Announcing the Spring Race Challenge!

Everybody could use a bit more motivation to exercise, right? In my opinion, spring time is the absolute best time to start exercising if you haven’t been doing as much as you’d like, and what better way to motivate yourself than with some pretty new exercise gear that fits you perfectly?

The Spring Race Challenge is simple – sew up some exercise gear, and sign up to a race.


It doesn’t matter whether the sewing is self-drafted, from one of my patterns, or from another pattern company. The important bit is that you’ve sewn it yourself!


It doesn’t matter what sport you’re into – running, cycling, swimming, karate, gymnastic, cross fit, whatever! You do not have to be speedy. This isn’t about beating your competition, or getting a new PB, or signing up to some lofty challenge – this is all about picking a goal and motivating yourself to work towards it. If running is your thing, I highly recommend checking out your local Parkrun – they’re free, timed 5km runs every Saturday around the world.

How to take part!

Step 1: Place the Spring Race Challenge badge somewhere on your blog (if you have one – if not, tell a friend or tweet it with #SweatAndSew or post it to Facebook!).

Copy/paste this into your blog:

Southern hemisphere ladies – I’ve made a Fall Race Challenge badge just for you so you don’t feel left out!

Copy/paste this into your blog:

Step 2: Find a race or competition in your area and sign up to it. Don’t put this part off – knowing you’ve committed to participate on a set date is key for avoiding procrastination, and gives you a firm deadline. That, and races often sell out well in advance!

Step 3: Start sewing! To be eligible for the prize draw (oh yes!), you must wear at least one home-sewn item during the race/competition.

Step 4: After your race, post a photo of yourself either during or immediately after the competition (your number and medal are great accessories!), and post a comment on this post linking to your photo. If you don’t have a blog, link to your photo on a public gallery or social media site in your comment.

Step 5: The prize draw! On 7 July (Edit: Now extended to include the 4th of July weekend!) a winner will be randomly drawn from all entries to win a very special prize (no really – it’s really cool!) to be announced shortly.


Case in point: My mom has just completed her first 5k. It was in a local mall, and she jogged some of it, and walked some of it. By her own admission, she said she hadn’t trained as much as she’d liked, but because she’d told me she was going to do it, she went out and did it. Accountability is key! By placing the Spring Race Challenge badge on your site, you’re making a public statement that you’re going to complete your challenge, and it’s a proven motivation technique.

And of course I’ve been in training for my big spring race, London marathon, for months now, but I’ve had a string of tune-up races over the past months where I’ve worn lots of my own-sewn race kit.

First there was the Bath Half marathon, where I ran in my rainbow PB Jam leggings:

The then Saturday after was Flatline 10, where we run up and down the steepest hill in London (Swain’s Lane, by Highgate Cemetery) 10 times for a total of 10 miles. I wore my mint X-Back top and my Copenhagen marathon leggings for this:

The next day was the Anthony Nolan 10km Marrowthon, where I wore my favourite printed PB Jam leggings:

And finally, this Sunday was the Spitfire 20 miler (my last race before London marathon!), where I wore my printed Y-Back top and a sneak peek of my next pattern!

This is something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while now, and judging from your feedback last week, it’s something a lot of you are up for participating in, too! So who’s in? Get those badges up and start your race hunting!

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