Our Challengers’ section at the top on this website. We knew they would be tough on us, but also want us to achieve it. They have set our challenge as 1 Mile of Burpees. For those that don’t know what a burpee is, have a look at this link of one of the Be Fitter directors, Zack, taking on the 100 burpee time challenge.

Firstly, Joanne would like to say that she in no way looks like that when she is doing burpess, or goes at that pace. Secondly, we will be doing a distance, so take a look at the video on the Be Fitter page on ‘Our Challengers’ section to see how we will be doing them. We will be posting a video of us trying out the distance burpees, so you can see exactly how comical we look and so you can fully appreciate what we will be doing, is tough for us. Try giving them a go for a minute and you’ll understand.

The challenge will take place on the morning of Sunday 25th May 2014, so put the date in your diary to come along and take on the challenge with us, or offer some support. Saffron Lane Athletics Stadium are very generously donating the use of their track and facilities, so a big thank you to the team there. You can see their details under the ‘Our Challengers’ section on the website.

We both have targets to reach for the amazing projects that Raleigh will be undertaking while we are on expedition and have our individual Just Giving pages with our targets on all set up for you to pop over to and kindly donate to motivate us for this challenge.

We have also set up our Just Giving text number for this for smaller donations. This are our codes below. Give them a try.

Just Giving text code for Damian Withers DAMI99  Just Giving text code for Joanne Withers JOWI99

Sign up to this blog (top right hand side), or our Facebook page and you will be able to follow the details of our training leading up to the day, including watching Joanne have a nervous breakdown as reality sets in!

Love Damian & Joanne x

Image of a pair of trainers with a Be Fitter logo t shirt