Sierra Leone Marathon

One of our crew recently ran their first Marathon. For a first marathon, he picked a tough one. Sierra Leone, here’s his blow-back

“The weather was dry, hot (35 average), humid (91%) and the course had over 1200m of elevation. So what was the motivation for this run? At first it was a desire to run a marathon. The distance that calls out to us all as a real challenge of our fitness and endurance. The distance will find out if you have been honest in training and if you have committed to the work. I think deep down, we all want to tick that box. As with most of these endeavours, not being a strict “runner”, the run also became about charity. How could I help? Who could I help?

The Sierra Leone Marathon is organised by Street Child and is the jewel in their crown in terms of fundraising events. The trip affords participants the chance to visit the projects that are funded by the runners, helping children get an education in one of the poorest countries on earth. It allows the runners to connect with the very reason they run. Isn’t this why we all get out and run or exercise? We are looking, no crying out, for connection. It’s why we are glued to social media on our phones. We want to connect, we want a relationship with ourselves or others. We need it as social creatures. We’re not supposed to meander through life without it. The trip, marathon included, allowed me to truly connect with new people, who I am and the person I want to be. It educated me from the moment I got off the plane. To see the endurance the people of Sierra Leone show in their daily lives meant that during the run, which was really tough, there was the added determination to get through it for them. It was a way of doing my tiny little bit in service to them, of repaying them for the experience and spirit they show".

This is why we run.

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New Cycle

As we enter 2019 a few of us have fitness goals for the year and so we enter a new cycle of training. The solstice has been and gone and so the darkness will begin to recede which seems to really have a positive effect.

We start the year with a now traditional jaunt round Greenwich Park. Feeling the burn in our legs as we take on a couple of the inclines and finishing up One Tree Hill. The views across London from here are enough to lift our spirits further. It’s a year to the day since we started training together and we’ve trained more often than not.

We’re looking forward to more work and more togetherness in the coming year. We’ll see where our fitness goals take us. We have our first Marathon to take on and there is talk of a Ragnar Race.

It all started with a desire to get out and exercise in a group. Pay off has been huge. You get out what you put in.

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Why.

Knox Robinson, a New York runner says that running is an act of rebellion. That it enables you to free yourself from the shackles society has constructed for us and the limits and walls we put up internally. He’s right of course, however it’s not just running. It’s true that running is in it’s simplest form, what we evolved to be. Upright runners. And whilst the run remains the building block of our activities, we find that group training and exercise brings it’s own freedoms. The camaraderie of community, the sharing of problems on the chat lap weeks, the support the crew provide, the galvanising affect of workout on a life. It can all start with that one decision to get involved or meet up with a new set of people. Some people love the run, they feel it in the way a person of faith might feel a Sunday sermon. Some others, not so much. They hate it. One truth emerges from each and every get together. Nobody regrets it.

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