Hayley's Halfs

Hayley McNicholas

Over the course of 2016/2017, Hayley McNicholas (handicap 21.8) has set herself the 'Hayley's Halfs' challenge, where she is aiming to run in all of the  the major cities in the UK, in aid of the Claire House Children's Hospice. We caught up with her to hear about her aims and motivation and this is what she said:

Hayley’s Half Marathon Challenge is a challenge I set myself, aiming to run in all the major cities of the UK over the next few years for my local children’s hospice, Claire House. As part of the challenge I will be running 21 half marathons, three full marathons, doing the Whistle Stop Tour and the Tour of Merseyside. The challenge started in March 2016 in my home town, at the Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon, initially for a year – but I’m still going!


I chose Claire House because I’m lucky enough to work there – and the hospice itself is so, so important to the people it supports. Claire House Children’s Hospice helps seriously and terminally ill children to live life to the full by creating wonderful experiences and bringing back a sense of normality to family life. By providing specialist nursing care and emotional support we help families smile again when life couldn’t get any tougher.


In 2016 I ran in the following cities as part of my challenge: Liverpool, London, Chester, Swansea, Dublin, Wirral, Nottingham, Glasgow, Birmingham and Conwy. 


2017 planned races are: Helbsy, Potteries, Anglesey, Bath, Reading, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Edinburgh, Southport, GNR, Bristol, Cardiff and Yorkshire. 


My favourite races include my first marathon in London and the races I have done in Nottingham and Glasgow because the atmosphere and the support was so unbelievable. Every time you turned a corner or ran up a hill there was someone there supporting you and cheering you on, and it just felt amazing.


In 2014, I couldn’t run round the block without stopping and didn’t think I was capable of running 10k, never mind a half marathon. I trained with a group of ladies that taught me the correct breathing techniques and gave me the belief in myself to run. I signed up for my first half marathon in January 2015 and haven’t looked back. They have supported me from the beginning and were there for the start of my challenge.

I have met some amazing people throughout my challenge from people on home territory cheering you on to the guy in Nottingham running alongside me up a hill as I told him about my challenge. They’re not just running buddies, they’re friends and I’m so glad I met them. ‘Hayley’s Halfs’ has changed me as a person, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Good luck Hayley! We will be cheering you on for the rest of the challenge and with whatever you do next!

To support Hayley with her fundraising for Claire's House click here.