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Next week sees the start of Jantastic, a running challenge which looks to inspire people of all ages and abilities to start or continue running in 2014.

Participants sign up as individuals or as part of a team, making a commitment to run a set number of times per week (three, in my case), and logging these on the website, www.jantastic.me. Through the site you can compare progress with other runners in your area or group, age group, or others with the same goals. In this way they hope to support runners through the grim winter months – a time when it’s easy to make excuses not to run.

Jantastic is the brainchild of the people behind running podcast Marathon Talk, and has received backing from England Athletics and sponsorship from adidas. Last year the challenge saw more than 125,000 runs and 600,000 miles logged, and organisers expect this to grow in 2014.

Jantastic founder Martin Yelling said “Running is an easy and effective way of keeping fit and healthy for people of all ages and abilities. The free Jantastic challenge is all about getting people active, keeping them motivated and supporting them through the tough winter months when it’s harder to head outside and go for a run.”

I’ve signed up as part of a team of others from an online running forum I use, to help me stay on my three-runs-a-week target.

Jantastic officially starts on Monday, so there’s still time to sign up.

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