By Vicky Anscombe on 12 April 2016

Pip Davis (pictured above, front second right) is a fearless fundraiser. This November, she’ll be leaving Australia to travel to the US, where she’ll be taking part in the TCS New York City Marathon.

We were intrigued by her desire to tie in fundraising with travel - and we wanted to know more. Why has she chosen to run a marathon in the States? How can travel help to promote a cause, and boost fundraising? We were lucky enough to grab five minutes with Pip, and she told us all about her plans. If you’re thinking of doing the same, here are some must-know hints, tips and tricks.

Help Pip hit her target of $5,000 by sponsoring her - just click here to help her raise much-needed funds to fight cancer.

Pip and her fundraising buddies

What made you want to do the marathon abroad, as opposed to in Australia?

It is 30 years since my dad died from cancer, and I turn 50 next year, so I wanted to do something that was on my bucket list. Doing a marathon has been on my list for a while. As I only plan to do one, I wanted it to be the most famous one in the world, in New York!

I also love the fact that the streets are lined with people for the entire 42.2kms, so I will be well supported along the way.

Are you going alone, or with friends?

I’m going with friends - there are 12 of us who all met through a wonderful charity, Can Too, in 2005. They train you for events in return for you raising money to support cancer research. In fact, I am training through Can Too for the event this year, so I will have new buddies there as well!

Fundraisers having fun

Are you pleased that you’ll be able to tie in your marathon with some jetsetting?

You bet! It gives a real purpose to my trip. The city buzzes when these events are on, so you can’t help but get caught up in the vibe. To be a participant rather than a spectator (which I have done in the past) is a dream come true.

Have you sorted out your travel insurance yet?

Absolutely – I already had an annual travel insurance policy in place with Columbus Direct when I applied for my place in the race. They cover a lot of sports and activities as standard, which is great for people who love to tackle a new challenge. It’s really boosted my peace of mind, as I know they’ll be there if I need them.

What made you decide to run the NY marathon for charity?

I wanted to make it meaningful. My dad died from cancer in 1986, so to be able to support a charity to help find a cure for cancer gives real purpose to taking on this challenge. No matter how hard I find it, it’s not nearly as challenging as having chemotherapy!

What obstacles have you run into since you decided to run for Can Too?

Quite a few! I had two reconstructions at the beginning of 2015 - knee and shoulder - so I am starting behind the 8-ball in terms of my fitness. I wasn’t able to train for 12 months, so I wasn’t that fit when I started to train back in January this year. I am not a natural born runner, so just being able to run 5 kms is a huge achievement!

I travel a lot for work too, so fitting in regular training can sometimes be hard. However, if you want something badly enough, you make the time.

What motivates you to keep going?

My sponsors. I have had over 70 people donate to Can Too in support of what I am doing, so I can’t let them down! All my sponsors are signing the shirt I am going to wear, so they will be with me on the race day. I’m also hugely grateful to my trainer, Timmy Lindop. He’s a legend, and really believes in me, so I want do it for him as much as for myself.

How are you training?

I train with Timmy twice a week doing cross-training - this involves strength work, boxing, weights, etc. I train twice with Timmy at Can Too as well, doing one night at the track, and a long run on Saturdays. I also run with Rejoov Runners in Centennial Park twice a week to get ‘the k’s on legs’ so I get plenty of variety.

How did you raise $3,000 in less than a week?

I told my story; I emailed my friends, family and colleagues, and put it on Facebook, and the money flowed in. People are asked to sponsor people all the time, and many people have told me my reasons for fundraising have struck a chord with them. Everyone has been touched by cancer. Someone I don’t even know (a friend of my dear friend Coral, who died from cancer last year) sponsored me $200. That really touched me.

Group shot of happy fundraisers

What have you learned from the experience so far? Has anything surprised you?

I’ve discovered that there are a lot of amazing people in the world. There are a lot of people who are making this dream possible for me, and that’s the most exciting thing. I am not alone in this and that’s been a surprise; to feel so supported by so many people has been the greatest pleasure.

Where will you be staying during the marathon? Will you be with friends, or at a hotel?

We have booked everything through Travelling Fit, who are one of the official ‘Marathon Travel’ companies. They have arranged accommodation at a hotel 100m from the finish line - handy! I am staying there for three days over the event, then with family for a few days either side of that.

Adventure fundraising is becoming more and more popular with Australians. Do you think it’s a good way to raise funds for charity?

You bet! It gives a purpose to your trip. It’s worth pointing out is that the funds raised are NOT funding my trip. I am paying to get to NYC, and to do the race, etc. It’s also good to let your sponsors know this. People are happy to support a wonderful cause, but maybe not so happy to support your wonderful holiday!

What do you plan to do afterwards?

We are spending a few days in NYC both before and after the event. The election is two days after the event, so I think it will be great to be there for that! We’re then heading to a lovely resort in Mexico to lie on a beach, drink cocktails and do nothing for eight days. I think we’ll have earned a rest by then!


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