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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OCTOBER. DON’T LET THE GLOOM WIN

It’s been week of promoting awareness of mental health issues. Over here in our little crew we fully understand the link between physical activity and mental health. Is it a magical cure, no. Can it be a really positive and influential tool to manage mental health, most definitely. Even more so if that activity takes place outdoors. A study by The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry found that exercising outdoors showed a measurable increase in someones mental well being. More research is needed into this but it’s clear to the EFF - Move where you can, if it’s in a gym or at home, great. If it’s outside, even better. Get away from the screens and connect with yourself through the medium of activity. By creating these positive habits you’re going to give yourself a foundation to make improvements in other areas of your life.

As we said, physical activity is no magical cure. If you’re feeling it, talk to someone. Don’t struggle alone. If you’re around the Eltham area, come along on Wednesday’s. You might just make something click.

Keep going.

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