Advent challenge proves a hit

JUST two runners remain in a new ‘advent calendar’ challenge designed by former Muratti footballer James Scott, which has tasked participants with running one extra mile per day from 1-24 December.

Harry McAlinden (left) and Bomber Lee (right) are the only two remaining runners left in James Scott's (centre) advent calendar running challenge. Picture: DAVID FERGUSON.
Harry McAlinden (left) and Bomber Lee (right) are the only two remaining runners left in James Scott's (centre) advent calendar running challenge. Picture: DAVID FERGUSON.

Scott said he started the challenge to try and encourage people to get out and exercise in the fresh air over what is usually an indulgent Christmas period.

From a starting field of around 20, only Bomber Lee and Harry McAlinden are left – and the pair both have personal reasons for taking part.

‘It was just an idea that came to my head and it got a good response when I put the idea out on social media,’ said Scott, who himself bowed out on day 19, after clocking up 183 miles

‘I started struggling as I got into double figures but for someone who is not a consistent runner I was really pleased with how I finished.’

He added: ‘Bomber is running in aid of Jersey Hospice and in memory of his brother, Jayson Lee, while Harry is doing the challenge as part of his virtual race across Tennessee as he aims to run 3,000 miles over 2020 in aid of Headway Jersey.

‘Both of the lads have done amazing and for such good reasons too. The challenge hasn’t been easy so I take my hat off to them both.’

Scott also reserved special praise for Daniel Andrade and his father – who ran until day 13, where they finished with a half marathon – Sporting Academics striker Jamie Savory, who Scott said has ran more in this month than his entire life, and Helen Tostevin, who was the last remaining lady in the challenge.

The Parishes of Jersey FC manager said the challenge helps to highlight the importance of physical exercise throughout the current Covid-19 climate. Throughout 2020, he has also organised a 5km running challenge with Island footballers, plus mini football-volleyball and tennis tournaments.

‘The first lockdown showed us how important fresh air and exercise is to our mental and physical health and I hope this challenge has got a few people out and about throughout the month,’ he said.

‘I think these challenges and the number of people getting involved show the great spirit within the football community and other team sports on the Island. It is great to see so many getting involved and sharing that camaraderie whether that be during the challenge or on social media.’

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